Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Once upon a time...
Once upon a time I was talking to a woman about being transparent.
Once upon a time I told her about how it needed to happen in our church walls....needed to be breathed out. Needed to break the porcelain molds that hold us in, and needed to shatter the "churchy-ness" that American Christianity perpetuates.
Once upon a time...she asked me why.
This woman I trust....I respect, this wonderfully wise, calm, yoda-esque woman.
And then began my journey....cause I just wasn't sure why all of the sudden.
Thankfully she took the time to help me understand why.
And here was her advice....go right to that place where I feel most anxious. The thing that makes me clamor and stress. I could list a variety of them, her advice was to go to the thing that pops first in my mind, I'd know what it was.
For me it was when I send an email (especially on a vulnerable subject) or put myself out there somehow and then hear nothing. You know when you were younger and you used to get called to talk to the principal....that feeling of impending doom? That feeling that comes up when your mom used to say "We need to talk?".....no? You must've been a better kid than me.
It might sound silly but it sends me into a panic. She then encouraged me to follow that rabbit trail all the way to the end...asking myself all the hard questions that come with that fear.
Here's what it looked like for me:
What if I don't hear anything? What if they think I'm an idiot? What if they're judging me? What if I was too harsh? What if I shouldn't have said anything? What if they don't like me? What if they don't talk to me anymore? What if I've lost my good standing in their eyes?
There were many more "what ifs", and each one fired off a sensor in my mind that made me terrified.
This woman's advice to me was that if you follow it long enough you'll understand what you're believing about yourself that is not true.
For me it was this:
I am believing that if others don't like/accept/appreciate/affirm me...it means I am not worth much.
And that's obviously a lie.
It starts with being transparent with ourselves. With our God.
"God. I am scared. I am scared I might be right about myself. Scared they might be right about me. Scared of what will happen if I'm not accepted."
That beginning thought to transparency, agreement to tell the truth about where we are, honesty with ourselves and God puts us in the best position to hear truth.
Truth about ourselves. Our worth. Mainly our God--because hearing the truth about ourselves and our worth are really just stories about what he's done to declare wonderful things about who we are in him.
I'm trying to learn to start there. So I can finish well with him.
Posted by Jenn at 1:58 PM