Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fear, step aside!

I can not tell you how many times I have tried to sit down and write this blog post. I began questioning if that was a sign that I should not even write it. I truly believe that this might be helpful to someone out there. It will even be helpful to understand me more:). I feel blessed to be able to share with the few who read this blog. My blog is a mis-mash of all sorts of subjects. Whenever I post something a bit more personal I get the most I hope you enjoy reading this one.

This year I turned 31. Blah! I have mentioned before growing older does not excite me. This year though I really felt the need for some changes. Getting older never excited me as far as getting older physically. I mean what is good about getting fine lines and grey hairs??? Nothing! But, emotionally and spiritually getting older is actually really super! It is painful at times but the end reward is awesome.

We usually start off any new year by making resolutions. Hoping to start fresh and accomplish some goals. I personally love the new year. Being able to start over is a wonderful thing. One of my favorite things about being a Christian is receiving God's Mercy....they are new every morning! Boy, do I need mercy. I heard this song that described exactly what I felt when I was in a "woe is me-nobody likes me-I guess i'll go eat worms" moment: 

This must be it
Welcome to the new year
The drinks were consumed
The plants were destroyed and the hors d'oeuvres dismantled
I'm not smiling behind this fake veneer
I am often interrupted or completely ignored
But most of all i'm bored
I'm trying to find out if my words have any meaning
Lackluster and full of contempt and it always ends the same
Why won't she listen to me
Why did i come
Oh why did i come here
These humans all suck
I'd rather be home feeling violent and lonely
I'm not trying to sound so insincere
But the postcard that's taped to the freezer reads "wish you were here"
How i wish i could disappear
I'm trying to find out if my words have any meaning
Lackluster and full of contempt and it always ends the same

This song is so depressing and I wanted to hug whoever wrote this. This how you can feel when you are shy and don't deal with it. When you don't pick yourself up and ask God for help.

This year The Hubs and I celebrated our 10 Year Wedding Anniversary! There is nothing I love to do more than to make my husband happy and proud. Most of you know The Hubs. Many of you have probably read a few of my posts about how different we are. completely opposite. He can talk to anyone. In fact, he enjoys it...weird!!! It is an act of God for me to engage anyone in a conversation. I about have a heart attack every time I have to. God is funny...isn't He? Making me fall in love with a guy who would love nothing more than to just talk all day with people and get to know them. Hang out every night with someone new or old friends. Be in an industry where you are constantly meeting new people and going to events. But, you see this is what I need. I need to be exposed to new people and settings. It is not what I fact it is my biggest fear. God knows what He is doing and I am enjoying growing a tad more wise and seeing Him work in my life.

Fear is not from God. It is something I have had to get on my knees and ask God to take away from me. He did...but I found it again and again and again. I am pretty worn out over this whole ordeal. I have lived 31 years as a shy person. When you are younger it is a bit more acceptable to be shy. By now though people expect you to have it all together. I mean I have been married for 10 years. I am a mother. It is not that simple least not for a shy person. I thought one day when I hit my mid twenties that I would just wake up and the fear would disappear. I would magically become the person I wanted to be. The fear would be gone and poof I would be changed. naive. It is the hardest process I have to go through, each and everyday. I remember in 11th grade a girl who I thought I was pretty friendly with asked me out of the blue " Summer, why do you hate me"? She laughed but she said I never talk to her. Those words hit my heart like a ton of bricks. I told her I am shy and I do not hate her. I apologized and she said she was just kidding, but there was some truth there. She was feeling unloved by me. The very thing I was afraid of people doing to me I was doing to others. That statement changed me.

