Don't you just love it when something triggers a memory and you can actually hear the voice, in your head, of someone who offered you advice? Today the voices of both my parents are ringing in between my ears. This is what they are saying... "you have to develop thicker skin!" It wasn't until I was an adult (100 or so years ago...) that I realized my family has more euphemisms than most families do. For those of you reading this that don't have a clue as to the meaning of that phrase...my parents were not wishing callouses on me, instead they were telling me to not let so many things bother me, especially things that people say to or about me.
I wish I knew where my desire to want to please everyone around me comes from. I know this is a huge component of my insecurity. I often live my life trying to please those around me. The sad thing is that it is often I want to please people who really don't matter in the larger scope of my life. What I mean by that is this... I don't only want to please Chad, Eric, Emily and Ellen, but I also want to make the grocery store clerk smile or make the lady at church thrilled with something I've done. Why? What does it matter what those people think?
Here's the rub... I pick and choose what I let bother me. A comment that is really offensive to me one day will most likely not bother me the next. Why? I don't know!! It's crazy, really.
Over the past 7 years I have endured a lot of comments about homeschooling my kids. Some of these have been less than nice and yet, they really don't bother me. I've realized, lately, that homeschooling is one area that I am more secure than insecure. I have days where I wonder what on earth I am doing, but mostly, I am confident that God has called me to this. I figure if someone really wants to tell me they think I'm screwing up my kids, they can take it up with God. As I sit here and think about this, I realize that I am so confident that God calls each of us to different things that I am confident that though He has called me to homeschool my kids, He has equally called my sisters to send my nieces and nephews to their local schools. This is the security and confidence that I long for in all areas of my life.
Lately, church has been a big struggle for me. For some reason, several women at our little church have decided to tell me (or tell others...) that they don't agree with something I've done. Writing this out helps me realize how petty this is but the pain in my heart doesn't feel petty. I've had women tell me that they disagree with how Chad and I spend our money. Isn't that crazy! We were actually helping a few families and they didn't think we should be doing that and have actually told me so! I've also had women tell me that they don't agree with me opening my home to offer a Bible study. The issue for them is that this takes me away from the women's Bible study our church offers.
Once again, God is using my writing this blog to work things through in my heart. If you were sitting here with me and told me this was happening in your life, I would laugh and tell you not to worry about them. They are not God, He is. If He calls you to something, obey without concern of other's opinions. I need a dose of my own advice, don't I? I think it is so much more than developing thicker skin, it is finding confidence that He is God, He has called me to obey Him and He will take care of the rest.
See how I crack myself up? By taking the responsibility of what these women think of what I am doing, I am feeding my own insecurity. Weeks ago, I should have surrendered all of these statements and more to Him...laid them at His feet and walked away. He alone is big enough to handle them and I would have lived the last weeks much more secure in His providence in my life.
Ah... I have so far to go....
On a lighter note, I have to share another way that God is working on my insecurities. When I blogged the last post on insecurity, I mentioned my insecurities even writing this blog. Yesterday I found out that I have no idea how many people are reading this and how it has ministered to others while it is ministering to me (I LOVE how God works!). I don't live in a big city but because of life circumstances, I have friends in town that I don't see often. My friend, Julie K, is that. She and I became friends at MOPS probably 10 years ago. While having lunch out with other friends, Julie approached me and complimented me on my blog. I had no idea she had even read any of it. Her encouragement to me showed me that God is willing to use me even with my imperfections. It was a great reminder to not be paralyzed by insecurity. Thanks Julie!!