From the time I was a little girl, I’ve always enjoyed collecting things. When I was quite young, my great-grandmother got me started in stamp collecting. I still have the stamps from those years and probably thousands of others I’ve collected in the decades since.
A couple of years after eBay launched in 1995, my then tween-age nephew asked me to order an early generation Macintosh computer for him from a seller on eBay. I helped him get started collecting those old computers. That early eBay experience opened the door to the opportunity to add to a memorabilia collection I’d started in the 1980s and then into collecting old movie “lobby cards” and posters.
I’ve also always enjoyed running 5K and 10K “road races,” although I rarely enter them anymore. Aside from the great feeling that comes from distance running, it’s fun to collect the T-shirts and fun to collect “the experience” of running each race. Finishing the race also gives me a sense of accomplishment. Knowing that I’d completed something I started was what mattered, not whether I got an age-group medal.
It’s practically impossible to complete a collection, of course, whether things or experiences or even knowledge.
I think that’s why collecting is fun. Much of the pleasure of collecting comes from the search, perhaps even from the feeling of productivity that comes from putting substantial effort into something that’s interesting to you, even when you know you won’t ever complete your collection.
That’s also true of life. Happiness is the result of how you respond to living and experiencing the journey.
Perseverance is key, whether you’re building a collection or a life mission that you’ve been called to complete.
“Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4
Most of the time, God doesn’t hand us our desired outcome on a golden platter when we step out in faith and actually start the work to fulfill a task or purpose He’s called us to undertake. He controls the outcome, but we’re expected to put forth effort. Our commitment, our faith, is demonstrated by the effort we give.
Paul makes it clear that we must persevere.
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
This blog post was due on my birthday. When I saw the work and the due date, I knew that I wanted to write about what it means to be complete.
Although I Am Complete (and feel complete), I also mostly feel like a fish out of water in evangelical church gatherings,because I’ve never been married. As a teen and young adult, I always assumed I would marry, but God showed me some time ago that He created me and has equipped me for something that requires my unique combination of life experiences. God has revealed to me that the responsibilities that come with marriage and children would make it impossible for me to complete the mission and purpose I’ve been given. I’m content and happy with where God has placed me.
I’ve had multiple experiences where God placed me in a complex situation where I could help. I would not have otherwise been available if I were married and/or a mother.
Although my life has not played out like I envisioned 30 years ago, I feel blessed, happy and complete. Not complete in the sense that God is finished with me, but complete in the sense that I know that I am whole in Christ.
I understand that I have a unique calling and that I’m expected to persevere as God works all things together for good according to His purpose.
Whatever your circumstances, please know that in Christ you are complete. Nothing else in your collection of relationships, experiences, or things will make you complete.
“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” John 16:24
In Christ we are made complete, but that doesn’t mean God has completed His work in us nor does it mean that we have completed our purpose. We are not finished. We are called to persevere.
Because you are what God says that you are! You are enough!
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Sheree Martin is a lawyer, entrepreneur and digital media consultant. She’s on a mission to help others Discover, Grow and Shine. Sheree is mom to multiple furry creatures and aunt to three awesome young adults. She loves spending time outdoors, especially at Shine Springs Farm, doing anything fitness related, and cooking real food for friends and family. Click her to read Sheree’s Breath on Paper bio.