Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Court of Public Opinion

Good morning girls! I hope you are having a good Tuesday. I want to thank everyone who has entered my giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, please do. You have until Thursday night to get in on the action. boscia is a really good, organic skin care line. And, you can't beat free stuff, right? (And, you should probably do that now, or you may get sidetracked by the lengt of this post...)

I need to share some things that God has laid on my heart over the last several weeks. I am so very hesitant to share this because, girls, it is raw and not pretty. There is simply no way that you can wrap a pretty little bow around this one. I would be hesitant to share it at any time, but I am even more hesitant to share it on the heels of my giveaway. Thanks to Kelly's shout out, people are streaming over here! And, I love that. But, I'm afraid that I'll scare them off with this post, and I don't want to do that. I want people to like me, and there will be more about that later. Unfortunately for my ego and my pride, God won't let it go. I know that I am supposed to write about this now, and so, I will. In fact, I think my heart will burst if I don't get this out. Just so you know, it will take me the next couple of days to get this all out. Brevity is not my strong suit, but I will try not to write a novel. It is completely up to you, however, whether you continue reading or not. (Even if you don't, please use the above link to enter the giveaway!).

Many of you know that I was not reared in a Christian home. I was in and out of churches for brief periods of time as a child and again as a teenager, but it didn't "stick." I mean, I knew about Jesus, and I believed He existed, but I never made any personal connection with Him. I didn't get what He had done for me, personally, and my life reflected that fact.
My teenage years were at the best tumultuous, and at the worst completely and utterly destructive. Looking back on them, it is a miracle in itself that I am still breathing. Certainly my life epitomizes the saying, "But for the grace of God goes I." During those years, I don't ever remember having any Christian friends. Now, I'm not saying that none of my friends were Christians, but I am saying that I don't consciously recall any who were open with their faith. Now, that's not to say that I didn't have friends. I had friends. I am a true extrovert and a people person. I've met very few people in my life that I haven't liked. But, to be real, that's been a problem for me. My lack of discernment has, at times, been problematic for me. I have entered into relationships of various types with people who were not beneficial for me to be around. Please hear me. I'm not saying that they were bad people, I'm just saying they weren't right for me. Regardless of that fact, however, I was drawn to them.

I try to be better about entering into relationships with people these days, but that brings with it a new set of problems: I am petrified that they won't like me. And, girls, maybe some of you can relate, but that is a terrible feeling.
And, it is something that I am wholly unfamiliar with. Can I be honest, here? I spent almost my entire twenties not caring what people thought about me. It was my mantra. Either you liked me or you didn't. I wanted you to, but if you didn't, it mattered very little to me. These days, however, it seems like my happiness rises or falls on how much I feel other people like me. Oh, and let's not even talk about the fear. And, I can't do it any more. God has been poking me about it, and I have attempted to rationalize my feelings in some manner, but I can't. There is no way to do it. It's a sin on so many different levels, and, girls, it is exhausting. I'm tired of walking on eggshells, wondering whether people will understand my sense or humor or will relate to me on a certain issue.

As some of you know, I am going through Beloved Disciple with my one of my favorite blog friends, Caroline. And, this verse from Acts was contained in one of our most recent days of study:

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Acts 3:6.

In discussing this verse, Beth Moore talked about how she was chosen to be part of a group of speakers shortly after 9/11. She said that she felt (this is my paraphrase) inadequate because she was not trained as a counselor. During this time, God brought this verse from Acts to her mind. She said she felt God was telling her that she didn't have to try to be something she wasn't, she just needed to be herself. And, girls, let me tell you, I needed to hear that! PTL!!! I just need to be myself. And, then at church this past Sunday our Pastor was preaching out of 1 Corinthians, and his sermon was on the body of Christ. Specifically, it was on how God has gifted everyone differently in the body of Christ, and although, we are all different, we are all important and significant. Hallelujah, God finds me significant, even if people do not!!!

