Today we are discussing chapter seven of What Women Fear with Heather Whittaker.
Heather is one of my closest friends, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am that she has moved close to me. I love the way she pulls people out of themselves and strives for life-change and commitment to relationship. She loves deep and she loves well. Like all of us, she has her stories of loss and redemption. She has walked through seasons of life that could have stolen her heart and pulled her away from the Lord, but instead she is such a bright light for others. She is one of the most ruthlessly dedicated people I have ever known, and I wanted her to do this chapter because I wanted to know if she had feelings of insignificance. I loved hearing her heart in this…you will as well. Thank you, Heather.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts as well!
Love,Leave a Comment
This chapter was great. I know everyone cares about what impact they make on this world. But Angie is right, we are getting so caught up in the earthly things that we forget who is the one that should be in the front row.
I am the same way. I am in such competition, in my mind, with other moms. I always like to feel like super mom. I juggle so much on my plate. Exclusively nursing my 6 month old, making his own baby food, trying my best to give my 20 month old attention because he is such a high needs toddler, and meeting the demands of my 3 yr old daughter as well. I delight in the fact that when I’m out with the kids I get so much attention. People asking how I do it and so forth. It’s like I’m constantly trying to win an award for best mother. And little does everyone know I don’t know how I do it. I’m in survival mode right now. Just getting by. Having 3 under 3 has been so hard. I’m so divided and spread thin. Someonej always needs me. Yet I’ve never been away from any of my babies! They have never been watched by someone else. And that equals no date night with hubby for over 3 years! It’s like I’m compensating for my lack of confidence behind closed doors. I need to begin focusing on serving God in ways that please him instead of trying to live up to earthly standards. Like the book says, I’m setting myself to be judged by other imperfect sinners instead of Him. He needs to be the main focus and who I strive to be like.
It seems like every chapter in this book has something so convicting and wonderful to say! This one was no exception for me. As human beings, we all need to feel like what we do on this earth matters. And it can be so easy to get all wrapped up in that and start living as though this earth and the people we see on it are all that there is – and we lose sight of the race we’re running and Who we should be living for.
Kathy C. @ In Quiet Places says
I think that when we care about leading a significant life, that in itself will lead us to live a life that matters and is fruitful and productive as we use the skills and gifts God gives us, and as we remain open to whatever He calls us to do. It might be leading a Bible study one day, and taking food to a sick family the next day, or working in the nursery at our church.
When I do struggle with insignificance, I always go back to Psalm 139:14, which tells me I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I hear God saying to me through this verse that I am significant because I’m His!
I love that verse as well! I was born with a birth defect and walk with a limp, so this verse has always been MINE. This weekend, I was at the Women of Faith conference — one of the employees at the stadium is in a wheel chair, and I was able to share Christ with him briefly by saying that I’d rather have Jesus than 2 whole legs. It was God’s reminder to me that He made me this way for a purpose. So often the enemy wants us to think that we are less, but truly God created us to be His beautiful workmanship.
This chapter has gotten me thinking today. Why do I blog? What are my motives in any and everything I do? When I’m honest with myself, it’s me striving to be a part of something that matters. Sure, most times my works are influenced by desire to glorify the Lord. But there’s an underlying search for significance, which should not be based on what I do for Him, but who I am IN Him. Chapter Seven pushed me to look deeper at the striving I do. I’m repentent for looking in the wrong places.
I hear ya girl.
Katie Axelson says
I read the chapter with my highlighter in hand and really enjoyed it!
One thing that caused me to stop and scribble a message from the Lord was the story Jess shared about Miss Helen and her grave. I collect photos of flowers from around the world, put scripture on them, and frame them in my bathroom. Never before had I thought about leaving parts of the Father in myself as a flower in those international locations. I wrote,”I want to love the Lord to the point where it shows no matter where I go. As I collect photos of flowers from around the world, I want to also leave a flower for the Lord in those locations.”
I really appreciated your ‘nugget of wisdom’ Your comment really touched me.
I am convicted to really look at who I am trying to please. I do think it is important to try to be a people pleaser (I.E husband,my daughter) but where is the line? I struggle vastly with that question. Many of you probably know that we lost our firstborn a couple year ago. I struggle with wanting to be a good mother to my daughter that I do have here with me..I sort of feel like I am ‘making up’ for the mommy I never got to be to Ella…I hope that made sense.
Just today, I cried..I feel so..unfulfilled and I feel so guilty. After Ella died I JUST WANTED TO BE A MOMMY! and now that I am I feel guilty for not being fulfilled. I heard in a sermon (somewhere) that there is danger in staying secluded..I agree with this!! My hubby goes to school and works..I am looking for some work where I can take Claire with me some but haven’t found anything yet. I do have a Wednesday Bible study, attend church on Sundays, and have now started a study on Monday nights. I do not get out of the house very much. We live in a college town where it seems like the town is close to empty when students are in town..
