ok, so being really honest is scary. i sat and stared at the last post for about 20 minutes before i posted it. it just puts so much skin in the game. i sat down with a lovely woman yesterday over coffee and had wonderful conversation. we both had the same philosophy – just get to it. why all the winding up and winding down that is required here in the south? i have struggled with that thought a lot over the years – i’ve hated small talk and haven’t seen the usefulness of it. the problem was i kept running up against barriers in conversation with people – i kept walking away from situations feeling like i had just made the biggest fool of myself – why was it SO hard to connect with people?! every once in a shining while, i would encounter an instant friend, but it wasn’t often, and the rejection i suffered all the other times began to weigh on me.
then it happened.
the worst thing i could have imagined for a little heart-on-her-sleeve gal like myself. instead of the person uninterested in being friends with me merely disappearing from my life, i was told (by my husband who had spoken to her husband) that she couldn’t handle me. that i was clingy. that she just didn’t have the energy to deal with me. even now i feel the crushing weight of those words even though they were spoken 8 years ago. EIGHT years ago and i still feel embarrassed and it’s a bit hard to breathe. now granted, i was a much different person 8 years ago – i hadn’t walked through the healing or perspective change – or process of raising two children… all of which change you on a deep level… the immensely frustrating thing about this situation though, was that she had been on my mind – i had been praying for her – i wanted to just take her out and let her know she was loved… and then i found out that she HAD been going through an incredibly hard time and my feelings were on target – she needed a friend. but i wasn’t the friend she wanted… which made it hurt even more. arrrg.
i tried to make myself feel better by saying that maybe SHE just wasn’t a very good friend and there was nothing i could do about that…. but i don’t believe that’s true. that was an attempt to lessen the ache in my heart. we had connected on a very real level – she sat in my living room and talked to me about her life, i shared with her about mine… and she told me how thankful she was that i had been there to speak into her life through the tumultuous seas of being newly married… and then – she was gone. not only gone, but saying i was a burden, too much, too needy and clingy – all the horrible things we fear about ourselves as women – all those things we chalk up in our heads as lies so we can be brave enough to try one more time – to reach out again even though the possibility of humiliation is so great.
But here’s the rub, dear reader – we let people determine our worth – our value… it almost works when those around you say wonderful, exhorting warm fuzzy things about you – you feel great, loved, brave. but then when there’s nothing said, or worse – all your deepest fears realized in the words of your husband repeating back to you what some random person said about you, if we look to people to determine for us our worth we will be crushed – heart broken – paralyzed by fear of humiliation. No one should have that power over us. There is no one (not even those closest to us that know us best) that deserves the position of determining what i’m worth – as a person, a friend, a daughter, a mother…
Hear what i’m saying –
we should speak worth and value over one another, but only as an agreement with what the Father has already spoken – agreeing with His truth over one another. Anything else is just blowing smoke and flattering itching ears (as Paul says) – It’s really only when our words have the weight of the Father’s heart that they make any real impact anyway.
So when those negative opinions of us reach our ears – they don’t get a chance to penetrate our hearts IF our hearts are sealed in what our Father says about us… What a relief! We don’t have to walk around afraid of being crushed if we extend ourselves to others because if they love you or utterly reject you, it does not determine wether you deserve to be loved or not. rejection doesn’t make the call of wether you are worthy to be loved or accepted or valued… But if we don’t know what Father God has said about us, if we don’t know who we are in Him – we hand that determining power over to any ole person who decides to have an opinion about us… and that is the risky thing, my friends. Loving others isn’t the risk – reaching out to people isn’t the risk – the risk we take is not getting it from the right authority who we are. When we know who we are from His viewpoint – everything else falls away – good or bad. warm fuzzy or razor blades across your heart… and we stay safe and balanced and whole… and we can love and be loved without fear.