I think it’s kinda funny, since God can be a very humorous sorta deity, that the word “longing” makes up the majority of the word “belonging”.
I mean, isn’t that what we all long for, at least part of the time? We want to belong. We want to be part of something. We want to be accepted and loved. We long to BE.
I’ve spent most of my life not knowing where I belong, never being sure of myself. I was never gripped by a desire to do something so much that I “just knew” it was my “calling”, it was what I was supposed to do.
I’m sure that a lot of people who know me in real life may not think words like “insecure”, “doubting”, “confused” and “aimless” describe me, but they do. I mean, they sure describe how I feel about myself.
I hate the feeling I have when I’m chatting in a small group or even one on one. Before long, another person comes along and suddenly all attention is toward that person who (usually) I don’t know. It’s not that I’ve lost the person’s attention but that I sorta cease to exist. Maybe it’s just me. But I don’t know what to do with myself.
This happens on a pretty regular basis and it’s not with one particular person or group. And I don’t even think people realize that it bothers me. I feel like, “Okay…no one’s talking with me anymore. No one is including me in this conversation. Do I leave? I feel like I’m eavesdropping or creeping if I just hover around the outside of this circle. Do I say bye? See ya later? I don’t know what I’m supposed to do!” Most of the time, I’ll just wander quietly away, leaving the group or the other two people talking. Most of the time, I don’t think anyone notices.
I really need to know if I’m the only one this happens to. I mean, if not, then thank God and give me some tips on how to deal with it. But if I am “the only one” who experiences this, well shoot, that’s pretty doggone sad!!
So with that little glimpse inside my mind, you should get a sense of how I feel a lot of the time. Just insecure, uncertain if people like me, doubtful that they want to talk with me, confused about how I can feel this way but be able to get up in front of a roomful of people and give a talk.
I’ve pondered this a lot, as you might imagine. Why am I this way? Why do I feel so unsure about whether I am liked by others, whether I’m wanted in a particular group? The conclusion I’ve drawn is that I still carry a statement in my head that my mother said to me once. Don’t worry. This isn’t gonna become a mom-blaming post. I love my mom, but she said something to me once that I’ve carried with me. Well, no. That makes it sound like I choose to carry it. It has just followed me, stuck on a loop in my mind sometimes. Other times, I only hear it when something like the above situation happens.
I was probably around ten or eleven years old at the time. We were probably at a baptism or something after church. I remember being in a sort of overgrown area, gravel and bunches of Queen Anne’s lace and clover. Baptisms were done outside in the creek, of course! My closest friend had asked if I wanted to come play ball at her sister’s house with all her other siblings. She was the youngest of six so three of her siblings were already married and having kids. I went to ask Mom if I could go. She immediately said no, which was usual. We were never allowed to go many places without Mom being there, too. I protested and she said, “They don’t really want you over there. She’s just being nice and inviting you.”
At the time, all I remember feeling was fury. I was so mad at her for not letting me go. It wasn’t until decades later that I realized I still hear those words in my head whenever I’m in a crowd or trying to decide whether to go to a party or a shower or any sort of gathering. I hear, “You aren’t wanted in that group. Nobody really cares if you are there. They don’t like you. They won’t tell you not to come, but that’s only because it would look bad if they did. They just don’t want you.”
I would never tell my mom this. As a mother myself, my heart breaks when my boys let slip with something I said to them that was really hurtful. I don’t want to hurt her, so I would never tell her about this. (don’t worry. she thinks the internet is where the devil lives, so she’ll never find my blog or anyone else’s for that matter!)
Finally pinning down the root of this thing has been good for me. I’m not comparing my mother with satan, but these days when I hear those words, I know he is the one saying them. Sometimes it takes me awhile to realize after I’ve already let the sting of rejection wash over me, but I’m trying to get better at that.
That’s how I feel about my book. I get these nudges that I feel must be from God that I should write it and I feel that some of the things in it would be helpful for others who are struggling…be it depression or a marriage problem like we had or just knowing someone else out here has and is dealing with the same things. Then here comes that voice…“Why in the world would anyone want to read about you! laughter You’re nobody and your little life is nothing to be excited about. You can’t even put the words together anymore, so how will you do it anyway?”
Today, when my ancient laptop refused to boot up, I instantly started hearing “This is a sign that you should give up on the book.” I have my draft saved on here. Over 8,000 words that I worked hard to get out of me. The thought of doing it again was horrific! So, I am going to save my draft to a thumb drive. I know. It’s about time, right?Obviously, the hubby came home and “fixed” my computer with just a few keystrokes. I don’t ask questions, I just go with it. And I continue to ponder the latest sermon series at church…all about growth.
It has just been like an extra push when I’m sitting there listening and there’s scriptural confirmation that I need to “just do it”, as they say. This one really hit me hard…
“It is difficult to sense the presence of God in your life when you ignore the purpose God has for your life.”
The “main point” of becoming a Jesus follower is to lead others to follow Jesus. So in that way, we all know what our purpose is. We don’t have to wonder. Your way of leading people to Jesus is probably a lot different than mine. I feel like within that “main point” lies our purpose, our gift, our God-given talent. If we will focus ourselves on “the main point”, then our purpose, our “reason for being” will become clear. Does that make sense? For instance, if you have a musical talent, you can use that talent without the “main point” in mind or you can do what you love, what you’re best at, as a starting point to show others the love of Christ. Like if your gift was music…you could play and sing just any old songs, or you could use your talents to share Christ with people. See?
Okay, well I’m just going to hope this made sense to you. It seems to take me so long to get posts together anymore that I am writing a single post in two or more sessions and I lose my focus. I really hate that and am hoping to get past this soon. I have a ton of stuff to catch you up on but for now, I’ll close this one.