By Kelli Sommers
For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]. (Ephesians 2:10)
I hate balls flying at me. It’s probably why I never played sports outside of what PE teachers made me do. To this day, if someone throws anything toward me, expecting me to catch it, I duck. And if someone wants me to throw something to them, I almost always miss the mark. Why don’t we just hand each other stuff? I did have a brief successful stint with volleyball. Probably because I could hit the ball, not catch it.
I always loved observing the sport of swimming. No balls involved, but a graceful dance with water. I worked for a short time in an aquatic center and watched swimmers find their lane, dive in and glide back and forth between the lane markers. I am not a great swimmer myself, but I dream of taking on the water someday.
Lane markers are important to the swimmer. If the athlete stays in their lane and watches the markers, they can tell how many breaths to take, how many strokes until the lane ends and when to duck to flip off the wall. Getting outside of the markers would throw everything off. It would cause chaos.
I have spent a lifetime lifting the lane marker and trying to get into someone else’s lane. Trying to keep up with her strokes, breaths and turns, when my own body wasn’t made to swim like hers. I found the girls with the best form and fastest time, and I worked hard to be just like them. I copied their dress, their hair, their hobbies and their personal convictions. I stuffed my own girl down. Told her to be quiet. I was sure she needed to be silenced.
I finally realized I looked to something good by looking up to others of my own faith, but not good for me. It’s been said, “comparison will kill you,” and I can vouch for that. My empty lane shouted to me and I ignored it’s call. I thought I was finding life in another lane, but that other lane was drowning my dreams, gifts and journey toward God.
But that wrong lane finally overtook me. The temperature of the water was too cold. I couldn’t keep up with the pace, and I started to drown. I cried out to God every time I came up for air. In this lane, I could only find the surface for a few seconds, and as I gasped for air each time, I slowly heard Jesus call out to me, “Stay in your lane.”
I didn’t need more people to copy. I needed more Jesus. I didn’t need to live up to the form or time of all the athletes around me. I needed to live for Jesus. Jesus puts relationships in your life for a reason. These people keep you sane, give you advice and point you toward Him. But don’t get in their lane. It will suffocate you.
The only way to stay in your lane is to stay in His presence. In His presence, you will see the real you. You can see others the way God sees them. In His presence, I wasn’t gasping for air, but floating, with my head above water. Peace surrounded me and I could see a living King anointing me for His work. He gently lifted the lane marker and pulled me into the lane He created just for me.
For a few months, I floated in the warm water with Him by my side. I had to reacquaint myself with the lane. He gave me all the time I needed to let the water embrace me. Then he released me to swim in my very own lane. I love my lane. When I’m in my lane, I feel like every second is spent in worship. My eyes are fixed on the number of strokes God has for me, my breathing is calm and the water cleanses me every day.
There are days I get distracted and try to lift the lane marker again, but those waters are unfamiliar now, cold to the touch. It doesn’t take long for me to remember: There is a special lane marked for each of us. Stay in it.
Meet Kelli Sommers
I am thrilled to introduce you all to Kelli Sommers. She is not only my sister-in-love but she is a great friend to me. Kelli and her husband (my brother), Patrick, live north of Fort Worth with their four kids ranging from 7 to almost 1, needless to say they are busy. Kelli is passionate about writing, her family, and is continually putting her heart before God for Him to transform. She is a gift to me and my family. Kelli embodies peace. I can walk into her home and instantly feel the peace of God there, even in the midst of a chaotic 3 year old birthday party. She is currently writing a book called "Known" and you have access to reading it chapter by chapter on her blog, www.kellisommers.com. Go and show her and her book some love. Kelli, thank you for sharing this post with us. It is a good one.