It’s Time to Face What’s Keeping Me From Being Who God Wants Me to Be

My birthday was last week. I have a hard time believing I’m 29 and yet 29 feels like it’s been a long time coming. At 29, the possession at the top of my wish list is a minivan. I wake up most days before 6 a.m. and crash before 10 p.m. 9:30 p.m. My days are a contradiction—mundane, magical, tiresome and exhilarating—a perplexing, yet beautiful combination that comes with raising two little people.

Jillian holy

I live a very grown up life, but there’s at least one childish part of me that I can’t seem to shake: too much of my self-worth depends on what others think of me.

Much of my life has been in the spotlight, albeit a very small one, yet a spotlight nonetheless. In high school, I was known for singing and took the stage on a TV show and center court and field at professional basketball and baseball games. In my early career, I had (what appeared to be) a glamorous job as a TV News anchor. And even now, this small space of the internet I possess gets me more attention than the typical part-time-work-from-home-parent.

None of these things are bad. These life experiences have helped shape me into who I am today. But a side effect of the limelight is that I sometimes modify my behavior to keep it from fading away.

When someone disagrees with something I write, it makes me want to hide. In fact, I’ve avoided writing about certain topics because I feel incapable of dealing with potential backlash.

At church this week, the pastor told us to ask ourselves this question: What is keeping me from being holy? In other words, what is causing me to live too much like this world instead of living like Jesus?

I know my answer: Too often I do things to seek others’ approval instead of the approval of the One who made me.

I want to write because I feel inspired, not because I need applause. I want to work because I find the job fulfilling, not because I worry it’s what others expect of me. I want to exercise because I have loved ones who need me to be healthy, not because I want to look the way society deems acceptable.

Instead of running from my critics, I want to listen to them—I may just learn a thing or two.

I’ve grown so much in the last two years of my life. Getting two unexpected diagnoses for your child and moving 3 times will do that to a person. At 29, I can’t believe how much life I have lived, but I know I have so much more to uncover.

So, what do I want out of my last year in my 20’s? Before my 30th birthday arrives my goal is this: not to live for praise, not to live the life of my dreams, but to live the life He has dreamed for me.

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Jillian Benfield
Jillian Benfield is a former TV News Anchor/Reporter, turned military wife and work from home mom. When she was 20 weeks pregnant with her second child, she learned her son had Down syndrome. Now she’s trying to figure out how to juggle a wonderfully sassy toddler and a baby with special needs. She writes at News Anchor To Homemaker.  Jillian’s work has been featured on ABC News, The TODAY Show and Yahoo News. Follow along with her parenting adventures on Facebook!