Monday, April 15, 2013
So here comes the battle already.
Yesterday I wrote about my thoughts on this time of letting God define my beauty, my self worth, etc. These thoughts have been encompassing my thoughts a lot about Facebook and other social media elements and I find myself thinking twice before I post anything and asking "why do I need to post this? What do I want from this? Am I looking for something"
I realize as I have started to think through this that this is a place that God has me in right now. That it is less a criticism of society as a whole, although maybe something to be looked at, but more about what God is showing, teaching me, etc.
This morning as I was getting ready I was listening to Beth Moore online and she was talking about the Isrealites I believe in Exodus 40 and how He told them to remove all their ornaments. This is something very physical and outward to what I am sensing God is asking of me as a whole of who I am.
She said this...
"You come clean before me. No other form of security. Nothing else that makes you feel good about yourself. NOthing you're hiding behind. You just come clean before me."
My self esteem has been rocky to say the least for a long time now. I think it really broke when I was pregnant the first time with Ashton. I had no control of my outer beauty and felt like I lost who I was physically. How little did I know at that time that I was or would lose so much more of myself than just the outer.
I question my worth in all apsects of life, looking for others to validate me and give me meaning. I have tried to find it by wanting to be a successful blogger, a marathoner, be really involved in ministry and wanting those people to tell me I am godly and how much they see my worth and want to use me to serve, etc. etc. And its almost like in all these situations I am giving them my question.
You know, you've heard that before, asking them my questions of "am I worth it? am I good enough? am I godly? am I desireable? am I valuable?" and I lay it at their feet in ultimate vulnerability waiting and hoping for some stroke of my ego, some validation, some meaningful and life giving answer to my questions. Sometimes I get a fraction of what I was wanting, but most of the time I get the exact opposite. Sometimes the way people respond to me has crushed me because I wear it like their response to me IS my identity.
And these are questions I feel like I am subconsciously asking through my social media use. And yes, I do think that I find myself "self hating" because watching other people's lives makes me feel like my life is "less awesome" and I take that on, or I have.
So having written about it yesterday and thinking about it, listening to what Beth was saying this morning and feeling that God was speaking it to me directly about letting Him create an inner beauty during this time. I suppose again, finding my identity in Him, bringing Him my questions. And with all this in mind I came across this Relevant article called "Stop Instagramming Your Perfect Life"and because it talks about so many things that I had been thinking I posted it on Facebook.
I immediately got, in my opinion, "negative" feedback. Certainly not the responders intentions I would presume, yet to me, it immediatley hit me. One comment in particular cut to my heart, as if it was intended to do so. I immediately saw this as an attack to so much that God is saying to me, teaching me, speaking to me. It seemed clearly obvious.
I sat there in Barnes n Noble watching Ashton playing trains and that familiar anxious feeling arose in my heart. At this exact moment I told Ashton it was time to go and he started throwing a fit. Being pregnant I can't just pick him up like I used to and I am never sure what to do in those situations. Freak out, yell, spank, who knows? Well I went with pick him up, despite my best judgement and he kicked off his flip flops. I am feeling flustered now and ask my mom to help me find his flip flops. A woman with a stroller says "its over here and almost hit my child" all snotty. Oh yes ma'am, get mad at my three year old for kicking his shoe at your kid...please, that helps! I said "well he didn't do it on purpose" and she says "well he almost hit a baby". My mom told her she needed to calm down. WHEW! All of this within 5 mintues. Usually these things litterally crush me. Call that crazy, but that is where I have been with my mind. The weight of these things began to crush me and the usual tapes began to play and that burning heart heaviness layed across my chest.
I felt like I wanted to run away and I had to process it all over the next couple hours, let it go, let God defend me and realize it all for what it was.
The great thing about this incident, was that over the next few days I find my fight starting to rise up in me again. Like I am NOT going to take this crap anymore. I am TIRED of being afraid, for GREATER IS HE who is in me, then he who is in the world.
I have also been listening to Beth's "When godly people do ungodly things" and she was talking about how we have this emptiness in us, like beggars. She was talking about Is 61 and Jesus calling to the poor and how usually we think its the physically poor but that it can also be the spiritually, mentally, heart poor. We take our beggars cup around asking our friends, family, etc. They try, they do their best, they encourage us in that moment but then....we get home and our cups are still empty. God is the only one that can truly make a difference to our cups, our meaning, freedom, etc. In yet another teaching from her she said but so applicable here is " one of the most important things we can do to be effective Christians is to let people off the hook for not being God" . So often I get annoyed, let down, hurt by people because they can't be what I need, and that is actually something that was created for only God to fill.
Posted by Ashley Jackson at 9:43 AM