I’m currently interning with a foundation who measures their success by impact rather than profit. In true Devil Wears Prada fashion, I’ve gone from a minuscule Christian bubble to being thrust into the corporate world. In the month or so that I’ve been here, I’ve been on the roller-coaster named growing up, constantly being slung up and down and thrown through loops I didn’t see when I stood in the waiting line.
That’s how insecurity works though, isn’t it? We get an opportunity, whether it be big or small, and we anticipate the ride, the adrenaline. We wait in line, knowing that this experience will change our life. We will meet our future spouse on the ride. We will finally find bravery on the ride. We will end the ride with everything we always wanted.
And then the metal box starts moving and you’re inside it and the world blurs and you forget why you ever said yes to this giant death-trap, this thing you once thought would complete your life, but is really just ripping your false bravado away until you clutch at the armrest of insecurity for dear life. You clutch it closer because it is comfortable. You close your eyes and imagine that you are back in line, waiting. No risk, no pain, no growing. Just waiting.
And then it becomes normal, this roller coaster, and the adrenaline spikes feel more like a desk job than a drug. Your companion of insecurity becomes the crutch you lean on when comparison strikes, hugging you back when you think no one sees you, when you feel as though you will never measure up. Insecurity cozies up and says, “It’s okay that you’re not enough.” It takes the lie and makes it palatable. It creates a false identity when you feel your own identity unworthy.
It is extremely difficult to find God in the ride. In the bags under your eyes and the coffee stains on your favorite shirt and the overwhelming desire for everyone to like you the best. So where is God, not in the middle of the mess, but in the middle of the mundane? In the middle of this opportunity that somehow morphed into a menial existence? Where is he when failure rips you up and you feel like an ocean of bottle water shaken one thousand times?
Whether you’re a recent grad undergoing the transition from cafeterias and midnight Krispy Kreme runs and constant community to going home to an empty apartment after working overtime at your new job again, to a mom who eats cottage cheese straight from the container because there’s no time to fix lunch for herself, to a pastor on his knees wondering why God is silent, we all have areas where we need to see a glimpse of God. We all have an issue of blood, this life blood, and we all reach for the hem of his garment, desperate for a touch, a whisper, a brush with the essence of the Healer.
He is here, whispering to you to find Him. God is not the loudest extrovert at the party. He likes to sit quietly and wait for you to approach Him. He sits and he waits and He adores you even when you ditch the party all together. He whispers “Look up. Look and see what I’ve done. Can you recognize it?”
Imagine where you were when you felt true wonder. What it looked like, tasted like, sounded like. There He is, in the center of that wonder. We have to search harder, the older we get, for the beauty. For the irremovable marks of a God who loves His children. There may be no Eiffel Tower, no significant landmark of beauty where you are, but there are people. And people are the true masterpieces. Find the wonder in them, in the grace and the goodness and the broken beauty of each soul around you. Even broken things can be wonderful.
I spoke recently with a friend of mine who is abroad. She felt overwhelmed and insecure and as though everyone else would have been a better candidate to travel across the ocean to minister.
How could I help her, I thought, besides praying? I, who struggles with insecurity every day. And I prayed desperately and thought hard.
Journal every day, I wrote to her. Show yourself the beauty, the truth, and the wonder. Journal the small moments and the big moments and remind yourself that every little moment matters. It all counts. Not one breath of your life is wasted, no matter your past or your future or even what you’re doing right now. Your life, your breath and your blood, is enough. Because Jesus, the human embodiment of love itself, gave His own breath and blood. For ours.
There it is. There’s the beauty. Insecurity cannot speak to us when we are in dialogue with wonder. Renewing our mind doesn’t mean we scrub our mouth out with soap and sign up for volunteering on Sundays. Rather, we switch out conversation partners. We say adieu to fear and hopelessness. We say hello to hope and grace for ourselves and others. They are much better conversationalists, really.
When insecurity tries to call itself our identity, we change the dialogue in our minds. And we begin to search for our Purpose. The great commission matters even when we we’re going to the ends of ourselves instead of the Earth. I won’t preach to you what the great commission is or define to you Jesus’ commandments. This is your journey. It’s your journey to discover who He really is and what He taught. To delve into the Word of God and find, for yourself, what the Great Commission is in your own life.
Go find it. The bravery was in you, even in the waiting line. You never even had to board the roller coaster to have it, you had it all along, that stubborn strength to go on great adventures, to find your part in this sacred story.
All I want to challenge you with is this;
Go find the wonder, because it all matters. All of it, every moment. It matters.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2018.
Paige McQueen is a senior writing and journalism major at Oral Roberts University. You can follow her on Instagram @paigeymcqueen.