Don’t you love those seasons in your life when you have ample opportunity to realize a number of areas your character needs MAJOR help?
Everyone told me planning a wedding is stressful, everyone tells me marriage is hard, but there’s something else I’m experiencing and it’s really giving me a run for my money.
Over the last several months, I feel as though every insecurity I have ever battled has leapt to the surface and been magnified times about a thousand. I’m writing about it in the hopes you’ll be able to relate or even better, be encouraged.
One of the most defining lines I have ever read was in Donald Miller’s Scary Close.
“I used to think I was an honest, authentic person so I would rehearse honest and authentic lines before coming out from behind the curtain.”
I’ve always considered myself to be a genuine person, but at this time of parties and transition and a new home and a new family and conflicts to be worked out with my own family, I have seen a side of myself that thrives on performance and the approval of man, at the expense of my own peace.
Just the other day, I wept as I considered that some people in my life may not like some of the choices Lucas and I are planning to make as a married couple. I was torn apart thinking I may have disappointed them, and wondered if our relationship could survive their disapproval.
And then there’s all the people who are helping us with the wedding. Rather than feel absolutely elated for the support, my first instinct has been guilt. Guilt for people exerting effort, hoping desperately I’m worth the trouble.
These are really pathetic things, but they have been at the forefront as of late.
Another example: our home. I don’t live in yet, but I’m so excited to. It’s been challenging to be hospitable while not living there, and even more challenging to remember that people will have grace for our state of transition. Our home is not a performance, and people aren’t bringing score cards, although my psycho mind is convinced they are.
This weekend, in the midst of joy and merriment and festivities I had not one but two meltdowns of sorts because of what other people think.
Now tell me, is this any way to live.
No, it isn’t.
So, if you are reading this and you know you are in bondage to the opinions of others and feel as though you have to perform for people to love you, realize you are deceived.
I have been trying to figure out a way to change my mindset so I don’t keep coming back to this place, and last night God brought me the scripture in Romans 12, and I hope it encourages you. We can’t change our mindset until we we renew our mind.
The battlefield is in our mind, and until we are completely transformed by the power of Jesus, we will continue to be in a performative cycle. We can pretend for a few weeks that we have made victories and that we really don’t care what other people think and that we are OK in our own skin, but eventually something will cut a little too deep and we will go back to our old patterns.
So beginning today I’m going to be asking the Lord as many times as I need during the day for him to renew my mind. I need his thoughts in my soul, not my own thoughts. I need his way of doing things, rather than my own.
I’m 33 days out from marriage and I know I will have plenty of opportunities in the coming months and years to practice this, but today begins a new chapter. I choose to not be enslaved to the opinions of others and I realize I am deeply loved regardless of how I perform.
“Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes. God has given me grace to speak a warning about pride. I would ask each of you to be emptied of self-promotion and not create a false image of your importance. Instead, honestly assess your worth by using your God-given faith as the standard of measurement, and then you will see your true value with an appropriate self-esteem. In the human body there are many parts and organs, each with a unique function. And so it is in the body of Christ. For though we are many, we’ve all been mingled into one body in Christ. This means that we are all vitally joined to one another, with each contributing to the others.”