I Did it to Myself

“How are you feeling?” my husband asked.

“Not so good,” I admitted, “but I did it to myself.” Wisely, my husband didn’t say a word. He didn’t have to. We both knew I’d overcommitted and today’s pain was the price. Throughout the week I’d struggled with expectations and an unspoken sense of competition among a dynamic group of women who consistently get things done. I knew in my heart I didn’t have the stamina to take on a big, last-minute, first-time project, but I wasn’t willing to be the weak link, to do less because of my injury, unwilling to explain that while I wanted to help, I couldn’t, so I’d ignored my limitations and pushed through, and the cost was high, not just to me, but also to my family.

Why, I wondered, do I still compare myself to others? Still measure my worth against human standards? Still strive to exceed others’ expectations? The honest answer, the one I didn’t even want to admit to myself, is that I want to be known as someone who’s reliable and hard working, someone who isn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and do whatever it takes to get the job done. I’ve never wanted the glory, but always the quiet recognition. Ouch!

It’s a battle whose roots stretch all the way back to the Garden of Eden with tendrils winding through time, our personal war with pride. Yet if I know Whose I am, if I understand that I am fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s own image, why does it matter whether or not I measure up to this world’s standards or how I compare to others? Was my busyness this week God’s plan for my life or my own? Did I even ask?

No. I didn’t. Not once did I seek God’s will for my week. I simply checked the calendar, grabbed a pen and scheduled our days. By Friday evening I had to admit that I was hurting and it was my own fault, a hard truth and a humbling reality. Not only was my over-commitment unwise, but my motivation was wrong too. It was time to admit my selfish ambitions and confess my pride.

Father, forgive me. How could I measure my worth by any standard others than Yours or value fallible human opinion over Your immense, immeasurable love for me – love that cost you more than I will ever understand, that cost you everything? You created me in Your image by Your Hand, a masterpiece, exquisite, distinct and original, one-of-a-kind, perfectly fitted to fulfill Your will for my life. Knowing all that, how could I possibly not choose You and Your plan for my week? And yet I didn’t. Oh, Lord, I chose me. Forgive me.

You, O Lord, are my Strength and my Shield, my Rock and my Redeemer, my Savior and the Song of my heart. Teach me to choose You every moment of every day, that one day the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart will fill Your soul with joy and bring glory to Your holy name. Amen.

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5 Comments

Filed under Devotionals

5 responses to “I Did it to Myself

  1. Susie Snider

    A hard lesson but oh…a good one

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  2. Jannette

    That sounds like my week too – and I have to admit, I just plowed ahead, without seeking God’s will. Every morning, I pray that what I say and do every day would be pleasing and God-honouring – and then I get up, and before I know it, I’ve put my will first….
    I’m so grateful for His forgiveness!

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  3. Allison

    Just beautifully written and a good reminder. Only problem, my make-up is ruined from crying!

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  4. Oh Cindee,
    This weakness is near to me too. I’ve also learned this lesson at the expense of my family, although I don’t suffer the pain you do, just the extreme crabbiness that comes with the anxiety to get it all done and done well.
    My patient husband encouraged me to know my limits and to let others serve too – that was my “ouch”. There are many who respond to God’s call and sometimes I’d think there was only me. Humbling, to be sure, but I was thankful to learn the lesson so I could look at opportunities with different eyes.
    Thanks for blessing us again with your honesty and self-reflection Cindee. May the peace of Jesus rest on you completely.
    Anne

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  5. Hello Fellow Faithwriter,
    I can relate though with my blog. Once I would constantly check it’s ratings then I realized, “Do I write primarily so that God can say ‘Well done good and faithful servant’ or do I write so that people can say ‘well done good and faithful blogger’?”

    The former is true and so I just aim to please God by doing my best and without over extending myself and if perchance the public accolade follows, well and good.

    Like

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