I too, sat in the recliner with my cup of tea and a highlighter. I feel like you hit the nail on the head for me Angie when you said “It’s easy to fee like I didn’t do anything that really mattered the entire day.” Again, feeling this way goes back to my daughter’s death. I’ve felt this way the last couple of years! I know it sounds stupid maybe but I feel like I’m a life wasted…I mean, sure I’m a mommy and a wife but I struggle with wondering “well, for how long…am I gonna die next?” I desperately want to feel better and I think reading this book is a step in the right direction! Thanks for writing it!
Like Jennifer this chapter had me thinking about why I do what I do knowing that I am always on a search for significance. I too have a blog and it started out as me sharing what I was learning in my quiet times not caring if anyone read it, just needing a place to put my words. But that stat screen was always the first thing to pop up and I began to wonder what people wanted me to write and why there were so many views one day and so few the next. This morning, before I even saw this, I got back to where I started. Reading scripture and letting God lead my words. Now I need to let him lead in the other areas of my life. As Angie put it, “We are significant in our insignificance.” I am His, and that’s all I need to be.
Yay, Emily! One step at a time!! 🙂
I did not know I struggled so much with this fear until I read this chapter. Angie, your illustration about the play…wow! It really hit it home for me. So many times I look at my house and think “So and so would never let her bathroom get this dirty” and it makes me feel bad about myself. Or I look at someone’s child misbehaving and I think “I would never let my child act like that!” and I feel puffed up with pride. And like you said, neither of these responses brings glory to God. Jesus is the one I should be performing for and He is the only one I should be comparing myself to. Thank you for being so real and vulnerable. It is such a blessing!
There is so much to unpack in this chapter. I think for me the serious struggle is “will I ever be enough?” Even as I type this, I can hear my husband running the vacuum in his office, and my first thought wasn’t “I am so thankful for a husband who helps out.” No, I am thinking, “I am such a failure as being a housekeeper. Why didn’t I get up earlier and get this house clean?”
I am thankful for the reminder on page 130 that I must stay focused on Him, not my ego — that as I sit at Jesus’s feet and worship Him through acts of service, I am gazing at the One who truly gives me significance and worth.
Am I significant to You? What a great point Heather, this maybe somethign I will struggle with , Who am I? What has God created me to be great at? Do I see my value in who God has created me to be? Oh what a beautiful story of Ms. Helen having flowers all over the world.
Am I significant as a mother; I no longer feel significant as a wife.
Pg 118 …all the love they could humanly feel for Christ was not enough for them to escape their own fear and selfishness on their own.
Nor is it enough for me. I long to have someone daily affirm that I am significant (how much more better is my day when my 4 yr old wraps his arms around me and says I am the best momma ever, sorry Angie but this is what he said, lol.
It’s like the Snow White Syndrome, I need a mirror daily telling me that I am or worth, significance… but even then i would not be enough. How do I know, because God himself says that I am more precious than the birds of the air and yet I still have feelings of doubt.
Pg. 119 ….just scribbles on a page that had potential to be beautiful,
Oh how this one pricks at me. Lord help me to see through your eyes, help me t fully grasp, I am still growing and just as my chirldren are growing I see them as s worth the effort.
Pg 126 & 127 – you talk about our feelings of never done anything to deserve a love like that….our interpretation of what makes us worthy – this is so hard for me to wrap my head around because I have to constantly shift my thinking from me to Him.
He is able; I am not
He loves unconditionally, I do not
He forgives completely; I wish I could
He is in charge, I am not
Pg 128 Such a profound statement that I need to reflect on …To the degree that I can comprehand this is the degree to which I will live my life as a woman who desires to bring His name great glory.
Thank you for your words on encouragement on Pg. 130, they were felt very deeply.
In God’s love, sheila
This chapter was such a great reminder of what (and Who) is most important in my life. Like Jess read from page 119, “I want to walk away from today and every other day with the sense that I knew and fulfilled my purpose” and to know that the person I have placed in the front row of my audience of life (page 121) is the Lord.
I also loved Jess’ story about Ms Helen. Such a sweet and wonderful reminder for us!
“Serve, sacrifice, love. And be made great for His glory.” What amazing words to live by!!! :0) Thank you, Angie!
Again, I’m really late on this one, but I had to comment.
This chapter struck a deep chord in me, especially when I read the line at the bottom of page 120: “. . . I was left with a version of the words with which I began this chapter, ‘Am I enough?'”
Only a few weeks ago I journaled those exact words and later wrote a blog post with the same three word question. Since then I’ve been encouraged and convicted over and over again about the source of that insecurity and the remedy for it. The paragraph that begins page 121 says it so well: I have placed my worth in being recognized for what I do. And that will always end up disappointing.
The reminder to recognize who should be – and really is – on the front row is one I’ve claimed and held to since reading this.
Elaine Pool says
I can only say that this chapter is one of my biggest ones. I am a singer who has been “edged out” of our music program. I believe that my voice was a gift from God, but with no opportunity to use it, I’m feeling pretty useless. And insignificant. So, Angie’s sentence about looking to others for our identity & confirmation made my head hurt! I hate it when she’s right 🙂
So, an ongoing struggle that may not end until Heaven – I’m trying not to put my value & worth into man’s terms, but it’s hard.