Not playing that game anymore

This is Sarah, an incredible leader at my home church in Hamburg and I am so glad to have her write something for Leweeza because I appreciate her wisdom and openness. The posts she writes on her blog always make me feel at ease and very loved by God, so here is a snippet of her talent:

I am Sarah. I’m a mom of two, social worker, blogger and I come from the same church that Louisa is from. Which means I come from the same town like Luisa, which means I come from the same country: Germany.

Have you ever asked a German person: „How are you?“ You probably got quite an honest answer, right? It’s because we really take that question seriously. It’s in our culture. We aren’t just „Well, thanks fine. And you?“ We are „Really good! I won the lottery today!“ or „I hate my life, I missed the bus twice!“

This said, I have found something interesting these days. Whenever people asked me how I was and my honest answer was: „Thank you, really good.“ they looked at me confused. As if  they were thinking: „What is she hiding? Why isn’t she honest? She can’t just be good.“ But yes, there are days where I have said ‚yes‘ to some good things and I have said ‚no‘ to enough other things so I can work and live peacefully. Sometimes I have made some good choices and received some blessings and I’m just good and grateful. And I’m not afraid to say so anymore, because I am not playing that game anymore.

Because for too long my answers have been: „Well, yes, its kind of busy. Don’t know when I’ve eaten the last time. Didn’t sleep that much last week, too.“ and „Well yeah, lots on my list. I’m quite tired. But nothings for free, you know.“ or „You know, ministry is really hard. I mean there’s so much to do…“ And what I was really saying was: „See, they need me. I’m important! You know, without me, things wouldn’t work out for sure.“ But the truth is, that things would have worked out very well without me, but I wasn’t working out without them. I couldn’t live without the approval that working hard earned me.

It often seems to me that we can only compliment and praise those of us who are exhausted. Somehow along the line we have gone from thinking that it’s good to work hard for your dreams to believing it’s better to work harder. Hard is not enough. So we work and strive until we’re worn out, tired, drained and exhausted. And we believe it’s only then that we’ve done enough. Now we’re worthy.

But today, I’m not playing that game anymore.

I have found grace. And grace has found me. And I am worthy of being well without earning it, without being overtired and living on caffein. My value does not lie in my hard working attitude anymore, but in the one who worked life and death so hard that I can be free today: Jesus.

So, yes, there are days where I struggle and where I’m not well. And if you’re German and you’d ask me how I was I’d tell you straight away. (If you’re from England I’d say: „Thanks fine and you?“ And would tell you three sentences later.) But I’m so grateful when I’m well. When I’m not stressed, when I could sleep well, work well, love well and rest well. I am too grateful to tell you otherwise: „Thank you, I’m really good. How about you?“

Let’s not wear our exhaustion like a medal of honour. Let’s make good choices, wise plans and look for value where it is truly found, so we can  live free and be well. And then we don’t have to be playing that game anymore.

Big thanks to Sarah for her wise input! Find more of Sarah’s content on her blog and her Facebook page. =)

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