Passion Burnout

For a long time I’ve carried an image of the ideal person I wish to be. This person does everything right. She knows exactly who she is. She goes to bed early, she works out, spends time with God, writes every day, eats well, maintains relationships and makes everyone she knows feel loved. She is always confident, never staggers, and never falls short.

But in reality, I fall short of this ideal every day. Every day I have the intentionality to be this ideal person and time after time I don’t make it. And if it is a rare day that all my criteria are met, mixed in with the feelings of accomplishment are feelings of dread and doubt about doing it all the next day and the next and for the rest of my life.

I know this ideal person is unattainable.

This ideal person is what made me stop writing. I had to take a break. I was holding myself up to incredible standards, believing that everyone else had them for me too. Writing blog posts was a source of anxiety, not of passion. Posting on social media wasn’t enjoyable, it was just for promotion.

A post from Jennie Allen’s Instagram recently spoke to me and made me realize what it was I was doing. The post carried the message “you can’t build the kingdom if you’re trying to build your platform.” That was exactly my problem. I was so worried about appeasing an audience and being the person I thought they wanted me to be that I lost the joy of it all. I love to write and I love to share my experiences and relationship with Jesus with others, but I turned my passions into chores. I burnt myself out trying to meet crazy standards absolutely no one was setting for me.

I truly believed that by boosting numbers, being consistent, and growing a platform I would then, one day, be able to start building up the kingdom. That, my friends, is what I now know to be the opposite of the truth. I don’t have to reach a certain level or number or quality to have an impact. Jesus isn’t waiting for me to hit 1000 subscribers or likes before He blesses me. I have already been given everything I need to make an impact. He gave me this passion for a reason, and it isn’t to have a bunch of likes on Instagram.

I plan to do it better this time, His way. I plan to walk alongside with Him rather than sprinting forward and hoping He’s following at my heels. I realize that my passions are not the things that are going to propel me forward, backwards, up or down. I trust Jesus to decide where He takes me and I can rest in the knowledge that He wants even better for me than I want for myself.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28

Always,

Emily

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