Everyone has a story to tell. When we make the connection between our story and God's great story, we come away with HIStory, which involves each and every one of us.
I stare at my sweet little and ask her to turn around so I can take a picture of her. Watching her stand there in the prettiest skirt my mother-in-law just made her I think about how grown up she looks today. It happens slowly but it really feels like it happens overnight and you don’t know where the last 365 days went of teeth falling out and adult teeth coming in. Cheek bones becoming more defined. Smile becoming sweeter and her coming into her own. The long days all of a sudden feel so short and you realize that every day, every hour, every minute, every second with her, growth was happening. Her life has been in constant change and growth since she was born.
And isn’t mine too? My life in constant change and growth? It definitely doesn’t always feel that way. Change, yes. Growth, not so much. Since God led me to leave my corporate job and stay home with my girls now over 10 years ago, I’ve not always felt growth. And it’s definitely harder to see when you’re no longer sitting down with your boss at the end of the year for your performance review and maybe a nice bonus attached to it! There really aren’t any fair visible metrics to gauge performance and abilities on this job. Well, at least not in the way that I was used to. But actually, there is an even better performance review I’ve just realized. 10 years later! And I’m feeling rather passionate about sharing it with you this morning because I don’t want you to miss out on seeing it, like I did!
In the last 10 years I’ve gone through seasons of feeling stuck and irrelevant. Seasons where everything was pulled from under me that I couldn’t take care of my girls. Seasons of feeling bad at everything I do. And sure, I have felt good at some things but somehow the stronger and longer-lasting feelings are the failures. Well, “failures” because I can now see that they aren’t failures at all, just stepping stones and seasons of growing pains.
I often fill up with despair hoping and praying that God would change my circumstances instead of praying that God would grow me through my struggles. I’ve thought about this for a few days now and God has reminded me that we are not supposed to see weaknesses as weak. I know that sounds weird and maybe doesn’t make sense. Let me explain. We are to see our weaknesses not as indicators of failure, but as indicators of future growth. Our weaknesses aren’t meant to drive us into despair or debilitating frustration. They are meant to grow us. They have a purpose. And the truth is that in the end, weaknesses become strengths that point us not to our own abilities but to God’s ability to turn a weakness into a victory.
All of these less-than ideal seasons I went through, God used to write His story in my life and lead me to my purpose:
And now I see that those days have grown me into the woman I am today. Those days, have grown my girls into the women they are today and still into the women they will become. I don’t know my full story yet and I don’t know theirs. But I do know that when I am living out God’s purpose for my life, I am growing and I am victorious in His strength. Because if I have to depend on my own strength, I lose focus. But if I depend on His strength, I will be victorious, EVERY SINGLE TIME!
So as I look at the lives of other moms, or other women, I want to constantly remember, that I am not to view myself as less-than because my life doesn’t look like theirs. When I see a career that is booming and growing, I am not to see myself as less-than because my career isn’t advancing. My life is unique. My purpose is unique. So my identity as a woman is not in who I have become as the world sees it, but in who God created me to be.
And that is my new performance review, am I becoming the woman God created me to be? Because that is all that matters! So really, it’s not about performance but about purpose!
So my prayer is this, “God, take my weakness, my lack, and in Your strength make it victorious that I might live out Your purpose in my life!” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Damaris U. Avila lives with her loving husband and their two inquisitive and sweet girls. Through personal storytelling, she invites women to share and see themselves in God's story. She leads young girls through BeYOUtiful Girl Time, a sisterhood where girls are encouraged to become the women God designed them to be.
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."