But, how do we stay both passionate about stewarding the great vision He has given us, but at the same time hold it lightly, not allowing it to become our identity and worth?
I’d like to propose that we need to be able to hold two complementary but very different heart positions. The first is that of being passionate, engaged and totally committed. The second is to at the same time hold it all lightly in a position of relinquished trust.
Yes, all that is given to us to steward; our vision, our hearts desires, our most valuable purpose filled assignments need to be held to some degree lightly! Our joy, our identity and our very reason for living must not be connected to these things.
The reality is that we live in a culture that measures almost everything as successful and valued by what is done, rather than how our hearts are positioned is the process. Gods ways are different, He looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7) So, how can we position our hearts to not receive worth from our assignments and callings but from our true identities as beloved children, priests and kings of Father God?
Here are some measures I personally use which help me stay in touch with my true identity:
If it was all taken away
I ask myself the question, if my ministry and all my work was taken away, how would I feel? Would I fall to pieces, would I feel ‘less than’, unvalued, or not useful? Do I feel I have to be needed? My aim is to consistently remind myself that my work does not give me my value. My value is my identity as belonging to God, his beloved daughter. Whatever I do or do not do, he will not love me less. Everyday I meditate even just for a moment on the fact that if I didn’t work in my ministry Father would not love me any less and it would be fine.
Ask yourself, if it was all taken away, would you still stand strong, knowing that you are of immense value, a beloved son or daughter of God? Do you feel that your worth and value does not depend on your performance or success in any area you are working?
In a coaching life stages model we work with called ‘The Calling Journey’, created by Tony Stoltzfus, its shows that everyone goes through a valley period in their life when everything is stripped away (usually in later life, 50 years old or above). This is when God hones our sense of identity being in Him and not our positions, roles or productivity. My wish is to live my life towards this position despite what He gives me to work on in between.
This releases me to rest in all that I do. I am no longer performing towards producing something so excellent that if it does not go exactly as I want it to, I lose my peace. (I’m not perfect at this, but it is a practice I am growing in stronger and stronger!)
Resting helps me deal with chaos, big growth spurts in the business. It helps me to keep giving everything back to God and not carrying it myself. His burden is light! (Matt 11:30)
When many doors open, and many opportunities lie before me, I’m learning that I cannot do everything. Because I hold these opportunities ‘lightly’ and my worth does not lie in having to be superwoman and doing it all, I can rest in being comfortable to say ‘no’, even to amazing opportunities. I can trust that, unlike an orphan, who grabs all that is put before them immediately, fearing they may never be offered it again, I have a Father who has unlimited resources and can bring about fantastic opportunities again and again anytime.
Awareness and acceptance of my limitations
I can be comfortable knowing my limitations, not feeling that I am any less because of them as my worth is not in my abilities or strengths. Being comfortable in my limitations is wonderfully freeing. It helps me to have peace, knowing that my heavenly Father, has to show up and help me. It also helps me to relinquish control and release things to others that can help me. As perfection is not my goal, things being in chaos and messy for a time, is a state where I can still rest and have peace, knowing that I am extravagantly loved and precious whatever the outcome.
Holding it all lightly for me, means being open and flexible to God’s timing, God’s ways and God’s process. He allows me to dream and actively encourages me to dream. I hold my heart in a position that I trust how he will work out my dreams and desires with His, as He develops my character along the way. I actively work on not being attached to the ‘how’. I still have a plan, but I hold it lightly.
If you would like to find out more about the life stages map I mentioned above (The Calling Journey), join our 1 day coaching workshop on Sat 12 Dec, 2015, in Esher, Surrey. It explains different life stages and how God works in us at each stage, showing you which season you are in and what to expect!
Also, to find out more about both the doing and being part of your calling join us on Understanding and Growing in Your Calling, Guildford, Surrey on Sat 28 Nov, 2015
Our Coach Training Course coaches people to coach identity – more information here.