Monthly Archives: May 2014

i am not the point of my life

This past weekend I had the privilege of being on the camp staff for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes College Weekend of Champions. (To see a couple minutes of how awesome it was, click here!)

While at CWC I sat on a panel with 5 other women to field and answer questions from a room full of female college athletes. Any guesses as to what topic we discussed for the first 40 minutes?!

If you guessed hunting you are wrong. It was relationships!

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Shocker, right?!

There were tons of really good, deep questions. For one of the questions, I can’t remember what it was exactly, but my mouth opened and I answered. My answer to whatever was asked was, “What’s the point of my life? Is the goal of my life to get married, or is it to live in obedience to the Lord?”

I really caught myself off guard with that one, but I realized that’s really what God has been teaching me over the past couple of years. He’s been gently asking me the question, over and over again, “Kayla, what is the point of your life?”

And He’s been so kind in reminding my heart that I am not the point of my life. My life is not to be self-serving and all about me. Even if I get married, my life will still not be about me! It will be about loving my husband and submitting to him as his wife. It won’t be about how he can complete me and fulfill my every need.

I think sometimes we can get caught up in the assumption that being a follower of Christ is all about us. That He owes us something. That we’re entitled to His love.

If His love were based on entitlement, I would be the farthest from receiving it. Apart from Jesus, I am nothing. My life does not belong to me. And the point of my life is not to seek after earthly pleasures that will leave me empty.

Now, am I anti-marriage? Absolutely not! If God has the gift of marriage planned for my life, then I will gladly accept. BUT the point of my life is not marriage. It’s Jesus.

And apart from Jesus, marriage isn’t even that great.*

*and I say this after many discussions with married people that really love Jesus. Stay tuned this summer for some legit guests posts from some of them!

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the 1-upper

Misery loves company.

In my experience, misery loves being the most miserable too.

If I could pick one question or topic that makes me giggle the most it is probably that singleness is “hard.” People will say things like, “being single must be so hard for you!” Or, “I can’t imagine being a single person today. You’re so strong.” Or, “how do you manage?!”

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A couple things here: 1) Being single is not hard. It may be annoying or inconvenient when I don’t want to go grocery shopping, but it isn’t hard. Hard is battling cancer, dealing with unemployment, or having your husband get hit by a car and break an ankle within a year of each other. 2) I usually give in to the question and make my life seem as difficult to the outsider as possible.

Remember when I said misery loves being the most miserable? When people ask about how difficult a certain season in life may be, I sometimes tend to play into the misery. I try to 1-up the miserableness.
“Man, singleness must be so difficult.”
“Oh, it is, plus, I can’t have a cat in my apartment.”
“Dang! Well, we can’t have cats either because of allergies.”
“Oh, you have allergies? Well I have chronic bronchitis and can’t breathe for an entire month out of every year, and I’m not married, so…”*

See where I’m going?

There have even been times when I’ve completely flipped the conversation to be all about me and my un-married life. A friend may be talking about how hard ministry is for her and I’ll chime in with, “yeah, I hear you. By the way, did I mention I’m still not dating?”

I think some of us (myself included when I don’t check myself…) want to be the most miserable. We want people to pity us. We want to play up our issues like our problems are way bigger than they are.

Why do we do this? Why do we allow discontentment to be the focus of our lives rather than rejoicing in what God has done and continues to do?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t recognize or mourn hardships in our life. There is a time for that. But, as Paul writes in the verse above, we shouldn’t think or dwell on these things. We should rejoice in the truth that the Creator of all has made us new creatures, redeemed and brought back in to right relationship with Him.

Being single can sometimes be hard, especially when I make it my ultimate hope. Being single can be tough when everyone around you is getting married and having babies. Being single isn’t hard when I look to Jesus and think about the fact that He washed away my sins.

My challenge is that I’ll quit being the 1-upper. That I’ll let the Holy Spirit invade my life in such a way that others will see that my life is full of joy because of Him.

*side note: these are hypothetical conversations, but if I have actually had them with you, I’m sorry.

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Letting God think He has Control

I’ve talked before about how I’m a manipulator and how I’ve tried to use God to get what I want. But I’ve not yet talked about how I try to fake out God.

