50(-something) & Frustrated

I’m pretty sure I have lived most of my life frustrated. Angry even, if I’m really honest.

Perhaps this is the “curse” of the creative and the called. I know many of you get this! The older we get, the more our vision of creating something amazing and life-changing haunts our dreams and taunts our minds. The nagging dialogue of what could be, of what we should be doing with our lives, of how we could do something significant, if only….and now, it feels like time is running out. 

I know I’m not alone in this.

This was the story of my life or so it seemed. Always working for someone else’s vision and dream, and truthfully, it still is even at 55! I have worked with some great organizations and awesome individuals who were making a difference. I have used my gifts and talents to help build and develop and grow each ministry, each business, each dream. I’ve done good work that I’m proud of and believe I have been obedient to what God has asked me to do. Yet, it was always someone else’s vision, someone else’s calling. And I knew, I had one of my own, too.

I rationalized at times, my calling is to serve those in ministry and support the good work they are doing. And while this was true, there were times I felt like such an imposter. The truth was my own dreams and vision were being set aside. And while I justified this, the truth was (and IS) I was afraid to listen to that nagging voice in my head, terrified of what might happen if I did decide to take a step in a direction of my own. 

Security in working for others

If I continue working for others I could keep my heart hidden. I was secure in my position and what I was producing. None of these roles ever required I fully and truly put myself out there. I could hide behind my work, my productivity, experience, even ideas. Every time I considered taking what I’d learned and stepping out on my own, I would talk myself out of it. I might even take a few steps out into the open, but my fear and self-doubt would pull me back to safety. 

To say I was frustrated is putting it midly. Yet, the pain of ignoring my creative dreams seemed easier to bear than if I were to actually declare to the world I had something to say. Because, maybe I didn’t. There are so many amazing writers, bloggers, books and podcasts out there. I see women doing Bible studies left and right–and most of them fabulous. There are women and men building businesses, writing books, inventing new streams of income and ministry we haven’t seen. Who was I to enter into this world of fabulousness? 

Then something finally began to change.

I began to face the fear that had held me back all those years. God began to speak deeply to my soul about my worth, my purpose, and even my beauty; a beauty he wanted to share with the world. To my negative mind, this did not sound right at all. But I started to believe that maybe it wasn’t too late for me, maybe I could still do something amazing and fabulous–and inspire other creatives like me to do the same. Maybe I did have a calling that was real, and a purpose that mattered. I always believed this about others, why was it so hard to believe about myself? To answer that would take us way longer than we have here. And I really don’t want to scare you away so soon…

Putting an end to frustration

I realized the foundation I was missing to start stepping out was spiritual. I needed to truly believe that God had a purpose and a plan for me, even beyond what I was doing for others. I needed to have my identity, along with my entire suite of gifts, skills and desires, deeply rooted and grounded in my relationship with him.

Only then could I overcome my fears and the slew of negative self-talk to dream and do something bigger. That totally sounds like a motivational slogan or something you’d read on insta. But it actually is true. It’s true of any of us. We need to know there is a bigger plan and purpose for our lives, for our gifts, for our dreams and visions. These were given to us by a loving father who wants us to live a life we love. We can live lives filled with with meaning and significance, creativity, beauty and service, I believe it. 

I think it’s time to not only believe in ourselves and our dreams, it’s time to take action! It doesn’t matter how old–or young–we are! Where we’ve been, what we’ve done or haven’t done. Now is the best time. Midlife is the perfect time to recognize the influence we have and the opportunity before us to significantly impact the world. If you are resonating with these words, I encourage you to meditate on these verses. Then share what you hear or see as you consider moving in the direction of your dreams! 

So be very careful how you live, not being like those with no understanding, but live honorably with true wisdom, for we are living in evil times. Take full advantage of every day as you spend your life for his purposes. And don’t live foolishly for then you will have discernment to fully understand God’s will.

Ephesians 5:15-17

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

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