I bought myself a new car. It’s just a car. But it’s a really nice car. And I bought it myself. Cars aren’t really the kind of thing that get me excited in life. I’m not really a “car person.” Some of that is my upbringing, some of that is just me. And some of it is the way I was trained in vocational ministry. This is by no means an attempt to paint with a broad brush and suggest everyone who believes in God or goes to church thinks this way. And honestly it didn’t harm me. It’s one perspective. But it’s a perspective that has limited me. Not from “nice things” but kept me in hiding. It’s caused me fear. Fear of success. Fear of judgement from people who believe that as a follower of Christ I should not have nice things. I should give big, no matter how little I have. But to give big because I have big and then enjoy big is shame on me. As you read those words it might be confusing. It’s a mindset of some and one I picked up along the way. It’s a concept that taught me lack, even poverty breeds humility and brings you closer to Jesus. That the desire or possession or material goods were not Godly or good at all. My mindset around money is something that God has been dealing with in me. He reminded me that it’s just money. It’s not bad. It’s the love of it that is the root of all evil. I don’t love money. I love Him and people. I know God doesn’t even need my money. He needs my heart. And that indeed He has. And so when money is in the hands of people who put Him first, good things can happen to resource His work.
But, I bought a car. A luxury car at that. And in a feeble attempt to overcome my fear of needing people’s approval in this area of my life, I decided to share about it. And as you might expect people were kind. Many celebrated with me. Some extended words of encouragement that resonated with the internal growth I’ve experienced around my mindset toward money. And one. One had real strong opinions about me. She accused me of being a phony. One who talks about Jesus and acts as though my life is in line with Him yet buys myself a fancy car while Jesus himself was born in a stable. She accused my faith of being false. That somehow I had lost my way of what true happiness was because I bought myself this car.
It’s just a car. And it’s just an opinion. But I was misunderstood. And it hurt. Her words hit exactly at a tender spot in my story. We all have one—wounds, a story. And we all get misunderstood. And that’s painful. It hurts because we deeply long to be seen, heard, known—understood. So how do we move through the pain we experience from another person’s perspective of us? I’m sharing with you today three things. These three things enabled me to grow through this.
1. Personal Growth.
Over the past decade I have invested a lot of time and money in growing myself. I’ve read books, attended conferences, got counseling, hired coaches and participated in masterminds. This growth has led to awareness. Awareness actually leads to freedom. When the words of this woman pinged my heart I didn’t bully through it. That’s not my story anymore. I didn’t get angry or bite back and react. I cried. It made me sad. I sat in those feelings identifying that this is part of my story that God is healing in me. It’s the part that has kept me in hiding, stopped me from growing and cared more about others approval than the opinion of Him. This awareness of what was really going on in me allowed me to move through the experience instead of remaining stuck in it. No recycling, no prolonged drama, not reaction that created prolonged regret. Are you investing in your personal growth? Do you make the time and spend the money on the process of BECOMING all God wants for you.
I had a friend to share my shame with. Someone who truly knows me and cares about me. This person did not try to convince me that my pain was silly. She didn’t say it shouldn’t bother me or tell me how ridiculous that person was. She sat with me. She listened and she appreciated the feelings it brought up in me. Then she defended me. She had my back and she expressed her care beyond my car. Do you have someone that will be a safe space and sit with you? They don’t have to have the final word or tell you what to do. But do you have the friend who cares enough and knows your heart to be able to if they need to?
I remembered what God says about me. A lot of people are going to say a lot of things. At the end of the day knowing who you are in Christ is the only way to keep our hearts above the fray. As I repeated the words this girl spoke over me I heard the gentle whisper of God remind me, “that’s not who you are.” My heart swelled and peace filled my heart…I am who God says I am. I’m the daughter of God, child of the King, chosen, set apart, redeemed, forgiven, approved of and SIGNIFICANT. This is who I am. Do you know what God says about you? Is your identity founded on faith in Him?
These three things are essential to creating a life you love. These three things enabled me to overcome the pain of someone’s perspective. These three things moved me from survival to success to true SIGNIFICANCE. In just one week, my Significant Life Group begins. In this group you will receive these three things. Will you join me? Will you invest in yourself, in new community so that you can claim your identity in Christ and create the life you love—that God has promised through His word. It all begins in one week. I have a spot for you. You can sign up here today.