Last year, I decided I wanted to do a hard thing in the wake of the reversal of Roe v. Wade. I’m very passionate about fighting against abortion and helping young women and their babies. I consider it my holy ambition. So, I researched how I could help. Ultimately, I settled on holding a bake sale that would donate any profit to my local pregnancy resource center and the pro-life organization ‘Live Action.’
I was soon at work. I designed flyers online and printed them by the dozens. I went to the grocery store and bought all the ingredients I would need. I built sturdy signs with cardboard and cardstock, meticulously drew the location and time of the sale on the front and plunged them into the ground near ‘hot spots’ in town.
I baked all the desserts, hung up all the flyers, and sat for three hours in an uncomfortable chair. I sold almost one thousand dollars’ worth of baked goods, donated it all, and was rewarded with a spot in my local newspaper. One could call me a ‘rebelutionary’ and a ‘hero.’
What if I told you that this story is only half true? What if I told you that I was deceiving myself with this version of the story?
The Pride of a Rebelutionary
When I was younger, I was the typical ‘good girl.’ I almost always obeyed my parents, was kind to others, and was considered very smart for my age. When I got saved as I was entering my teen years, my ‘good girl’ ratings went through the roof! Though I wouldn’t have admitted it (and I’m ashamed to write this), I couldn’t help but think that I was the epitome of teen Christian success (as if there is such a thing).
When I did the bake sale, I had matured enough to know in my mind that I would be hopeless and condemned without Christ, that my righteousness came through faith in Him, and that I do hard things through His Spirit, not through my own will and goodness.
Yet, I struggled to come to terms with this Truth, and my heart hadn’t fully accepted it. I was still tempted to praise myself instead of the Lord, to pat myself on the back instead of recognizing the help I’d received from others.
The Real Story
Enter the bake sale. Would you like to know the true story?
· My dad printed out the flyers.
· My parents bought the groceries (and the manager of the grocery store kindly paid for much of it when he heard of the cause).
· My mom helped make and draw the signs.
· My dad helped put up the flyers and set out the signs.
· A local hardware store let me put my bake sale in front of their store.
· Several stores/shops let me hang up flyers in their windows or on their bulletin boards.
· My church, family, and even one of my teachers helped bake most of the desserts.
· My pastor told the congregation about the cause and let me hang up a flyer and set out pro-life booklets in the church.
· My dad was the one who told the newspaper about the bake sale because he was so proud of me.
· My sisters sat with me during the entire bake sale.
· Without the encouragement and support of others, I never could’ve done it.
This is an entirely different story. It’s what actually happened. I didn’t want to accept this true version of events, but God convicted my heart.
The True Heroes
When the bookstore owner who let me post a flyer in her store hugged me tightly and prayed for me in tears, I started to realize that this was more about God (and more about the mothers and babies, no less) than it was about me.
When my fellow church members came to the sale early in the morning and donated so many treats (enough that there were leftovers), I began to see that I never could have done this by myself.
When I sold about five times more than I expected to, I realized that God was in charge of this bake sale, not me.
By the time I was being interviewed by a newspaper reporter, I was so convicted by God’s Holy Spirit and grace that I told her to make the piece less about me and more about the mothers and babies that need our help, and about the beautiful community that made the sale such a success.
I began to see that I am not a hero. I’m a sinner saved by grace, gifted with a holy ambition, only by the love of Christ. I was looking for a reward in my self-righteousness, while my community and family contributed so much all without seeking congratulations, they were looking to actually serve—unlike me in my pride.
The bake sale wasn’t born out of my own goodness, heroism, or grit. Its purpose wasn’t to boost my ego. It was born out of the love and support of my family, church, and community, and its purpose was to serve expecting mothers and their babies.
I came up with the idea, but it couldn’t have happened without so many others—and certainly not without God most of all.
Humility and Collaboration
As Rebelutionaries, we must remember that doing hard things often takes a pivotal pillar—collaboration. Instead of calling ourselves heroes, we must remember that it is God and the people He brings to help us that make every big hard thing possible.Let's do hard things knowing that it is all for and because of Christ, the true Hero, not for or because of ourselves. Click To Tweet
Let’s do hard things knowing that it is all for and because of Christ, the true Hero, not for or because of ourselves.
True Rebelutionaries have humility, which C.S. Lewis describes as, “not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” If you want to honor God when you do hard things, be humble, as Christ is humble. And if you fall into pride as I did, be quick to repent and ask the Lord to remind you of truth—that the only things worth doing are those done for His glory not our own.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves…Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” – Philippians 2:3-8