July 2, 2018


Sometimes my mind likes to take me down memory lane, just for overthinking's sake. And whenever I do that, my mind happens upon the areas of my life where I've learned, hurt, and then grown the most. And in the past five years, that's definitely been with work and relationships.

During my latest trip down memory lane, I realized that there is a distinct overlap between the two areas of  my life (you Venn diagram lovers will totally get what I'm referring to!). 

When I graduated college, my goal was to enter into the workforce and prove to myself and the world that I was a young but competent teacher. A force to be reckoned with, if you will. So I dove deep into the world of teaching and education and let it suck the life out of me. Work came first and life, relationships, and my faith came last. I entered the workforce thinking that I had to work harder to get somewhere in the world. 

After I got a promotion, I still felt empty so I started to think about what else I needed to do, what other voids in my life that I needed to fill next. 

So I dove into the dating world (yes, you read that right; dating wasn't a thing for me until post-college life). And I made relationships a priority and did whatever I could to make every relationship work. And well, that didn't pan out as well as I thought or had hoped for. I found myself compromising and sacrificing myself, losing pieces of my standards and personality/hobbies just to keep a boyfriend around. 

And even though the outcomes were much different, I realized I was working and dating with the same mindset.

I thought that I had to do everything in my power to make the relationships and a career work. I equated an impressive job title, busy schedule, work benefits, rings on fingers, and Facebook relationship statuses with success and popularity. I thought that if I wasn't working hard and wasn't striving, I wouldn't be someone of value. 

So here I am. Still at the same job. With the same relationship status.

And yet, I'm viewing life and myself much differently. Thank goodness for that!

I know it sounds cheesy, but I've changed from letting the earthly fill my heart to letting Jesus take that spot. And it's changed the way I think and live. I'm no longer seeking a person or job to fill me up or be my other half. And I've realized that when I let Jesus fill me up, those aren't the things I go after or desire the most, either.

Don't get me wrong, though, I'm still a goal-setter and dreamer who longs to be married someday. But I make these goals with expectations on Jesus, not achievements or life changes. And changing that has helped me center myself and ground myself from turning a dream into an idol. It's now about fully knowing and surrendering to Him on the daily. 

Life is no longer about looking for someone or going somewhere, but rather, pointing my eyes to Heaven. 

It no longer matters if I get something or someone because they aren't the ends to any means. I no longer view people or job titles as a lifesaver because I've got a Savior.

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© IN ITS TIMEMaira Gall