Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Less of Me

Last weekend at church, my pastor/brother-in-law brought the entire congregation to tears. He shared some really personal struggles. He was human and vulnerable. I cried so hard that I had a headache for the rest of the day. He is many things to me: Bible teacher, Christian mentor and my brother here, since my brothers are all there, and I value his words.

In his sermon, he mentioned my blog, which so touched my heart--I cannot even explain how much. Although many friends, acquaintances, and even strangers comment about my blog, none of my family does. My family doesn't read it. My husband's family doesn't read it. My brother reads it. My husband reads it. My best friend reads it. But most people who are close--literally and figuratively a relative term--to me don't.

That hurts my heart when I let myself think about it, which I usually don't. But that is why my brother in law mentioning it made such an impact. I try really hard to encourage everyone around me. Probably because of my dad. My dad believed in me. It's pretty amazing to have a person around who believes so much in you. It also sucks particularly bad when one day that person is gone, and you realize that no one really thinks you're awesome anymore. Fortunately, without my having to say it out loud, because I am pretty bad at saying things out loud, my husband realized that I needed someone to make me feel awesome; he stepped in.

I try to be that person too. Not in a fake way. I really do believe in people. My son is 72 pounds soaking wet, but I wholeheartedly believe that if he wants to be a professional athlete, he can be. I believe that we are all capable of greatness through God. But I think we all need someone to make us feel awesome.

I don't have a whole lot to offer to this world: mercy, faith, kindness, a willing ear to listen, and a heart full of encouragement for every person that crosses my path. Sharing my journey here is therapy for me but is also my way of offering empathy. Many times I have felt saved by reading how others deal with parenting, losing loved ones, turning 40, whatever it is I am struggling with at the time.

This year, I made a lot of goals, and in the past year I made a lot of progress toward letting things and people go. I realized that I need to stop taking people's issues personally. It still hurts though. It still hurts when people who are supposed to cheer for you secretly rejoice when you fall. It still hurts when people who should support your kids make snide remarks about them. It still hurts when people think that because of the way you look on the outside your life is a certain way. Life isn't fair, and it never will be. This year begins my fourth decade, and I will strive harder than ever to walk with Jesus and make less of me so that there may be more of Him.

8 comments:

  1. Yer gonna be 40 and that's...how is that?

    Shouldn't you just let Jesus carry you like that footsteps poster?

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    1. I know...right? Mom said the other day that someone, who is way older than I am, "must be about 40 by now." I said, "Mom, I'm gonna be 40 in a few weeks." She looked at me and scoffed, "You are?"

      Yes, that is exactly what I should do, but you know what it's like to pick up a toddler who is always trying to squirm out of your arms because they want to walk? Flailing herself around to make it nearly impossible to hold onto her? That would be me.

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  2. She mentioned that she was going to have to get used to going to more funerals than birthday parties. I added, "...or weddings."

    I believe I may know know VERY well poor Jesus' dilemma here...

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    1. :( she lost three good friends in just about a month.

      i do too.

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  3. I have only met you once, and briefly at that, but the words from your heart make me think that you are pretty awesome...

    The gifts that you do have to offer: "mercy, faith, kindness, a willing ear to listen, and a heart full of encouragement for every person that crosses my path", are the greatest gifts that you can give in this, our incredibly arid and thirsty world.

    Keep writing...

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    1. Thank you, Irving. I so appreciate your kind words. The fact that you would take the time and make the effort to encourage a virtual stranger makes me think that you are pretty awesome.

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  4. My family doesn't read my blog. Some don't know I have one, and I'm happy to let it stay that way. I realized early on in my blogging journey that keeping my real life separate from what I write online, is the way it has to be for me. I am at peace with that. Still, I write as if my Mom would be reading :)

    I'm glad you have come to terms with not taking things personally. One day at a time. You'll get there!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your words. I am still coming to terms with it. Once I read a woman's account of her husband's infidelity and subsequent painful divorce. She said the best advice she got throughout the whole process was, "There's nothing personal going on here."

      You are an amazing writer, and I'm a lot blessed and a little starstruck that you took a moment to comment. Thank you :)

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