Are you for real?

As I was reading a friend’s post recently, I was amazed at her honesty. She was being very transparent about a struggle that she was dealing with in her life. Of course, then I read well-meaning comments that if you didn’t know the people they could make you think they were trying to “condemn” her for thinking about making a particular choice. I believe her friends were trying to encourage her to hang in there….but “perceived condemnation” is one of my personal fears about opening up to others.I am a genuine person. If I like you, you know it. If I don’t, you should. LOL! BUT, I am also one of the “mask-wearers”. I put on my happy face sometimes when I need to be willing to talk to someone about something that is a very real struggle. I can smile and say I’m fine with the best of them. And honestly, most people believe it. You know why? Because they are doing the exact same thing! The bad thing is, I pretty much know WHY, but opening myself up to change is one of those things that seems too hard to do.

So, here’s a little self-reflecting. When I was a child, I had some men in my life that I wanted desperately to love me! My dad, 2 step-dads and a couple other men that meant a lot to me. I pretended to be this “perfect” child who was smart and funny and I loved performing to get positive attention. The problem is, I didn’t get enough attention. They were happy at the time, but then I felt neglected. {I will tell you now that if you have a little girl and you are a male role model in her life (dad, grandpa, uncle, friend, etc.) PLEASE show her love and affection!!! Girls seek the approval of those around them, but especially males. They need to know (from men who don’t expect anything more out of them) that they are beautiful, smart, funny and loved unconditionally.} I felt like anything I did got me a temporary response, but then it was over. I needed more.

Unfortunately, I had 2 step-fathers who not only gave up on my mom, they gave up on me. They would say they loved me as their own and they would keep in touch, but neither did! I spent many a day crying when they were there (because they were not good people) but also many days crying because they left.  I wanted their love even though they weren’t good for my mom or me. That affected me so much in that when I became a step-mom — I actually dislike even using that word. I call myself Mom and he is my son (or bonus son if someone doesn’t understand that I didn’t actually give birth to him) — I promised myself I would love him and treat him as my own. And I believe I have done that. I would sure hope he would say that. 🙂

Now, I became a Christian at 8 (right after my 1st step-dad left us) and I have always loved God, but trusting Him has been a process that I continue to work on. It is amazing how your life experiences can so invade your world as an adult. I have grown and become more dependent on the Lord for my approval. That is a positive! But, we are human. We all still want the approval of those around us.

So, I said all that to say this–baring my soul and telling people when I am struggling with something is not something that comes naturally to me. I have a genuine distrust for people. I don’t want to say something that is important to me and have it blasted all over to other people, nor do I want people to think that I am not able to deal with things with God’s help! I WANT to trust God to heal me and listen to me, but having others say things about me would really hurt. In most ways I don’t care what people say about me, but there is that little part in me who desires to be loved, accepted, wanted, etc. I just have learned that God is the person who has to fulfill me. He is the only person who can fill the void in my heart.

That’s about as real as I can be. I am honest when I say that I wear a mask sometimes. You would probably be honest by saying that too. If not, I applaud you! But, if you are like me, I leave you with this quote.  you-are-enough-e1384619767723

Rebecca

God is action

I know that title may sound silly, but I firmly believe that God doesn’t want us to become a Christian and remain where we are. He wants us to move and change. Sometimes change comes in the form of good things and sometimes it comes in the form of difficult things, but in everything we are to grow!

The verse that spoke to me today is Isaiah 40:31 “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Some days I need my hope & my strength to be renewed. I need to focus on God and not my circumstances. I need to soar and run with someone else’s strength. How about you?

As I was reading in different versions I realized that there were 3 different words used: Wait, Hope and Trust. Although these words can be nouns or verbs, I believe they are used as verbs in this verse. They are things we should be doing!

Wait: Stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens.

Sometimes we don’t need to “react” to a situation. We need to delay our action until “something else happens”. There may be something else that will help us make the right (Godly) decision instead of acting rashly.

Trust: Believe in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of.

Trust is something that you have or you don’t have. It makes you vulnerable. People, by nature, aren’t very trusting because it opens them up for hurts. God will never hurt you, so trusting Him is something that will help you in ALL aspects of your life.

Hope: Want something to happen or be the case.

There are lots of things in life you can hope for….you can hope your favorite team wins the ball game, or you get off work early on a beautiful day. But, with God we hope in what He will do in our lives. He IS our hope.

I am really sharing this for myself today, but I do “hope” that you may get something out of it too. 🙂

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