Do you struggle with fear? It can be crippling at times, I know. It makes you question your worthiness. I have cried out to God..."why did you even make me..I am worthless?". It causes depression and even illness. Fear is God is more powerful. He has shown me His love and mercy over and over again. My husband is such a gift from God. Although we are so different in personality and times it is hard for us to understand each other...we are what each other need. The Hubs helps me to break free from this fear...on a more regular basis than I am comfortable with:). And being friendly is a great thing. On the other hand...I am able to help my husband take a step back and relax. Sometimes he has meeting after meeting. He is such a helper. Always volunteering for things. Again this is all good, but I am there to let him know that sometimes he needs to rest:)

I have found so much comfort in God's Word. I always do. My "life verse" is Philippians 4:6-7(I added verse 8 too...because it is another favorite)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I have had the privilege of meeting some great people in my life. Unfortunately, I don't get to really "know" anyone that I meet. The Hubs and Shane are the only people I really know and even then I put my guard up at times. Being shy, for me, is two parts.

Part 1: Rejection!!!
I think it is safe to say that no one enjoys rejection. How I handle it is the real issue here though. Or how I don't handle it I should say. I am in constant conversation with myself...yes I talk to myself a lot! The conversation usually goes as follows: "Do they really care what I have to say"? "Am I right" "Will they think I am stupid" "Is that going to be funny" "Should I say something now...or maybe now...ok...I should probably say something now...opps they have moved on to the next topic". It can be quite exhausting. So, what is the big deal if someone does reject me? As I sit here, thinking, there have been very few times where someone has been cold to me or unfriendly when I try to reach out. Guess what? That is ok! There are plenty of other times when I have met wonderful people who are genuinely interested in me. Who want to know about me. This can't be one sided though. It isn't fair if they are the ones interested in me and I do not return that same grace.

Which brings me to Part 2: Perfection
Perfection or the illusion that you are perfect is my family curse. I feel like we put on the "nothing to see here...everything is wonderful" face when we have struggles. That is a whole other blog post so I will spare you all that business. But, when you feel like you need to present yourself as perfect you will always fall short...because one is perfect. God is the only one who gets that title. Physically..I like to wear makeup and nice clothes. I am fat....lets just put that out there. So, I never physically feel perfect. Emotionally...oh Lord...very far from perfect in that area. So, why do I feel the need to make it look like I have it all together..when I am falling apart? Again, fear is the answer. Fear that I will have to open up about a struggle. Fear that I will look like a hot mess of a person. Fear that people will judge me. Fear that no one would want to be friends with me. Judgment is never good. God has given me the gift of discernment but at times I have messed that up by turning it into what my flesh thinks is discernment..but in reality is judgment. I believe when you see things you don't like in people many times it is things you don't like about yourself.

I don't want this to be a depressing post. This year I have made it a goal of mine to reach out and make new friends.Also, to work on the friendships I do have. To go to events that I would have earlier stayed away from. Just last night we had an event at our home. I knew maybe 3 people there besides The Hubs. I thought of ways to make myself look like I was busy or to attach myself to Scott's side. Then I had a moment of...this is my home and I need to make these guests feel welcome. So, I put my big girl pants on and went outside and talked to not one but almost everyone at the party. It may have just been a "hi, thank you for coming" or a long conversation, but man did it feel good. The best part was knowing that I made The Hubs happy and myself. Also, everyone was so nice and no one punched me in the face or threw anything at me! It is still a really long road. It is a daily battle. People are all not mean and scary. I have some wonderful people in my life as I mentioned before. God is so good. I love when he reveals these things to me. I love when I can feel His presence in my life. So many times I wanted a guarantee that what I was doing was going to be ok. For instance, talking to someone and knowing that they were going to accept me. That is not how faith works though. That is how fear works. I recently read this from Brennan Manning "Insisting on some divine guarantee before yielding to God's word. That is NOT faith".  So, have faith that whatever you struggle with God is right there. It make take you 31 years to get yourself together or maybe 70 years!!! No matter what the time is I love that I have peace knowing God will be there for me. Patiently seeing me through it.

And because the lyrics of music are so important to me. This is the song I love when I am needing some encouragement:
By Jonny Lang