There’s so much pressure to pick a “word” or a “phrase” for the year, isn’t there?
Part of me is all about it, right? I want to get in there and tear it up and go into the year with grit and determination and purpose!
Then there’s a part of me that’s like, “to hell with the “Man”, you can’t put me in a box! I’ll tell you what you can do with your word and/or phrase!!”
Needless, to say, my word is “Warrior” this year. 😊
What does that even mean? A little background is necessary here.
The last two years I picked the word/phrases “humility” and “here for the ride (and the wine)”, and they turned out to be completely indicative of the year.
Be careful what you pray for, people.
I chose “humility” for the year I was 33 years old. The age Jesus was thought to have been finishing up his ministry and crucified. I was all, “God, make me humble like Jesus!”
Again, be careful what you pray for. You pray for humility and you will get the crap humbled out of you!
But man, it was a beautiful year of growth. I learned so much about myself and I saw blind spots in my life and I really did see the world in a different way.
Then last January I was asked to sit on the Executive Team at my job for the year, so I was thinking, “Hey! I’m here for this! Let’s ride through this year and see what happens. I get to LEARN from these incredibly wise, successful men that I absolutely adore and respect. All the while, drinking wine that’s better than Winking Owl from Aldi.”
No offense, Winking Owl.
Last year was the hardest year of my recent life.
I realized change does a number on me.
What?! I’ve always loved change!
However, it seems I’m becoming an old dog and it’s hard for me to learn new tricks.
The Executive Team was amazing. They asked me to continue another 6 months, thank you Sweet Lord Jesus, because I love it so stinking much.
You know what else happened? I changed roles at my job. I went from the main campus where we had spent 9 YEARS of our lives (READ: got engaged, married, served, joined staff, had two babies and met hundreds of friends) to a satellite campus that is half the drive from our home.
We love our new campus! My new role is my favorite role I’ve ever had at ANY job. The people of Wylie/Sachse make my heart sing. They are kind and chill and so, so supportive. I adore them.
But let me tell you a little bit about my transition to this role:
1: The interview process.
I have never felt more insecure about myself than interviewing for this role. I picked myself apart. IN THE INTERVIEW! These people are my co-workers and my friends, and I proceeded to tell them all the ways I needed to grow as a leader. I told them all the things I need to learn and basically why they SHOULDN’T hire me.
These interviews ranked up there with Rachel Green interviewing with Mr. Zelner for her job at Ralph Lauren. Because every single life circumstance can have a “Friends” reference.
Sorry, rabbit trail.
After I CRIED and berated myself to my interviewers, I left the interviews and my mind replayed all the ways I’ve failed in job settings.
Nightmare, party of 1, your table is ready.
I thought all the way back to being in college and going to work drunk. (Poor college Stephanie was a first-rate basket case who made MUCH worse choices than this, but that’s another story for another blog post)
I thought about all the things I SHOULD have done throughout my adult work life and all the ways I’d failed my colleagues as well as those who reported to me.
I wanted this role so badly, but at the same time thought about all the reasons I didn’t deserve it.
I began slipping into depression. Again.
This opened a fresh wave of shame. I was mad at myself for feeling depressed, because hadn’t I spent hours upon hours in therapy to deal with that already?
It was a huge deal to get out of bed every morning. I didn’t get dressed up, do my makeup or hair, and I barely showered.
2: For whatever reason they chose me for this role.
By the grace of God, y’all.
I get to this new job and all I can think is this:
I’m too much.
I went from a campus with about 2,500-2,800 people a weekend to a few hundred. I LOVE the small church scene. Know what I love about it? The PEOPLE. I get to see the same faces every single weekend and I get to talk to those faces and hug those faces and laugh and cry with those AMAZING faces!!!!! And for a girl who loves people and who loves KNOWING people and HEARING people, this is RIGHT. UP. MY. ALLEY.
Know what else? I’m SO EXTRA.
I am loud and I don’t even know how to NOT be loud. I can’t do it. What is whispering? Shut your face, I don’t even know what you’re talking about.
I don’t know how to keep my emotions small. I would literally explode. All the feels. I have them all.
I don’t know how to stand on a stage and not be animated and share from my heart. At Legacy Campus I cried 99.9% of the time I was onstage. I love connecting people to God and I love sharing how God is at work in my life and I love talking about how He is a REDEEMER and nothing in the whole entire world is too broken for Him to fix and then USE to help others.
When I was on the big stage, I didn’t feel hindered, but on this smaller stage I felt like I was just way too much for the room. I could see the faces and I assumed they were all thinking, “holy crap, calm down woman and shut up already.”
People kept telling me, “Wow! You have a lot of energy!” My mind immediately started telling me that they must mean that as a negative thing. I was too much, and I needed to dial back.
I found myself confused and sad and insecure and lost.
Y’all, for roughly 10 months of 2019 I was questioning myself and allowing the Enemy’s lies to swallow me up and depress me. I was so in my own head and I didn’t know how to get out.
That’s when I went to see a therapist to talk things out and clear my head. And know what? It made a huge difference.
What else made a huge difference was being open and transparent with my friends and my husband.
Satan works in the dark, which is why we need to bring this stuff out to the light. His lies and his deceit and all the crap that comes with it cannot survive out in the open.
This year I’m a Warrior. It’s a new decade, for crying out loud!!! I’m so OVER worrying about what people are thinking. I’m so OVER trying to figure out what would make the people around me happy. I’m so OVER all these narratives in my head!! For too many months the worry and the shame and the depression have had too much airtime.
I’m grabbing back the microphone.
Am I treating people the way Jesus asks me to? I’m sure trying! And that’s all I can do.
Other than that, I’m focused on truth and living out what God says I am, and that is beloved. Cherished. Chosen. Set free. Redeemed.
I believe Elsa said it best, so I’ll leave the last word to her..