By Jalauna Phillips

Holidays are pretty big in my family.

I think most of the time we just use them as an excuse to get together.

The one special occasion that we are very bad at is birthdays, well, our own birthday.

When it's someone's birthday, we swarm that person with the questions like "what do you want to do?", "where do you want to eat?", "what do you want?". To us, they seem like simple questions that have simple answers, but being on the other end is a complete nightmare.

As a child, I always had birthdays planned years in advance. I had a guest and present list ready ahead of time so that my parents could plan accordingly. When the day finally arrived, even though I knew what was going to happen, I still had a great time.

Here recently, it feels like it's my birthday all the time, but this time, I'm asking and answering.

You might think that this would be easier since it's me but no. I feel like I am malfunctioning every single day.

It's like pressing the gas while in park. I'm trying to go but I'm not going anywhere. I'm just revved up all the time.

In a matter of two weeks, I've realized that I need a tune up.

I started a new job recently and I found myself doing more than what the job description stated. My mother's advice was, "quit the job and go where your demands will be met or advocate for yourself at the job you're already at."

I malfunctioned at "advocate for yourself".

My whole life I was taught to be the Good Samaritan. To put my agenda to the side to help some else. To die to myself for the greater good.

How am I supposed to lay down my life if I'm already dead?

As he always does, Jesus sets the perfect example and provides the perfect answer.

I think talking about Jesus' selflessness is important but the conversation must include the fact that he still considered himself. When he fed the 5,000, he was not intentionally going to feed them. Jesus was on his way to mourn the death of his friend.

Instead of avoiding the people and his feelings, he did the selfless thing and fed them while also considering himself and taking the time to mourn afterwards.

We have to remember to consider ourselves.

I was always taught to advocate for others but never myself when I'm the broken, beat down person in need of a Good Samaritan.

I have been asking myself, "what do you want?", for weeks. But instead of pressing the gas and going nowhere, I am choosing to sit in park until I figure it out.

I will not go about this life feeding everyone but myself, nor will I neglect the hungry to solely mourn what I've lost. I will stand at the feet of Jesus and ask him to guide me to the cross where two things come together as one.

He is my advocate and my helper, I will find the answers I'm looking for in him.

My Eyes Are Set On: getting my car (self) out the shop.

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