How Best to Lose Your Life


For a long while now, I’ve been really busy. I’ve known that, but I also didn’t know the extent to which I was going crazy – until I sat down for dinner with Lauren.

Lauren is one of those people who was very clearly placed in my life by God. We were at the same church for a really long time without ever really talking, and I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t think Lauren and I would be able to connect. There’s something incredibly gentle and gorgeous about Lauren. I doubt there are many people who would describe me as gentle and gorgeous, so I was pretty sure that Lauren and I had very little in common. How wrong I was.

Lauren is one of those people who inexplicably speaks right to my heart. I cry pretty much every time we hang out together, and they aren’t even sad tears. They’re the kind of tears I rarely cry out of joy and gratitude.

So I was having dinner with Lauren this week, and she was checking in with me about life and whatnot, and she gently pointed out that I’m probably doing a few too many things. Like I said before, I already knew this, but there was something about the way Lauren said, “Oh, Katie,” when I mentioned something about my schedule that made me take a step back. Then, she did something else that caught me off-guard; she asked me how she could serve me. She’s asked me this before, but this time it seemed like she really wanted an answer.

For about twenty minutes, I tried to figure out the right answer.

And it occurred to me that I have no idea what I need. Mostly, I like to think that I don’t need anything. I like to serve other people and listen. I don’t really like talking about what’s going on with me. I don’t need practical help with much. I’m pretty self-sufficient. But everyone has needs, right? And we should be serving each other, right?

So during that twenty minutes of thinking, I mostly told Lauren that I didn’t know how anyone could serve me, but if I figured it out, I’d let her know. But that didn’t really end the conversation. Lauren kept asking and I kept realizing how hard it is to try to serve me or even just know me.

It’s a really weird thing to have someone who knows you pretty well point out how weird you are 🙂 and how she knows you without actually knowing you. It was weird and confusing. And Lauren and I finally came up with a plan to hang out without talking about serious things, because that seems like the thing that’s really lacking in my life. So she’s going to come over and play video games with me soon, which I’m really jazzed about.

I told a few people about my talk with Lauren and more than one of them said something to the effect of, “I could have told you that you were crazy for doing so much.” Or “I thought you knew how ridiculous you’ve been and how hard it is to know you.” And it just kept coming out that everyone around me knew I was doing WAY too many things and not leaning on anyone, but they didn’t do anything about it. So now, I have to say that the best way Lauren served me was to confront me. She showed me what everyone else was afraid or unwilling to. 

But all of this brings me to a question: How does a girl give her whole life over to the gospel and others without doing way too much?

We are called to take up our crosses and follow Him. We are called to lose our lives. But there’s always the balance between taking care of others and taking care of self so that we can continue to take care of others. How do I know where that line even is? And isn’t it better to serve myself into a coma than it is to do nothing? On the spectrum, I’d much prefer to see myself too far into serving others than too far into naptimes and self-care.

What are your thoughts? How do we find this balance?

*I fully admit that there’s something really unhealthy about the way I throw myself into service and busy-ness. I’m starting to think it shows my deep fear that God isn’t using me enough and that my life is being wasted.

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