Thursday, August 26, 2010

Trusting in Him

I grew up being painfully shy.  I don't know which played the bigger role - something in my genetic makeup or simply spending my childhood years at the mercy of children who would seek to tear me down no matter how hard I tried to pull myself back up.  Regardless, I've never been outgoing and had very little confidence in myself.  For years, I allowed myself to continue to be a victim of a past which I was probably the only person to actually vividly recall.  What good does that do???  Not any good at all.  Forgiveness is oftentimes difficult.  Realizing in recent years that it was necessary to forgive in order to move on, I did just that.  With the help of a lot of prayer, I was finally able to let go of all of those things that have happened in my life and just forgive.  It is amazing what that will do for you!!  I can look at things a lot differently because of that.

So then what happened??  Well, the self-confidence issues were still there.  The insecurities of my adult life were so deeply rooted in my past that it was still affecting my ability to view myself in the most positive light regardless of having forgiven.  Earlier this year, I attended a book study through church.  It was based on Beth Moore's book, "So Long Insecurity: You've Been a Bad Friend to Us".  I learned SO much through that study.  I realized sitting amongst an amazing, wonderful group of women that I was not alone in my feelings.  I wasn't "weird" or "crazy" or "odd" because of my feelings.  Guess what??  It made me realize that even some of the most confident people out there have security issues!!  It made me see things a little better from the other side - that perhaps people's actions towards me all those years were rooted in their own insecurities!  Lucky me!!

I love this verse:

Psalm 139:14 (The Message)

 13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
      you formed me in my mother's womb.
   I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
      Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
      I worship in adoration—what a creation!
   You know me inside and out,
      you know every bone in my body;
   You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
      how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
   Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
      all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
   The days of my life all prepared
      before I'd even lived one day.

Ok, so I get it.  I am "fearfully and wonderfully made" and I am worth something.  My life may not be all horseshoes, rainbows and lollipops as some people's appear to be.  But I am worthy.  If I believe that God created me, shaped me, and knew me before I was born, then I am worth FAR more than I have EVER given myself credit for.  It matters not what other people's opinions are if I hold on to that belief.  And that holds true for YOU as well!  If you hold on to this, then there's a whole lot of junk you can just get rid of!

Now, all of that said, I got rid of a lot of emotional "junk" but somehow some of that junk crept back in to my life.  I guess I wasn't doing a good job of hanging on to that passage.  Either that or it was the stress over the events of the past months with my mother's illness and eventual passing, and with all we deal with where Peyton is concerned - particularly the lack of a consistent in-home nurse for her and yet another surgery to worry about just around the corner (her 18th surgery in case you were counting).  Regardless, Tuesday was not a good day for me!!

Tuesday started out as any other day does.  There was nothing particularly special about the day.  Yet what transpired over the next couple hours was just all wrong.  My mood shifted after Ron returned from a meeting with the school where we're trying to set up homebound services for Peyton.  It just set me off.  It felt like nothing was being done.  Just like it feels like nothing is being done about Peyton's home nursing situation.  I blew everything out of proportion based on a few facts which I may or may not have gotten straight.  Before I knew it, I spiraled into being the victim - the "woe is me" character that I do not want to be.  Don't get me wrong - we have a LOT on our plates...and we've had to deal with more than a lot of people deal with in a lifetime in just the ten years we've been married.  

When you lose that trust in God, even if for a moment, you can lose yourself as evil sneaks in and tries to tear down the person you really are.  At the time I wouldn't have said I lost my trust, but looking back, yes I did.  If I trusted Him that all would be taken care of, I would not have wound up in the state I was in that day.  I wouldn't have held the make up of my family in comparison to those who have it all.  Truly, I don't think anyone "has it all".  Bad things don't happen just to me.  There's plenty of folks out there would could tell stories!  I had my moment and then just felt miserable.

I felt miserable because in the midst of all of this, Tuesday evening was going to be eventful for me.  Going back to my self-confidence, on Sunday at church I took a risk.  I stepped out and did something that people with low self-confidence don't do.  I felt enough confidence in ME that I could audition to be a member of our church worship choir.  Yes, me.  The same me who daily thinks that I'm "not good enough" in so many areas. But something came over me and I wanted to sign up.  I love to sing - especially at church.  I feel so much closer to God when worshiping at church through song.  The thought of an audition - me in front of someone else - terrified me.  Yet I took that risk and signed myself up!!  The events of the morning left me really feeling unworthy of taking this risk later in the day, however.  How awful I felt for most of the rest of the day that I could let that evil spirit invade me and make me feel so unworthy on a day when I was saying, hey, I want to be a part of something at church where I can even further express my relationship with God.

Things improved a little later in the day.  I found out in the afternoon that Peyton's homebound services were getting established and someone (I know not who) will be here on Monday afternoon.  She'll get all kinds of services, so I don't know if it's the teacher or a therapist who is coming.  But things are moving in the right direction after I felt sure that they were not just hours earlier.  A little while later, I got a phone call from the nursing company who is trying to find a full time nurse for Peyton.  They had someone who was going to come out the next day and orient with the nurse manager at our place.  Ok, so I haven't heard how all of that wound up working out, as that was yesterday, but we had someone out here!  It was yet another step in the right direction.

Terrified as I was, I made my way to church for my audition.  I could barely fill in the information form when I got there because I was shaking so much.  The person I would be auditioning for has absolutely amazing vocal talent.  As much as I wanted to do this, I couldn't imagine taking my voice and sharing that in front of someone so talented!  All of a sudden, here was my moment to shine.  All of those self-confidence issues were ever-present in my mind.  I prayed and did my best to be bigger than those issues.  Something stirred in me to want to be in this moment and here I was.  This was where my confidence in myself and my trust in God were right there side by side.  Both of those things needed to be at very high levels in order to get through the audition that followed - trusting in God first, above all! 

It was my cue to start and, wouldn't you know it, nothing came out of my mouth when I meant to start singing!!  I think that happened twice actually.  No, I was not cut off or thrown out of the chapel after that happened.  We proceeded and, surprisingly, I felt like I actually did a pretty decent job!  I was very proud of myself.  At the end of it all, she told me she could tell me right then about the results.  I must have mis-heard or misunderstood what she said because I was convinced it was one of those "nice try, but...." moments.  Then she said something else and I actually had to ask for clarification.  I did misunderstand!!  She was telling me I was IN.

So here's what I took from everything at the end of the day.  I allowed all of the negative into my life Tuesday morning - even stuff I dredged up out of nowhere just to add to the misery.  I put myself into a position of feeling very unworthy and not very self-assured at all.  By the end of the day, God showed me!!  He showed me what HE can do.  He took the schooling issue and made it good by having someone available to be here Monday for Peyton.  He took the nursing issue and made it good by having someone out here Wednesday to orient in the home.  I haven't heard anything on the matter as to whether or not this nurse will actually be her full time nurse, but He's having me trust in Him just a bit longer until we figure that out.  At the very least, He allowed me to see that people ARE working on that situation.  He took my lack of self-confidence and turned it into me auditioning for the church choir and actually getting in!  What an incredible boost that was for me.  He showed me I was worthy.  To have a third party person listen to me who never had done so before and tell me that I was good enough?!?!?!  WOW.  Thank you God!!

There was only one lingering issue at the end of the day that He didn't seem to address.  That's the big issue of me versus the "rainbows and lollipops" people of the world.  In reality, I think He did address that issue - by not addressing it.  It's just junk - let it go.  Why??  Go back to Psalm 139:14.

Lesson learned:
Philippians 4:13 (New Living Translation)
13 For I can do everything through Christ,[a] who gives me strength.

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