“Look, I wish I could just not care. But apparently I don’t have it in me.”
I said those words to my husband, though not for the first time, last week as I told him something I’d recently learned about my former employer. The place I haven’t worked for nine months.
When I began that job, it was just a job. I’d been laid off from what was supposed to be my dream job four months before (and shortly before delivering my daughter), and I was desperate for a job, any job, to pay the bills. From the moment I’d read the job description online, I knew this new place wouldn’t be The One I’d been looking for all these years, but I was okay with that. At that point, I simply needed income.
Besides, I had a sweet baby girl at home, and that was more important than anything else in the world!
While that baby girl has yet to cease being more important than any job could ever be, eventually the new mother myopia faded a bit and I began to realize that I was deeply unsatisfied with this place I spent eight hours a day. I even started thinking I could change things, make a difference.
And so it began. The interest and concern that inevitably lead to frustration and burnout. The passion that leads to heartache.
When I was in high school, my mom told me one day that she thought the song, “Standing Outside the Fire” by Garth Brooks described me. In case you weren’t a country music fan in the early 90s, here are a few lyrics:
We call them cool
Those hearts that have no scars to show
The ones that never do let go
And risk the tables being turned
We call them fools
Who have to dance within the flame
Who chance the sorrow and the shame
That always comes with getting burned
But you’ve got to be tough when consumed by desire
‘Cause it’s not enough just to stand outside the fire
Back then, I didn’t really know what she meant by that. I liked the thought of Garth singing about me, though, so I never forgot it. And last week when I got all worked up over a job I no longer hold and a company for which I no longer work, I remembered these words.
As a matter of fact, they ran through my head on a constant loop (complete with misremembered words and mixed-up verses) until I finally pulled up the video on YouTube.
“We call them fools.” And later in the song, “We call them weak.” That is exactly how I’ve felt! Over and over, I’ve tried to rein in my emotions, not get involved and, in general, be “normal,” but I just can’t do it.
That’s not how God made me.
I don’t think it’s any mistake that I’m a passionate person. The Bible says that God created me, that He knit me together before I was even born.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
~ Psalm 139:13-14
My inmost being? He knows it, because He made it. He knew – well before I did – that I couldn’t help but fall head over heels in love with the piano, student council, fundraising for cancer, planting a church, blogging, my baby girl. He knew I couldn’t stand outside the fire.
That’s not how He made me.
Diving headfirst into a fire of passion and excitement and dedication and commitment has often resulted in getting burned. And so, as new things arise, I’ll probably attempt to hold something of myself back. But I won’t be surprised – and I know God won’t be, either – if I end up jumping in anyway.
It’s how I was made.
Are you a passionate person? Have you ever struggled with the way God made you?Leave a Comment