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I can still see my college-aged self wringing my hands after knocking on the orchestra director’s door. The date quickly approached for a special performance given by a select few senior musicians, and I thought as principal chair I would be invited to participate. But the calendar pages turned and the crickets chirped, so I got up the gumption to knock on the director’s door. And after a commanding Come in! I asked nervously,

“Excuse me for interrupting you, but I wondered if I might be one of the people participating in the upcoming concert?”

His response was cold and brief,

“Nope.”

That was it.

No eye contact. No explanations. No don’t-feel-bad-there-will-be-other-opportunities. And as I did a slow about-face from his office door, I uttered these words for the first time,

That’s what you get for exaggerating your importance, Kristen.

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It wouldn’t be the last time I said it to myself. And maybe you’ve said it too when you:

Read that Facebook status aglow with details of a party you weren’t invited to join.

Discover that board position you hoped to fill was given to someone not even on your radar.

Believe your presence wasn’t missed at that conference or ceremony you couldn’t attend.

I berate my big self and say something about the size of my ego and my britches. I live in the uncomfortable in-between where my heart desires humility but begs to feel important. I want to shine like a star but I let this fallen world get between me and the Son, believing every missed opportunity and difficult rejection dulls my already lackluster appearance.

So instead I sit in the corner of my messy office in my messy today mentally counting all the reasons why my importance is minimal. And then it occurs to me: My problem isn’t that I exaggerate my importance. My problem is that I don’t exaggerate my importance to Him.

I snap to attention and stand to look at myself in the mirror, wondering if I’ve lost all traces of good sense and humility. And that’s when the Lord asks me a couple questions,

What if you took those missed opportunities and saw them as My way of saying, “You’re so important to me, I have something even better in mind for you?”

What if instead of seeing forgotten invites as proof of your minimal importance, you saw them as opportunities for My important purposes to be wildly, exaggeratedly on display? 

When we live and breathe these truths in our lives, God doesn’t roll His eyes when we exaggerate our importance. He throws His arms in the air and cheers as we begin to understand how far He’ll go to give us His best.

It’s true: you and I can do nothing on our own. But with God we can do everything we’re meant to do. We can believe that because we are so abundantly important to Him, He goes to exaggerated cross-shaped lengths to prove His commitment to us.

With the right attitude, exaggerating our importance gives us the courage and ability to see ourselves as the One beyond the stars see us: Radiant, significant, and brilliant.

And it gives us the ability to give the Father exaggerated praise for shining through us in a thousand star-worthy ways.

Do you ever scold yourself for exaggerating your importance? What is one way you can exaggerate your importance to Him today?

With much love by Kristen Strong of Chasing Blue Skies

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  1. 1

    Kristen,
    You really struck a chord with me this morning. Oh how I don’t exaggerate my importance TO HIM!! Key difference. I do berate myself, but I will mediate on the thought that “with God I can do everything that I am meant to do.” Diving into His word always gets my perspective in line. Also, talking to a close friend is good therapy to be reminded of all the ways that God has gifted me. I need to not view this as a selfish act, but as a way of reminding myself of my importance to Him so that I can shine with His love to others. Kristen, I love your writing! Thanks so much for sharing from your beautiful heart!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • 2

      Bev! I love this: “Also, talking to a close friend is good therapy to be reminded of all the ways that God has gifted me.” Yes ~ naming out loud His gifts placed within you reminds yourself of your importance to God *and* glorifies Him.

      I just adore this…and YOU. Much love, Bev!

  2. 3

    I’m finishing up Nester’s 31 days and have wrangled all morning with ‘just who do you think you are.’ My conclusion being that the battle of perfection and perserverance that can only be won with Christ in me the Hope of glory.

    When we live and breathe these truths in our lives, God doesn’t roll His eyes when we exaggerate our importance. He throws His arms in the air and cheers as we begin to understand how far He’ll go to give us His best.

    Thank you for this!

  3. 5

    As a stay @home mom I have had my share of non invites and have felt forgotten. What a breath of fresh air to say what if instead of taking it that way ,you saw them as “I have something better for you”. Wow , the feeling on importance in that statement ….what love my Father has for me, that I am always being loved on by him…..thank you!

  4. 7

    Amen, Kristen! You are such a treasure, and I’m so glad to have met you!!! HUGS!!

  5. 9

    As someone who has spent her life battling the “I’m not good enough”s, this spoke to me very deeply. I don’t just not exaggerate my importance to Him, I have often battled to see my importance at all.

    Denise Hildreth Jones speaks about how none of us is “good enough” on our own in her book Reclaiming Your Heart. I finally learned that ONLY WITH CHRIST are we good enough! She also talks about how intimately “God is in our details”. Your message was exactly that to me – God in my details, reminding me of His love for me – especially when you wrote: “We can believe that because we are so abundantly important to Him, He goes to exaggerated cross-shaped lengths to prove His commitment to us.”

    I am going to hold on to this lovely blog and especially this message, cuz I need reminding sometimes and this so perfectly spoke to my heart this morning. Thank you!!!

