Maybe We Just Weren’t That Special


“God has big plans for you,” they said.

“You are special; you’ve been chosen,” they declared.

“You are the generation who is going to change the world.”

Our young hearts, full of dreams and hopes, burned with the flame of inspiration. We could do anything through Christ. We were going to change the world!

Twenty or so years later, we are half way through our lives. The world hasn’t been changed. If anything it’s more screwed up than it ever was. Many of us never did anything special and still feel a lingering guilt for conforming to the world. Some of us tried and failed. Maybe it was a quiet failure or possibly a more glorious burning out, but the pain and confusion are still there. Guilt, shame, and disillusionment, we are familiar with these demons. Doubt and questions have long replaced our naive enthusiasm.

If you resonate with any of what I just said, then this blog post is for you. Disillusionment sucks. It really hurts and we can easily start second-guessing so many other things we once believed.

But can I throw out an idea? Maybe we didn’t fail our calling or purpose. Maybe we just weren’t that special to begin with. Maybe we were never supposed to change the world.

 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV).

Recognize this verse? Maybe it’s one of the verses they used to try and motivate you to be awesome and do big things. I’ll be honest, I’ve used it myself as a well-meaning youth leader trying to encourage the next generation. It’s an exciting verse full of possibility. But the problem is that when we use it alone, ripped from it’s context, Jeremiah 29:11 loses it’s richness and depth.

It’s not really a promise about doing amazing things and changing the world.

The LORD is talking to Jeremiah about His people Israel that He sent into exile because they refused to obey Him. Torn from their homes and communities and away from their families, they had been taken into captivity in a strange land. The LORD tells them in verses four through ten that they are going to be in this place of captivity for seventy years. Not good news. But He wants them to accept it, settle down, marry and have children, and seek the peace of the places where they have been exiled. God assures them that even in this place of captivity, He has plans for them and that He will give them a future and a hope. This brokenness is not the end.


It actually gets even better. In verses twelve through fourteen, the LORD tells His people that when they seek Him in this broken place, they will find Him. God assures His people that He wants to be found.

In it’s actual context, Jeremiah 29:11 is not exactly the, dream big and go do awesome stuff because God has a great future for you pep talk, is it? It’s more of a life is broken and it’s not gonna go the way you want, but make the best of it and seek Me because I want you to find Me encouragement.

Guess what, friends? We can’t change the world. And we aren’t supposed to.

“…aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.

Live quietly; mind your own business. It seems like this passage is encouraging obscurity and simple faithfulness rather than awesomeness.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” Ephesians 2:10.

Paul doesn’t say “big works” or “famous works” or “successful works”. He just says good ones. And we know that most good works are simple, small, and unnoticed.


If you ever sat in a youth group meeting, or a conference, or at a chapel service at camp and listened to a well-meaning leader tell you that you were special, the chosen ones, or the generation that would change the world…

If you ever went to Bible college full of dreams and “the plans that God had for you” only to be completely disillusioned…

If you have served in Christian ministry, fought with blood, sweat, and tears, and gave it your all, only to be burned out, or maybe even burned by the people you were trying to reach…

Please hear me.

You have not failed. You are not a failure, or a washout, or a reject. This is not a one chance thing. God is not done with you. Those are all lies that you need to reject!

What if you were just on the wrong train? We try so hard to make a difference as though  in our own efforts we can change people. But guess what? No program, or church, or sermon, or camp, or mission agency, or youth pastor, or any other kind of human effort can change anyone.

Human religion might be able to control behavior for a while, but the power to transform hearts belongs to only One – the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ.

So if we aren’t capable of changing the world (and aren’t even supposed to be), what should we be doing?

Getting to know Jesus.

“He has told you, O man, what is good: and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” Micah 6:8.

There is only one person that we can actually change. Ourselves. And even that actual change has to come from Jesus! But we can chose to seek Him by developing habits that bring Him into the front of our mind and lives. We can search the Scriptures to find Who He truly is. We can learn to listen to the quiet whisper of His Spirit.