As much as I don’t want to admit it, I love having control. I love thinking that due to my hard work or expertise, stuff gets done. I appreciate responsibility over certain things because it means that I have power and am able to work my magic to see things through to the end (much like Hermione Granger).

I like to let God think He has control over certain areas of my life. I’ll pray or journal about what’s going on in my life, but leave out the details/situations that I’d prefer to handle myself.

A prayer may go something like this: “Lord, I’m really struggling with being content in this stage of life, so if You could help me be content that’d be great.”

Meanwhile, in my head, I’m saying to myself: “But I’ll continue to pin wedding ideas on Pinterest, talk obsessively about this guy I have a crush on, not spend time in the Word seeking out Truth for my life, and eventually I’ll get over this discontentment when I feel like it…”

I’m sure God hears that and gives me this look:

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The problem with this nasty idol of control is that I really don’t have it. Even in my sinfulness, God has control. He is the one orchestrating my every move, even when I think it’s on me.

As a basketball player, one of my favorite moves was a fake reverse dribble. That could be a move my mom made up, but whatever. When I was younger and more nimble (aka: high school), I could fake out a defender and get the ball down the floor with one swift, fluid movement (for those of you wondering if I’ve ever been “swift” or “fluid” the answer is, yes, at one point in my life I was BOTH of those things). I loved it. I was in control. I was dictating the moves on the court.

I can’t do that with God. He knows my every move before I do. I’ll never be one step ahead. As much as I want to hold on to certain areas or actions in my life, ultimately I have no control over them. The Bible says that God knows me so well, even the hairs on my head are numbered! How can I think that the One who knows me that well doesn’t know my heart and motive?

The only thing I can control is my surrender to the Most High King.

Control is simply an illusion that I need to let go of.

May we all be willing to truly surrender to God and live in the freedom of having no control.

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Me & My T-Shirts

An unintentional theme of the past couple of weeks has been about value, self worth, and identity. Probably because I struggle in those areas and need the Gospel to transform my mind on those issues moment by moment…so why not write about it?!

Those of us that struggle with seeing ourselves through the eyes of Jesus often have things we’d like to change about ourselves. We think brunette is not a pretty as blonde, so we dye our hair. We think we’re too shy, so we seek out how to be more outgoing. We think we’re too loud, so we quiet ourselves. We think we’re overweight, so we obsessively work out and monitor our diet.

Or in my case, I think I have too many t-shirts.

Let me back up a few years.

When I was a freshman in college someone very dear to me made a random comment about my wardrobe. They said, “If you ever want to meet someone (to marry), you really should stop wearing t-shirts.”

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Mind you, I’m pretty sure I’ve been wearing a t-shirt since I was in utero.

Something as simple as a statement about my wardrobe made me question my value, my identity, and my future. I began to think (and have thought this since) that no man would ever want a lady that would rather play catch, or hunt, or go camping than do more typical “womanly” things (whatever that may be…). I began to believe the lie that God had made a mistake. That he had given me desires that no man would find desirable.

Praise Jesus that my identity doesn’t change with my wardrobe!!

The Good News that I cling to as a follower of Jesus is that my identity is not dependent upon what I do. It all hangs on this truth: that Jesus came to earth and lived the perfect life, went to Calvary out of His love for me, died a brutal death to pay the penalty for my sins, rose again on the third day, and has entered into heaven itself to appear in the presence of God on my behalf.

This is what life is about. Not my personal satisfaction or temporary pleasures. Not my hair color or my weight. Not even about how many t-shirts I have.

Life is about glorifying God in everything I do because He has redeemed me and set my identity in stone. My value does not change because God does not change.

God has made each of His children unique for a reason. He has given me the desire to wear gym shorts and t-shirts as often as possible because someone has to keep sports stores in business! It doesn’t devalue me or make me less desireable, even when I may think it does.

Chances pretty good that this is a lesson I’ll need to keep learning, but praise God He’s okay with teaching me for the rest of my life.

*but really, I do have a lot of t-shirts…anyone wanna help me make a quilt out of them?!

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