  6. 10

    O this is perfect for me for me for me. Just the way I’ve been brought up to think since I was a little little girl. Everything revolves around how wonderful life is with God, my Father who is in heaven. Now JESUS and the Holy Spirit. Whatever happens, I know this as a fact. My Father adores me as HIS very own child. My Saviour is in love with me as HIS very own bride. The Holy Spirit is constantly with me prodding me along life’s ardours journey on finding my way home to eternity. Sometimes I think I’m so selfish. I just think of myself and JESUS and the Holy Spirit and my Father who art THOU in heaven. And then all else fades away. The world and everyone else fades away and the days run into weeks and years and then decades and then ….. I’m older …. but still …. my unchanging God is still with me. Do you think it will be like this when I enter into the kingdom of heaven on that day. ….. hold the thought ….. O I’m a dreamer a dreamer I am. O well. God made me this way. HE must be right. Cos. HE’S perfect.

  7. 11

    Love this, Kristen! Thank you for sharing. Beautiful truths! Beautiful!

  8. 12

    “He throws His arms in the air and cheers as we begin to understand how far He’ll go to give us His best.” Love this. Recently, I was in the throes of deciding whether or not to accept a contract offer on my novel. Considering it was my ONLY offer, the prospect of declining was quite scary. But I couldn’t shake the unrest I felt about it. I sensed God had something better in store, and I had to remind myself that if I could believe God to begin this journey, then I could believe him to complete it. And that includes believing him for his best. So, as I step back onto that road of faith and delayed hope, I’m learning to remind myself again and again that his best is worth the wait.

  9. 14

    What a great post. I’ve often thought of my alone time as negative, til I realized it may be His way of saying “Come to me.”

  10. 15

    Dear Kristen, this was so good & timely. My life abruptly changed 2 yrs ago & I’m home & don’t get invites, don’t see friends anymore or relatives. A whole different life. I keep asking God what am I doing? He says keep on doing 1 step @a time. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  11. 16

    I always berate myself for this! I want to feel like I belong, and then when I don’t I say to myself “Well, of course you don’t. Who are you to belong to _____?” But I do belong to God. And He’s the one who welcomed me in the first place. I may feel a bit of a misfit every single day, but I fit perfectly in His plan. Love this, Kristen!

    • 17

      “I may feel a bit of a misfit every single day, but I fit perfectly in His plan.” Andrea, these words are absolutely brilliant. I’m going to write them down and tuck them away for when I need the reminder. Ya know, like nearly every day. Heh.

      So thankful you shared this here today.

  12. 19
    Danielle says:

    Thanks for sharing! I really needed to read this today. My husband is deployed and of course while he’s gone, I am overwhelmed with grad school, taking care of our home alone, and now we’ve had some moments of feeling excluded from his family, and feeling like I’m not enough for when he comes home. I’ve tried so hard to cling to God during this very stressful deployment, but I am reminded when I don’t cling tight enough, it’s easy to be led astray. I have been looking for my importance in other people and not remember that my God loves me. Today, I am reminded that my God is constant, he always delights in me, and he loved me so much, he gave his son’s life for me. Even though people can’t always be counted on to love us and give us the importance we want, we are always important to God and that’s what matters.

    Thanks for sharing, my heart needed this reminder today.

    • 20

      Danielle, your wonderful words give my heart a much needed reminder, too. And I’m praying for you right now as you endure this deployment, which is no small thing. You are loved, seen, and heard through and through…may you feel it in the furthest corners of your heart today.

      Much love.

  13. 21

    Kristen- loved this post! Reminds me of a story I was just relaying to a friend last night. About 4 years ago I began attending a new church and while I wanted to join the worship team, my then separation (I’ve now been divorced for 3 years) was a roadblock. I didn’t understand God’s plan. I had been a voice major, always involved in choir and praise team. This was how He gifted me, so why couldn’t I use it? Two weeks later, they announced the need for a van driver to pick up women from the local homeless shelter and bring them to church and I confess with the poor attitude of “well, what else am I gonna do on Sunday morning since I’m not singing” I signed up. While that outreach eventually ended, God spoke to my heart about the need for our church to be involved in the community. “CommunityConnections” was born and I serve as the director of that outreach ministry of our church. My pastor has said that he’s never seen “a boat turn so quickly”. People have begun attending the church because we are so outreach-minded. In a church of 600, we routinely have 200 people volunteering for large scale outreaches, and I am constantly being asked to connect the small groups to service opportunities. I have had the joy of seeing some of our ideas picked up by churches in other states. I blog about the ideas, have spoken on my passion, and just receive such incredible joy from the lives being changed. In addition to those large scale outreaches, we continue to build relationships and roots with a different local homeless shelter. This fall we began teaching life skill classes there.

