A couple of weeks ago, this crazy thing happened.
This lady I’ve never met contacted me and told me I’d won an award I didn’t know about. It turns out someone had nominated me, and I had been selected, as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Houston for 2014.
My heart stopped momentarily and my stomach did a complete flip. Because that made absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Then I may have running screaming down the hallway to tell my co-worker, and I may have even danced a little jig in front of my boss’ boss. (Is that how you type that? Because it’s not boss’s boss, but it looks wrong the other way. Sheesh. Rabbit trail.)
I got details about the awards celebration and the magazine and the deadline for headshots and bios and what not. I called my husband with the news who was so impressed that in response to my yelping he replied, “what rank were you?” When I noted it was just a compilation of the top 50 women rather than a ranking he pressed, “well, don’t you want to know your rank?” (This is why God brought us together. My husband is completely unfazed. And that is really good for me. And my kids still won’t eat their spinach so clearly not much influence there…)
The awards celebration and press release and all that craziness happened this Sunday. And there are a lot of things that have historically happened when God is gracious enough to open a door like this for me. I’d get sort of full of myself, wow, look at me, this is pretty dadgum impressive if you ask me, umm-hmm. That’s the God’s honest truth. I used to think these things made me awesome. I also used to think the absence of these things made me not so awesome. I would also do a lot of comparing. I’d look around at the other people in whatever award mix or recognition group and see some real or perceived skill or talent they possessed that I did not.
So I stopped.
Not cold turkey. And not perfectly. I still looked around at the women on Sunday and nearly fell out. Heck, my friends and co-workers who came to cheer me on could have been honored too! But my worth does not come from whether or not I pick up another killer award this year. Nor does it come from being completely unrecognized in any given year.
There’s this wonderful hymn I grew up hearing my grandparents sing. The chorus says, On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.
That’s the truth. Everything else is completely unpredictable. Whether or not you’ll be deemed the best or the worst on a swinging pendulum of outside perception is no way to live your life or determine your value. You have to find your solid rock to stand on or else you’ll spend your career chasing the imaginary pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
So yesterday was just gravy. Goodness and fun and light.
I spent it grateful for the mix of colleagues and family and dear girlfriends (even darling Kristin from Minnesota, whose birthday surprise you’ll read about later) that came together just to toast this fun recognition. I am no more successful or worthy today than I was last month. And I will be no less successful or worthy next year when everyone’s forgotten my name. (See, I have written your name on the palm of my hand. Isaiah 49:16)