So, I'm just going to say it, friends. I fart. Yes, in fact, I do. I also have a strange obsession with rap music, I sleep with a stuffed monkey, and sometimes I go for weeks without shaving my legs (in the winter). I have a problem with road rage, and I often speed. I can be mean, especially to the people closest to me. I like to argue, and I almost always think I'm right. I have an opinion about EVERYTHING, and I don't mind sharing them. Sometimes I'd rather sleep than shower, and I love calculus. (I mean the math class not the gross stuff they scrape off your teeth at the dentist. Hmm, is that spelled the same way as the math class...I don't know. But, while I'm making confessions, I don't floss everyday either, and I dream of tripping my dental hygienist for all the pain she puts me through...) And, I could go on and on girls.

So, my point is, I may never have the most friends, and my blog might not ever be cool, and I can't give you what I don't have (and girls, I'm going to stop trying), but I can give you what I do have. And, that is honesty, loyalty, friendship, and love. Those things I do have, and those things I give to you!


Julie said...

Oh Heather!! I'm just like you!!!!!! However I "poot" instead of farting though. Instead of a monkey I have a cuddle pillow. I cannot sleep without it and Bryan! I do not care for rap music because I cannot understand it. I never took calculus (spelled wrong??) but I have calluses on my feet and my husband was a math minor in college and he loved Calculus!!!

You are a beautiful creation of God!!! You are wonderfully made! Remember you are a new creature in HIM!! GLORY!!! GLORY!!!!

Julia said...

You're awesome, thanks for keepin' it real!!!

Heidi Zawisza said...

I just started reading your blog, and I LOVE IT! I love your undertone of humor!

Megan said...

Heather - You have no idea how much I can relate to this post. Thank you so much for writing this! I have really been struggling with insecurity lately (and it just popped up out of nowhere). It is good to know that other Sisters in Christ are going through the same issues. Thank you for your honesty. God has been showing me lately how this is a sin in my life and how I need to give it to him. Thank you for this post! Glad I came over for the giveaway! You are great!

Jenna said...

Loved this post, Heather. I am all about keeping it real and I love that you shared your heart on this subject.

Know that you are perfect just the way you are!!! I just love it when we are dealing with something and God sends us specific verses and messages to get us to think of it from HIS point of view and not our own. Awesome!!!

Josh & Sarah said...

Um, pretty much everything that I have totally gone through in the last 7 years of ups and downs. The last year of Him revealing to me more of myself and my insecurities has been good. Painful at times, but good. Thanks, as usual, for your open sharing that causes us to all stop and think. You're good at that! And I agree with Heidi Z. that your humor is much loved!

petrii said...

Wow can I relate. I have a huge "need" (yeah I know it's not a need, but sure feels like it sometimes) to be liked, and have always cared an extreme amount about what others think of me, but God is so doing a work in my life. He is helping me to rely on Him and He's teaching me that He is enough!!

Thank you for being so honest; it is refreshing and Great dear one.

Anonymous said...

I love you. You!!! I love your flaws. Because it let's me show mine. With you I have freedom to say, look I'm not perfect. You want to hide one of your greatest gifts, Heather. You are real. You are not perfect, guess what no one is. And with you, I can be me. What a beautiful gift. You Rock!!! ThANKS

Kristen said...

I love that you posted about this topic, it's something I'm learning more and more the older I get.
I love how God used Beth's study to bring the point home.
I too love rap music and have some serious road rage! I even like listening to rap on my drive home :)
We love the Wii so far, it just stinks that we go thome so late with it! I don't know if we have b-ball I'll have to check it out...and stretch before attempting! Thanks for the heads-up and for the honest post, loved it!

Kristen said...

*sorry I used the work love SO many times in my comment...guess I was feeling the love* :)

Julie said...

Just emailed you...love your post! Love the verse about "what we have, we give" because you know that I'm all about that - I give even if noone really wants it!

Caroline said...

To God Be The Glory!!!!!!! We love honesty!!!!! We only want the real you and that is what you are gonna give us!!!!!!! THis was just beautiful Heather!!!!!!!!