Saturday, January 19, 2013

Confession Time

It's time for a confession.  It's not always easy for me to admit these things but I do find that it can be very healing.

I struggle big time with feeling inadequate.  Which makes me want to please people constantly.   Which makes me feel like I have to do whatever anyone else wants me to do.  Which makes it hard for me to trust my decisions.  Which makes me very unsure of myself.  Which makes me change my mind a lot.

WHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That's a load off! ;-)

This can be so debilitating at times.  When I have to make a decision to start or stop or drop or add something, I agonize about it for days.  I'll make the decision and then all it takes is someone suggesting I do the opposite or raising their eyebrow for me to start doubting that I did the right thing.  I feel like a yo-yo a lot!  I'll get very clear direction from the Lord sometimes and know that is where I need to go and yet, still feel in bondage to other people's thoughts and words.

It doesn't just affect me, but also my husband and children too.  If I feel like someone is in disagreement with my husband, I'll start barraging him with questions about why he said or did something.  My husband has a very clear call from God to challenge people in their thinking about social justice and their thoughts towards the poor and other issues.  He is in prayer and God's word constantly and I agree with him and think like him.  He doesn't preach on it constantly, but only as it comes up in whatever book of the Bible he is in.  Yet, I'll still argue that he should or shouldn't say something because it will make people uncomfortable or "mad". 

As we were talking (me haranguing him) last night, he looked at me and said, "Terri, your wedding vows were to me, and not the church/denomination/other people."  "God wants you to be loyal to me and encourage me, not worry about what everyone else thinks."  OUCH.  He's right though.  That brought me up short. 

My allegiance is supposed to be to Christ and what He calls me to do.  My allegiance is to my husband and children.  I am proud of my husband and see God's hand on him.   My children are wonderful kids and yet, I choose others over them all the time because I'm afraid.  Afraid of their disapproval.  Their disagreement.  The fear they may not love or like me or my family.

I don't want to live in fear of this anymore.  I don't want to spend my days worrying that someone may be mad or why did they say that or what did they mean by that comment.  

I want to live in the freedom I have in Christ.  

So, confession time is over.  I shared this because perhaps some of you struggle with the same thing.  Let's encourage and pray for one another that we can break free of this!

23 comments:

  1. I love your honesty Terri, because bringing things into the open and exposing them always makes them lose their power. I spent the first half of my life as a people-pleaser, but with God's help I am spending the second half of my life in freedom.

    I believe that if I do things with a genuine attitude of love and care, then it matters not what others think. God knows my heart, and those closest to me know me well enough to know my heart too.

    We can never keep everyone happy, no matter how hard we try. Let it go dear Terri. love you! xxx

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  2. Thank you, Tina! Dan reminds me of that quite often too. :-)

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  3. As I say in We All Married Idiots, Dan needs you to be his wife. He doesn't need you to be his boss. A lesson I had to learn too! Hugs, my friend.

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    1. Funny story, Elaine. One day I was telling Dan about some announcement he needed to make. I was telling him to make sure he said such and such. He looked at me and said, "Why don't you just make it." I said, "I don't want everyone to think I'm in charge." He said, "If you really aren't in charge, then you'll let me make the announcement anyway I'd like." lol Good point! I'm learning, but it's a slow process.

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  4. My goal over the 27+ years we have been in ministry is to spend asmuch time as I can in God's Word and prayer focusing on Jesus. In ministry it is easy to become people pleaders, but I would rather have God's smile. And our husbands are usually right about their wives!! :-)

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    1. That's my goal too, Jody. Unfortunately, I'm not always doing what I should!

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  5. I think you are a wonderful person with a big heart, and in the long run I'm sure you do the right thing!
    Hey, thanks for the sweet comment on the baby blanket. I'm sorry it's taken me a month to get back to you. Where does the time go? Hope you're doing well!

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    1. Thank you, Clare! I appreciate that.

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  6. Yet, I'll still argue that he should or shouldn't say something because it will make people uncomfortable or "mad".

    Truth has the tendency to make people, including myself uncomfortable. G.Dogg's relentless pursuit of truth is unique in a world where we're barraged by false assumptions, myths are repeated out of tradition and misrepresentations of the truth are accepted because nobody cares to refute them.

