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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bad Attitude

Confession: I have a bad attitude.
Truth: If you know me, you probably already know this.

Not about everything and everyone, though. Just some things. And man, I get pretty passionate about those things.

In my head, I don't have that bad of an attitude. It's more that I'm stating my opinion. When things work and are decent I'm pretty apathetic, really. I enjoy the good stuff, don't get me wrong. The good memories are all stored away in my heart--promise. But the bad stuff pisses me off.

I've been working on being more positive.



Confession: I tend to be in the empty half of the glass.
Truth: I don't know why. And it takes a lot of work to think positive.

I used to be a lot worse. Ask Phil. I used to believe that anything bad could and would happen to me (and most times, it did.) I was constantly worried. Like when Phil was driving over the road without me. In the days before cell phones. There were a couple times when I couldn't get him to respond to me paging him. I don't remember why now, but what I do recall is how obsessive frantic I would get. I'd call the pager 172 times in a few hours, I'd call State Troopers along his route, not to mention calling all the hospitals along the way.

I also believed Phil would leave me. And I believed I wasn't worthy of anyone's love. I believed I was a bad person and bad things would continue to happen to me.

I'm not quite that bad anymore. But sometimes those anxieties rear their ugly heads. (more than usual lately)


Confession: I don't care if you don't like me.
Truth: I don't care if you don't like me.

It's not just something I say. I truly don't care if you don't like me. I'm not here to please you. And why should it bother me if someone doesn't like something I do or say? Is my worth resting in a human?

I have no use for some people. I tolerate very little. I tell it like it is. And most often, that gets me in trouble. Some people want to be lied to. They want to feel good about themselves so they fish for compliments or blog comments or Twitter responses or Facebook conversations...anything. Anything at all to get attention.

I might have been like that when I was younger, which is probably why I can't tolerate it now. I sought out acceptance like it was a drug.

Except it's more powerful than any drug out there.


Confession: I am judgmental.
Truth: I always have been.

Not towards everyone though. Rational, logical people very seldom are judged by me. It's the people who make no sense to me that I wonder about.

Confession: I am a hypocrite.
Truth: So are you.

We all are.


Confession: I'm not good at encouragement.
Truth: I don't know how to change that.

I've been doing this Beth Moore Bible study and in the last session something very powerful happened to me.

Let me go back to November of 2005. I was asked by my Church to attend a Lifeway Women's Leadership Training conference.

Something happened there--well, it started a little before that. I had done another Beth Moore study and she had mentioned (quite often) having a spiritual "mama," a mentor. I prayed and prayed for one and God didn't answer.

Until this leadership conference.

I had felt just a tad bit uncomfortable eating meals at the conference because it seemed everyone there was with someone else from their own church. This observation was verified by the name tags that said the name of the church as well as the attendee's name.

We were meeting in Lifeway's sanctuary for a little music from Travis Cottrell before the day's classes began. I chose a pew 5 or 6 rows from the front, scooted myself to the middle and buried my nose in the day's schedule to verify that the sessions I chose were truly the ones I wanted to attend.

The music started, I stood up and started singing along. I looked to my left. Empty. I turned to my right. Empty. I realized then that I was the only one in the very, very, long pew and I was smack in the middle. I looked forward and behind. It was the only pew in the entire sanctuary that had open seats. And I was smack in the middle.

The uncomfortableness of it all sank in. I closed my eyes and asked, "Why can't I have someone to be with? Why can't I have a mentor?"

God's answer was loud and clear, even if silent, "Am I not enough?"

He really proved a point to me that day.

For the last 5 years, I've been going at it (from an earthly prospective) alone. No human mentors, not many humans that could relate to me and my spirituality, and I've been perfectly ok with that. I stopped asking for human mentors and friends. I leaned fully upon Christ.

Last week, at the end of the Stepping Up video session, Beth Moore asked participants to stand up and move in shoulder to shoulder. Our facilitator asked us to get up and do the same. Beth explained that as sisters in Christ, we should be shoulder to shoulder at all times. We should not let the enemy penetrate our bond. We should encourage one another, be there to bear each other's burdens, love each other unconditionally, and stand this way, shoulder to shoulder.

As she was saying all this, I was standing between two women I don't know. Shoulder to shoulder. Touching. There was a line of women in front of me and behind me all shoulder to shoulder. Surrounding me and non-penetrable.

I closed my tear-filled eyes and asked, "This means something, doesn't it?"

God answered again, silently, and not near as stern as before. The answer was yes. But He didn't tell me what exactly it meant.
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7 comments:

lailani said...

Wow! Reading this stirred up many emotions and touched right on some of what I have been feeling. You in that pew alone, was such a strong image for me and I could relate to it as if I was there! It will be fun to see what God has for you in this new season :)

Elaina M. Avalos said...

I can't wait to see what God has in store for you!

Angela Giles Klocke said...

Wow...just wow. :)

Lisa said...

I can relate to many of your feelings of alone-ness and of feeling that you're the only one without a mentor.

Recently, when my husband and I became a small group leader, I inherited a mentor. Interestingly enough, he's been a friend for 15+ years; we got our engineering degrees together. He's younger than me, but he's always been one of the most spiritually mature men I've ever known.

Yet you, like me, are a grown-up in Christ. You're the mentor. You, like me, can turn and love on others, in whatever form that takes. I've found twitter friends and internet folks and local people to mentor and love on and disciple, and somehow that's really filled that spot for me. Funny how that works.

But yes -- we all stand together, shoulder to shoulder. And you are loved, even if you feel isolated. Can't wait to see where this takes you!

Kay Day said...

I completely relate to the lonely pew thing. That's how I feel most of the time, even though it is so far from the truth. Old memories and hurts have a way of warping my perception. Time for me to speak a little truth to myself.

I SO wish I didn't care if people liked me.

Kay Day said...

Oh, and I love this post! And I love the ending. Yes, it means something! I can see that. Let me know when you figure out what!

Mommy Instincts said...

nicely written, i'm glad you got to experience what you did. God works is mysterious ways.

Love you.

Jen