I finally realized that even though I “believed” something, didn’t mean I “received” it. It took me releasing clenched fists and raising open palms to Heaven in admittance of my utter dependence on the one who created me and calls me by name. Savior of the world…Messiah…Jesus. Only then was I able to exchange my rags of ruin for his cloak of grace.
I avoid writing this post.
I tell myself that you will think I’m ridiculous.
I convince myself that you will make assumptions and judge me.
Every time this insecurity surfaces I shove it back down in attempts to choke out its message.
Why do I invalidate those things that make me feel small.
Why do I continually dismiss my feelings?
What if someone else feels the exact same way and by my admission knows they are not alone?
So, here it is…
There are times when I allow social media to determine, not only my mood, but my self worth.
As I scrolled through my “feed” this morning, I found myself becoming more and more hurt by the fact that someone I was once closer to than I am now, had not invited me to attend one of the most important days in her life.
The more pictures I saw from the event, the more upset I became.
What is wrong with me?! I thought.
I wouldn’t have been able to attend anyway.
Why is this such a big deal?
It goes back to the fact that I’m a people pleaser. I want you to like me even if I don’t like you.
I want everyone to want me to be at everything, even if I can’t be there.
I want the opportunity to decline.
I realize how this sounds, believe me.
I would understand if you stopped reading now.
However, it’s very important that I bring this hideous character defect into the light.
It’s crucial (for my own development) that I’m brutally honest with myself. Not mean. Honest. They are two different things though at times people confuse one for the other.
Here is what I’m discovering…
This all points back to my need for approval.
I’m an affirmation junkie.
The more I get, the more I want.
I become absolutely drunk on the approval of others.
And then, when I’m alone, I’m terrified that I cannot live up to my own expectations. Fear will make decisions for me if I allow it to. I will be spiritually paralyzed if I don’t act quickly and thoroughly.
The problem with this is that I want my life to glorify God. I want my spirit to reflect that of the Creator. I want to make Him known to everyone who comes in contact with me. And I’ve been in recovery long enough to know that, as long as I’m keeping a secret, I can’t do that effectively. As long as I’m hiding from a reality that affects my life and the way I interact with others, I can’t be useful. Not the way I want to be anyway. Not the way that’s relatable to others in different seasons.
So, here I am. Standing before you. Admitting weakness. Acknowledging feelings that I know will change. Emotions that I will probably not even have tomorrow. I’m feeling exposed and “found out.” because I am willingly admitting that most of the time I feel completely inadequate all while exhibiting confidence.
I may be mortified tomorrow at having posted this. But for today, I say to the woman reading this, feeling like I’m telling your story, “I understand. You’re not alone. You don’t have to be afraid. You just have to be willing to recognize the affliction (whatever it may be) and take positive actions steps forward.”
I want to take a minute to say, “Thank you.”
To those of you who have shared my writings all over social media,
To those who have read and commented,
To those who are receiving notifications of new posts,
To those who aren’t afraid to disagree with me,
To those who I’ve never even met, but consistently send me encouragement,
To those who email me with desperate pleas for help with addiction, eating disorders or something else you know I have walked through,
To those who find community here…
It is such a privilege to share this space with you.
I love that we have comments from all over the world complimenting our stories. It’s incredible to read of the laughter and tears shed (sometimes in the same sitting) while reading posts and comments on these pages.
If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know that I’m a egomaniac with an inferiority complex. Some days my feet never touch the ground, while other days my face never leaves the dirt. I am my own worst critic with an inner cheerleader. I fluctuate between feeling like a goddess and an ogre. I am either the happiest, most optimistic person in the room or the anxiety ridden pessimist who draws the blinds and sits in the dark.
Through all of the emotions, I have written. The one constant in my physical life has been the ability to verbally vomit when needed and find healing in the chaos. Through the journey of starting my own business, grieving the loss of someone close to me and walking into incredibly fragile situations with families I had never met, to document the last few moments of their baby’s life, I know I can come here, to this page and process.
I have been completely overwhelmed (in a good way) by the response to many of the things I write. Astounded that anything I have to say would resonate with anyone else and move them to positive action. Elated to find that I am not alone in any struggle.
I am so grateful to you for using what I know to be valuable, precious time, to be with me for a few moments. It’s a gift and one that I do not take for granted.
The days ahead are full. And though I can’t come visit with you as much as I would like, please know that I think of you, my beautiful readers, all the time. I pray for you and I thank God for you.
Thank you for investing in my story.
I don’t know about your house, but at my house, the devil always shows up on Sunday.
Everyone’s attitude stinks! Most Sundays I think, “Why am I trying to get ready for church?! Is it even worth it?!” as my boys poke, pinch, spit, slap, kick, scream and hurl little boy insults at each other.
You know the ones. My oldest will say, “You’re a poo-poo head!” while my youngest replies, “Well you’re a dumb dumb bully butt face!”
What?! Where do they hear these things?!
This morning was no different. As I’m sitting in the garage honking the horn for them to GET IN THE CAR, my oldest pops his head out of the house and yells, “Heeeeeee’s poooooooooopiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin’!”
We finally get on our way and I’m listening to one of my favorite songs from Natalie Grant called “In the End.” It talks about Heaven and how we will understand everything in the end. (Plus it has a banjo and I can’t be in a bad mood listening to a banjo.)
I’m thinking to myself, “How do I answer this? I’m in a mood, I’ve been short-tempered all morning… what do I say?”
So I responded the best I could, “Well, Darling, imagine the best place you have ever been and multiply it times infinity. It will be like nothing we’ve ever seen. It will be the most incredible place we could ever dream of. In fact, I’m not sure I can imagine the level of absolute contentment we will know and have.”
It was quiet for a few moments when my older son speaks out.
“You mean it’s gonna be better than Florida?!”
“Yes Loves. It will in fact be better than Florida…”
Can you relate to the questions without easy answers? How do you handle it?