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    1. Thanks Chris and you are right, truth will make people uncomfortable and that's not always a bad thing. Sometimes uncomfortable is exactly what God wants us to feel!

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  7. hi Terri, you have mentioned it before, what do you mean "preaching social justice"?

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    1. Oops, sorry! First of all, who am I speaking to? It helps to know. LOL!!! Basically, all I mean by that is that God has a heart for the poor and that we, as believers in Jesus Christ, should have that same heart. A heart to reach out to the less fortunate around us - homeless, widows, single moms, orphans, the poor, etc. There are many churches that have more of a health, wealth & prosperity gospel. We believe that not only people are sinful, but also the system is corrupt. So our job, as believers is to make a difference in individuals lives, but also to make a difference at a systemic level too. Is that clearer?

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    1. I don't know how to explain it clearer. Is there something particular you don't understand?

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  9. by making a difference in the systemic level,I have not heard that before, Maria : )

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    1. Ahhhh, gotcha now! An example would be the old adage, "Give a man a fish and feed him for a day." "Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." I would take it one step further. What if his place by the stream is denied? Or what if the stream is polluted? There are things going on within the system that are corrupt and keep people wallowing in poverty.

      By Christians getting involved in those systems of government and trying to make a difference, it may actually change things. Also, the church needs to step up and actually start doing some of the things to help people that aren't being done effectively by the government. It's through those two areas, that we can actually make a difference in people's lives.

      Anyway, this is such a huge topic and really hard to explain it this way, but I hope that helps you a bit more.

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    2. Thank you...maria

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  10. The warm fireplaceJanuary 20, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    I remember the same agony you feel,i spent a few decades doing things to please people and made myself ill at the end of it, now i will say to someone "in love" that i cannot do whatever i am asked, or i will step back and think before i answer.
    To me it matters what God and my husband think, and in the list of those whom come first it God then our husbands, then children, then family and infact church friends come further down the list, so i look at all these things before i say yes, is it God led, will it impact negatively on my husband/children. I have had to learn to say no i do not worry about being liked or disliked, you have to be yourself.
    You cannot be all things to all people. Dan is right you made your vows to him, step back and look at the things that are bothering you, sometimes God brings things to to notice for us to deal with ie; like clearing out a messy cupboard, if that makes sense. I will keep you in my prayers.
    God bless sue

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    1. Sue, I always appreciate your willingness to share your past struggles. You are so right and thank you for your prayers!

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  11. Hi Miss Terri,
    My bible time this morning revealed this little nugget of truth and I thought of how you were trying to clarify a concept and I love being able to have bible verse to quote so this one is for you.
    Abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor,
    But it is swept away by injustice. Proverbs 13:23
    Take care,
    In love with Him,
    cmarie

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    1. Thank you for sharing that Marie. My husband's favorite verse is Proverbs 29:7 ~ "The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern." God's word is full of verses like that. Injustice does more to keep poverty going than anything else.

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  12. You've written posts before on "taking every thought captive", well I think you need to do that in this case. You have always struggled with this aspect of your personality in always wanting to please others.

    You are so compatent in all that you do and you are a take charge individual. There is nothing that you cannot do when you put your mind to it but your one weak point, as you point out in this post, is that you constantly stuggle with pleasing others.

    As your mom, I know your heart and your love for God, so I think that you need to take this area of your life and turn it over to him and ask him to help you to be true to him and to yourself by first, taking every decision before him before you make a definate decision and once that decision is made...feeling sure that God is in it and then stand firm in your faith that you have made the right decision.

    In the book of James in the 1st chapter, it says that we should not waiver in our faith because "he that waivereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." It also says that "a double minded man is unstable in all his ways". So I think you just need to make sure that you take your serious decisions before the Lord, find out what he wants you to do, then stand firm like a rock in that decision. You will always be faced with these dilemmas if you don't learn to do that.

    I love you and don't mean this comment to be negative in any way but as an incouragement to let God help you in this area and then learn to leave it with him.

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    1. Hi Mom, no I didn't take it as negative. I know you love me and want to encourage me. Thank you! Love you!

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I love your comments and encouragement! I can't always respond back but do cherish each comment.