Kansas, and whose eyes we’re paying attention to.

Hello! I’m in Kansas right now.
Whoa. Slow down. I haven’t blogged a single syllable in a month and now suddenly I’m 1) in a different state, 2) about to be in a different country, and 3) writing this from a shiny new iPhone?
YES. I am currently at a writing workshop, and I plan on blogging for the remaining three days I’m here to recount all the glorious food wisdom I’m learning. And right after I get home, I turn right around and fly across the pond to England. (England! OMG!! What?! I still can’t really believe it. Oh by the way: if you want to specifically read about my summer travels, follow the tag “Pocket Blogging”.)
Piece of advice: if you’re interested in something and want to get super pumped about it, get your interested self to a conference. This is the second conference I’ve attended this year (the first was one centered around leading worship) and they are nothing but pure awesome. You make new friends and/or deepen the friendships you brought with you as you all need out over a common purpose, and if the conference is a good one it will get you very excited to pursue that field more deeply.

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Lately, at this workshop and at my college orientation last week, I’ve been trying to come to terms with lots of self-doubt and comparison to other people. This is not something I really struggle with on a regular basis – I’m generally fine with my appearance, outgoing with people around me, and confident in my talents and decisions. I know that God loves me and I know that my belief in that is more important than anything else I do in this world. But lately, a little, jealous voice in the back of my mind has been at the podium, making accusations that I believe. For example…
on the subject of hair, regardless of the fact that my haircut suits my face and I quite like it: Wow, look at her hair…it’s so long and healthy and beautiful…she looks like Rapunzel…sigh…
on the subject of dating, regardless of the fact that I really am just fine being single and I don’t see singleness as a liability: Oh, they’re so happy around each other…she trusts him so much…look at the way he looks at her…blarg…
on the subject of complexion, regardless of the fact that acne is not, in fact, the end of the world: Why does her skin get to be so nice when mine’s just angry with me…why does acne have to exist…I look awful…
I do think that this phenomenon of self-hatred has to do with something that orientation and the writing workshop have in common – as fun and exciting as they are, they both serve as reminders that I’m about to enter the adult world, where I will have to work very hard and sell myself to do what I love, and I feel woefully unprepared for it. So, along with a fierce attack on my hope for an awesome future, I think I’m being unnecessarily harsh on other aspects of myself as well.
So, to those of you who are in the same boat as I, here’s some truth that I’ve been trying to grasp on the matter of scary future things. (And no, I will not quote Jeremiah 29:11. Nope. Nopity nope.)
1. It is not up to me to create heaven on earth. Ever since I was little, my idea of a future career was never about being rich or making money, a reason that many of my collegiate colleagues seem to be getting rather dispassionate majors for. Money has never been terribly compelling to me – I have always wanted the perfect job. You know, one that is my ultimate passion and brings me so much joy that I am bounding out of bed every morning to get to work.
And yes, some people accomplish this, and yes, it’s a much better thing to aim for than one that brings in big bucks, but I also don’t think we did life wrong if that doesn’t end up happening to us. America is a very affluent, fortunate country to have such a wide variety of interest-illuminating jobs, but it’s miraculous to just get any job at all in other, poorer countries. In perspective, it’s selfish and a little foolish to think that there’s a soulmate job out there for us that we have to find to make life perfect. You should find joy in your work, of course, but I think we could work less on hunting down that “dream” job and more on being content and grateful, and ready to take on whatever God decides to bring our way. Which leads me to my second point…
2. God knows what he’s doing. Like. Really. He does. It’s easy to get swept up in future anxiety and completely forget that he is already there. Whatever crazy, exciting, boring, horrible, or messy thing he’s leading you into is a place he’s already been to, and he knows that you’re needed there, to help or to learn or probably both. I tend to think that God is just as clueless as I am, but that’s just not true. He knows, and he sees you and declares you good. How wonderful is that?
So, next time you’re brimming with worry and doubt about what’s happening next, ignore what you’re seeing with your own eyes – confusion, despair, anticipation, anxiety – and think about what God’s eyes are seeing. He’s sending you to big places to learn hard, become holy, and to do big things for his name. And that’s something to be peaceful and joyful about, because it’s all for so much good.
We serve a great and mighty God, y’all. He is definitely worth trusting.
-e

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One thought on “Kansas, and whose eyes we’re paying attention to.

  1. Ellie, thank you much for posting this ❤ It is so wonderful to be reassured of the complete trust-worthiness of God by girl as full of the peace and joy of the Spirit as you ❤ Thanks to God and Jesus for His use of the sweet heart He's given you :] ❤ ~aravel ❤

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