Because It's Not About Me

It's kind of crazy and scary, or crazy scary, for me to think that there's only nine days left in January. I feel like time is always flying but this month has really just moved. 

I am so amazed at the ways that the Lord has grown me through The Tattoo Project. At this point $765 has been raised! THREE orphans have been provided for and only $235 stands in the way of food, shelter, clothing, education, and spiritual guidance for ONE more orphan. Only $235 stands in the way of reaching our goal!

Today's post isn't about me wanting a big tattoo, it isn't about my heart for orphans, and it isn't about the fun design process of my tattoo. It isn't about any of that because it isn't about me!

Can I tell you that that has been a hard pill for me to swallow? That I have nothing to do with this. Please just hear my heart for a second will you? I'd really love to share my journey through this project with you.

When I set my goal for The Tattoo Project, I thought very logically about it. I considered how many followers I have and what a reasonable amount for each to give would be -- remember my equation in The Tattoo Project video? I was practical but I still wanted to "go big." I knew a $1,000 was a lot but I also knew that there were people out there feeling the burden of orphan care just the way I was. 

During the first two days of The Tattoo Project we raised $250, we provided for ONE life! I was pumped. I thought that this whole thing was "in the bag," and again I started calculating. I realized that at the rate donations initially came in, that we could  reach the goal in a week and maybe even exceed it. But then, donations slowed. I kept trying to get people to give. I tweeted, I posted on Facebook and Instagram, I emailed, and I sent out support letters to people in my community. I felt like I was hitting a brick wall. Like none of my efforts were fruitful. The total wasn't changing, the margin of money needed was not narrowing. I started wondering how other people had gotten people to donate. I emailed fellow Purpose Project participants and shared how discouraged I was feeling. I could feel myself slipping into a funk over it all. I felt so much pressure. I felt like a failure.

Did you catch the problem(s) in those words above? It was all about me! What I did and what I felt. Those faults are so obvious to me now, but at the time I felt like it was all up to me.

Then, one day, I read this post on Emily's blog that had the most beautiful quote in it and it was exactly what I needed to hear. This is the quote that spoke to me... 

"You must remember to give God time. This waiting on God to act is how we learn how faithful God is. God proves to his child how willing He is to help and deliver, but first God must see that you are willing to wait on Him." --George Mueller 

Ugh. A slap right in the face. God's time, NOT my time. God is faithful. God is willing to help and deliver, but He wants to know that we will wait! Our only role in everything God accomplishes is being willing to wait on His time, on His providence. This is so not what I was doing.

I know that there's nothing wrong with working hard for a goal and sharing and seeking out support BUT feeling like those things will get me the results is just silly. It is NOT about me. I am NOTHING without Him. That can be a hard pill for a type-A, go getter like me to swallow. But what a beautiful, relieving pill it is.

Only He can cause people to give. Only He can save lives. Only He can change hearts.

So, that's what the Lord has been teaching me and how He has been growing me. It hasn't been easy. It hasn't been without pain. It isn't fun or light hearted but that's okay! My changed heart and perspective is worth it. To Him by the glory, the maker of my story and the Savior who loved and loves my sinful, pride filled heart right where it is.

Today, I ask that you consider donating to The Tattoo Project. Not because I need it for my own pride. And not because God can't do it without us, because honestly, He could! BUT because He gives us the chance to step out in faith, to change our minds and hearts, and do something for those who are less fortunate than us.

I challenge you to see where and how the Lord can stretch what you have in order to give to this project. He is faithful. He is willing to help.

It's not about what I can do.
And it's not about what you can do.
But it's all about what He can and will do.

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