The years and years of “doing” had finally caught up with me. I had reached the point of burnout and God was saying it was time to un-do all of my doing. And He was saying that I needed to learn to “be” and to let the “doing” undone for a while.
I panicked – what would this mean? Everything I knew to be true about myself was wrapped up in what I did and now to not do was beyond anything I could imagine! It was through the doing that I was striving to become. Become what? Who God wanted me to be? Indispensable to those around me? Needless to say my identity was enshrouded in everything I did and who I thought I was becoming in the doing, but that’s a topic for another time.
And one day God said “Enough” and took me to a place where I couldn’t do anything at all and I heard Him say to me that there had to be first of all an abiding in Him and this is the place to which He would be taking me. I took a whole year off of “doing” and began the quest of learning how to “be”.
For it is in being who God created us to be out of which comes the doing what God has created us to do. Such a simple truth and yet somehow I had gotten this all the way backward and inside out and upside down. Somehow in my subconscious I thought that through the things I was doing, God was making me who He wanted me to be.
And so God has been taking me through a fast from “doing” and I know that sounds very strange to some, but the doing had become too important in my life and God wanted to show me who He said I was, not who others said I was. It has been hard for this over-achiever to be okay with letting things go undone, and yet, it’s been freeing to embrace this fast. And I’ve felt the pull to be a doer again too soon and God is pulling me back – maybe because I haven’t learned it well enough yet?
Somehow it feels like this will be a struggle that will go with me for a long time, and I’m so grateful for the grace and patience of a loving God who gently draws me back to Him when I get back to doing too much. For I now know that the “doing” must come out of the “being” and that what I do is a reflection of the work that God is doing inside of me. I can never make my heart a reflection of my actions, but hopefully my actions will now more truly reflect my heart.
And yes, there are some things that I am doing now that I didn’t do before, which I believe “God prepared in advance for [me] to do”. (Ephesians 2:10) Each of us is uniquely created to do specific work that God has prepared for us and as I discover what that is for me, I am more fully alive in Him and able to more fully give out of my deeper relationship with Him.
Yes, I have let people down and their expectations of me have been unrealized, but now I am able to more fully live up to the calling God has put on my life. What that is, I don’t fully know yet but I know that God guides me and goes with me. One of things I have learned is that “God is more interested in what He is doing in me than what He is doing through me.” And when I get side-tracked with “doing” God brings me back around to “being” once again.
For it is in being with God and abiding in Him that we begin to become like Him, and it is out of that place that we can begin to serve those around us.