Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? Matthew 16:25-26 (MSG)
I Wanted More – The Ordinary Series – Part 1
There are a lot of people – writers, preachers, speakers, activist, artists – that I love and admire; who inspire and teach me, who I look up to and respect. Yet, looking at some of these people creates an emptiness in me. Sometimes I think that their fame and success, and my lack of it, shows the difference between their success and where I’m at. (I can’t be the only one, right?) I think we often view fame and fortune as a “success indicator.” It’s what seems to happen to people when they “get it right.”
I used to be afraid of being ordinary. I wanted to stand out. To a degree, I wanted fame. I wanted to be known for something, to be at the top of my field, decorated and celebrated. I thought it would make me feel significant; I thought it would make me feel fulfilled. I thought it would make me fearless.
I used to dream of being an influential writer or preacher; doing good in the world and being acknowledged by my peers and audience. I wanted to be extraordinary.
Now, in my thirties, I’ve got no quotes on good reads. No one is posting my “Preaching pic” on Instagram using the hashtag #neverthesameagain. No one is reading my books (I have none), I don’t live in a grand house, I go to work every day, I clean up after my kids… we’re just ordinary people, my family and me.
Coming to terms with my ordinariness brought with it a deep sense of disappointment. I wanted more than that. I wanted more than ordinary. Every little girl dreams of being a warrior, right? I wanted more than dull, pale color; I wanted to live vibrantly and radiantly. For a time after that, I felt trapped in grayness with no way out – my lot in life was normalcy, and I was devastated.
About this time, I picked up a book called “Anonymous” by Alicia Britt Chole. One of my favorite, and most challenging, quotes from the book is,
“By definition, hidden years are uncelebrated years. These are the seasons when we feel underestimated, unappreciated, or even invisible. In other words, no one is clapping. In that silence, unsupported by rounds of applause, hidden years provide the opportunity for us to wrestle with what truly makes us significant. In the absence of others volunteering to explain why we are so valuable, we have to answer that question for ourselves.“
Jesus said to his disciples, “Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” (Matt 16:25-26 MSG).
Is there anything more valuable than your own soul?
It wasn’t until I realized how ordinary I was that I began to be able to answer this question for myself.
(Here’s a little tip: those people who seem extraordinary? They’re just as ordinary as you are.)
Written by Lizzy Milani