I thought I was important when I got my college degree. I thought I was special when I got married. I thought I was unstoppable when I began my career as a journalist. I thought I was sitting on top of the world when I
closed on almost got the house I loved (or so I thought). Somehow, the experience — the deal fell through — negated all of my previous milestones including my failure to become a mother.
Sidenote: I lost my baby a few months after I got married and it hurt…literally. I was in pain, found out the embryo was growing in my left fallopian tube (picture a cranberry inside of a straw), had surgery and healed sans painkillers because I cannot swallow a pill to save my life. I suffered emotional pain as well, but I got through it because in retrospect my pregnancy came at the wrong time. And the loss was no fault of my own as I initially felt. It’s just that God has other plans.
Not signing on the dotted line of that contract was another reminder that God was in control of everything, from my highest to least ambitions. It was as if I was one step away from the top rung of the success ladder, lost my footing and crashed on the ground.
Before I continue, let me just say my husband and I are not renting. My husband bought a condo a couple of years before we tied the knot. I moved in after our nuptials and added a much needed feminine touch to the place. We remodeled and got some new furniture. It looks great if you ask me. Sure my name is on the deed, but it doesn’t feel like my accomplishment. It doesn’t even feel like ours. It’s his accomplishment. I guess that’s why not getting the house had such an affect on me. I wanted us to do something successful together…again. Why? Because it would lengthen my list of blessings. But the real reason is because I was a competitor trying to get ahead of those in front of me (and their lists). What a vain pursuit!
But thank God for failures. Sure, the disappointment of not becoming a homeowner messed with my confidence, but it also humbled me a lot.
I learned that a life in Christ is not about what I can get; it’s about what I can give. Unfortunately, society teaches us that fulfillment is tied to how much we own. That’s why we spend the majority of our lives pursuing success at the expense of our souls. On the contrary, the Bible teaches us that only God can make us whole. We were not created to acquire and worship things. We were designed to worship God – to give Him all the praise, the glory and honor due to Him. And it’s not because of what He’s done, is doing or will do. We should magnify Him simply because of who He is.
The things He blesses us with (He gives us power to get wealth) on our journeys are just the icing on the cake. And let me just say, too much icing, nevertheless, icing alone, is not good for our health. It makes the cake taste good, but the cake is still edible and appetizing without it. The cake (or bread) being Jesus, in case you missed it.
When I began living my life on purpose, all of my achievements did not matter anymore. Neither did my failures. There is more to life than academic, financial and familial achievement or letdown. The significance of our existence is tied to the evidence of God’s presence in our lives. Earth and everything in it shall pass away, but God is eternal. And if we have Him, we have everything we need.