    “What if you took those missed opportunities and saw them as My way of saying, “You’re so important to me, I have something even better in mind for you?”” Such truth!! If I had been given the opportunity to sing at that time, I would have been satisfied to do what I’d always done and never looked at something else God might have for me to accomplish. By the way…I now also serve on the praise team, and have for the past several years :) Once God silenced my voice long enough to hear His, He showed me my importance to Him is miraculous ways! Sorry to make this post so long, but I do love sharing how He’s changed my entire world!

  14. 22
    Grammarox says:

    Wow! I have always struggled with this and I have never heard anyone address this the way you did. I thought I needed more humility, less exaggeration about myself. You said it best, “But with God we can do everything we’re meant to do. We can believe that because we are so abundantly important to Him, He goes to exaggerated cross-shaped lengths to prove His commitment to us.

    With the right attitude, exaggerating our importance gives us the courage and ability to see ourselves as the One beyond the stars see us: Radiant, significant, and brilliant.” Love, love, love it!

  15. 24

    Hi Kristen,
    I just loved today’s post. We have all been there wishing we were at the popular table or part of the cool crowd. Remembering God is the coolest all around is something I discuss with my high school freshman daily. I also forwarded your post to a dear friend who really struggles with weight and self-worth. Your words are wise and true. Thanks for sharing!
    Wendy :)

  16. 26

    I love His upside-down kingdom on display in your words, Kristen! As I affirm and give thanks for the ways He has called me to shine, my heart is found and I find rest and security. Thank you for reminding me!

  17. 27

    Exactly what I needed to hear today, Kristen! Thanks!!

  18. 28

    I heard so many women this weekend, who said that they felt like they didn’t count, and wondering if they should give up blogging. I was one of them. When you want to be bigger because you don’t realize that to Him you Are Big, You Are Enough.

    For us to be known to others is no big deal for God to accomplish, but He loves us so much, that He will not allow anything to get between Him and His beloved. Our desires are not wrong, unless we want to be known by others more than we know the one who created all of the “others”.

    Next time I’m around you, you will be in a chair next to me so that we can really have time together!

  19. 29

    PREACH!!!

  20. 30
    Patti Chriestenson says:

    Such a good article! Thank you for sharing your story and the perspective that you added during a disappointment. My favorite sentence is — “You’re so important to me, I have something even better in mind for you?” I really like this attitude. Thank you!

  21. 31

    Exaggerating my IMPORTANCE!!!! (LOLdest!!!!). That’s SO me :)

    Okay, WHY NOT? Afterall I’m the daughter of the KING of kings!

    Let’s just say I’m learning to manage ‘accepting daily rejections’…and ‘keeping my expectations humble’. They are STILL way too high…Lol!
    I’ve simply just learnt how to laugh-in-my-face and pat-me-on-the-back when those moments come. :)

  22. 32

    Oh my Kristen- you have spoken all the things on my mind today.
    So love the way your words are always laced with grace.

  23. 33

    I love this. Love, love, love this. Mary Kay Ash used to say “Treat everyone you meet like they’re wearing a big sign around their neck that says ‘Make me feel important!’.” I realize – I painfully, painfully realize – that people often fail at this. But what I’ve decided to practice keeping in mind is that GOD will always treat me this way. :-) I’m important to him. It’s automatic. I just need to act like it.

  24. 34
    Donna R. says:

    Kristen, thank you for taking the time to post this. You hit the nail on the head for me! ” I live in the uncomfortable in-between where my heart desires humility but begs to feel important.” You have encouraged me to think that maybe God has something for me to do.

  25. 35
    Beth Williams says:

    I am constantly berating myself. Not feeling qualified, good enough, smart enough. I know this…I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME.

    I must dwell more on my identity in Christ rather than what the world wants or says. Knowing that God loves me and so does my family helps me get through my day!

    Every day I praise God for who He is and who I am in Him. I thank Him for everything He’s done and given me.

    I agree with all the posts written here–feeling like a misfit, etc. Just remember whose you are!

  26. 36

    When I hear someone tell me that when I walk in a room, I shine, I know that it is The Holy Spirit’s Presence that they see. It always makes me happy, because it is just proof again to me that God is real and a living Light that I choose to give myself to for Eternity. I feel His Presence glow and that supernatural love gives me a reason to keep on no matter the battle the world hands out. How awesome is it that we are made in His likeness! great encouraging article.

  27. 37

    I didn’t really read this whole piece word for word from top to bottom yet what caught my attention was the “We are so abundantly important to Him” quote on the picture posted from the FB page. The part about rejection brought me to Jeremiah 17:5,7. Basically to remember not to place such value on what someone’s rejection says about me or how I view myself even, as God’s view of who I am is what I am to trust.

    Also, what came to mind with that word “abundantly” standing out is how Christ did come that I may have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). It points out to from that quote that I am so abundantly important to Him that He would go out of His way and make it His business/ His focus that I may have life more abundantly…that’s just how abundantly important to Him I am.

    Something about recognizing insecurities that may want to overshadow or cover my importance to Him and that is where I am to be careful of that, being aware of if insecurities are being fed and need to be starved.

    Thanks Kristen for sharing this….it has me needing to look at some things as I look at a situation I am going through currently.

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