We can live faithful, simple lives that dig deep into the people around us. We can serve and love and give. We can use the gifts that God has given us without demanding results. Our lives might not be magnificent, world changing, or even Instagram worthy. But these are the real kinds of plans that God has for us in the middle of our broken world. These are the good works that He has prepared for us before hand. This is the humble way of Jesus. Let’s follow in the obscure steps of our Savior.

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant” Philippians 2:5-7.






An Identity Crisis Pt. 1 (What Makes Me ME?)

Is anyone really as confident as they seem?

Or if we are honest, do we all struggle with insecurity to some degree?


Most of the time I come across very confident…bold, outgoing, friendly, enthusiastic…sometimes I even fool myself. But thanks to my rough summer and subsequent counseling sessions, I am discovering just how much I struggle with insecurity. If I feel safe with you, you might already know this about me: Despite the fact that I am typically pretty friendly, my modus operandi is to assume that I’m not good enough and that therefore people don’t like me.

I often feel “not good enough” and maybe you do too.


It was the summer we got engaged. My then-boyfriend’s home town was having this big “start of summer” festival and he wanted to go. We were both working at camp, but it was the weekend, his town was near by, and why not? It sounded fun. Since it was a chilly evening and we were at camp, I threw on some jeans, grabbed a hoodie, and off we went.

I forgot that everyone in this town drinks “perfect juice” that miraculously turns into Barbie and Ken look-a-likes. Of course we ran into tons of his old friends, and of course most of them were girls who decided to wear awesome outfits, gorgeous makeup, and incredible hair that evening. After meeting one too many perfect women (that I definitely couldn’t compete with in my camp sweatshirt and jeans) I retreated to the nearest port-a-potty to recover. Fortunately, my cousin had come to visit for the weekend and she followed me. We had a conversation through the plastic door that went something like this.

“I can’t take it any more! I’m done.”

“What’s the matter?”

“Don’t you see these girls? They are all so much prettier and more put together than me. I can’t deal with it!”

“Christy, it’s okay. He chose you. And he loves you just like you are.”

“It’s not okay. And I’m not coming out.”


While I eventually left my refuge in the port-a-potty and my now-hubby comforted me enough to continue the evening, my insecurity problem remains. That was over ten years ago, but I still do silly things like this. Seriously you guys, sometimes I still hide from people who scare me! (Yup, I’m that mature. Haha!)



I’ve been thinking a lot about insecurity and the identity-crisis behind it. I’m starting to see that many of my own ugly habits and sinful struggles are rooted in insecurity. Perhaps many of the difficult and/or obnoxious people we meet are also just struggling with their identity.

Our identity…who we are…this is such a large and loaded topic.

I used to say things like this: I am a pastor’s wife. I am a stay-at-home mom. I am a camp health officer. I am a blogger. I am a hopeful writer. Problem is, a lot of those things got rocky this summer and as a result, my identity was shaken and I became insecure.

I’m starting to realize that much of this list is just stuff that I do; these things do not make me who I am.

So then, who am I? How do I define my identity with things that cannot be shaken or changed? I need to take my eyes off these earthly things that seem so important and go deeper, go eternal.

I am a creation of the God of the Universe. I am adored by my Creator. I am a redeemed sinner. I am a daughter of the King of Kings who also…

  • has a husband who works as a pastor.
  • has two beautiful children here on earth and two in heaven with Jesus.
  • sometimes works at camp.
  • likes to write.
  • etc.

These are descriptions of my life, but they are not who I am at my core. I’m realizing that I need to let Jesus define me, let Him give me my identity. This is way easier said than done and I’m guessing that I will be writing more than one blog post on this topic before I get it semi-figured out. 🙂 Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Sometimes I get this feeling that we are only scratching the surface of what it means to be alive in Jesus. I want more and I know that this “identity crisis” is part of the journey!