whatever i want to be

I was scrolling through Facebook yesterday when I came upon the following post:

Listen to me: I am a clinically depressed MOTIVATIONAL speaker.  So you can be whatever the hell you want to be.  Just raise your hand and say: I AM THIS THING.  The world will BELIEVE YOU.

It was written by Glennon Doyle Melton, the gal behind Momastery.  Admittedly, I am not entirely familiar with her writings, but I liked her Facebook page out of curiosity because she’s sort of a big deal.  She boasts 466,967 (and counting!) Facebook followers and she is a New York Times bestselling author.  The “press” page on her website reads like any writer’s dream, and she is the founder of a non-profit that assists struggling women.

That all sounds pretty rad, and I’m certainly not going to bash this lady.  I think it’s a big deal that she transparently discloses suffering from clinical depression, which certainly encourages other women struggling in the same way.

I can get behind transparency for the purpose of encouraging others.  I like that.  A lot.

But here’s the part that’s missing from her “motivational” post:


Scripture tells us that God is sovereign over all things.  Isaiah 46:8-11 says,

Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,” calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country.  I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.

This passage means that God – and God alone – plans and intends all things for his purposes.  This includes both natural and human events, all of which were intended by God long before they ever occurred.  In other words, God designs and rules over all things.

This is difficult teaching to hear, and even harder to digest.  We want to be masters of our own universe, and authors of our own stories.  We believe strongly in human autonomy and we certainly don’t like being confined by a supreme power over which we have no control.  We instead believe in the power of our own free will and think it to be self-determining.  If we just work hard enough, muster enough faith, think enough “positive thoughts” and possess good self-esteem, we can be anything.  Right?

Just like everyone else, I have aspirations, hopes and private desires for the course of my life.  There are things that I want to do, and people who I want to be.  But I know that all of those longings and goals are subject to the authority of my maker, and I pray fervently for a heart that submits my own desires to his will.

So yes, Glennon over at Momastery is a New York Times bestselling author, an acclaimed blogger, a motivational speaker and the founder of a major non-profit helping women.  And those are fantastic things.  But she is those things because God destined it to be so.

Not because she raised her hand and claimed it.