Here are some truths: I’m not always a “good” person. I have made plenty of mistakes. I continue to make mistakes. I fail in my relationships, friendships, job, faith, etc. There are many decisions I have made that cause me to feel ashamed. Words have come out of my mouth that were hurtful and untrue. I have had unkind thoughts and feelings more often that I can even count. I am not writing this blog to make myself feel superior in any way. I write, hopefully, so others will see how God took an imperfect and flawed woman; and loved her and helped her learn to stand again. But more importantly, how he continues to love her as she constantly stumbles along the way while drastically trying to find her footing in this life’s journey.
Another truth is that I am desperately afraid of failure. I will hang onto a person or an experience or an idea or a choice much longer than I should because I do not want to admit defeat. I will allow myself to stay in a situation where I am made to feel small, just so I can say I didn’t retreat or give up. I will permit someone to belittle the person I am to avoid confrontation. And then, there I am, looking at myself in the mirror and thinking “You’ve come so far. You’ve gotten so strong. You got your groove back…why are you giving it away?”
Third truth: I’m a huge people pleaser. I like to be liked. I don’t necessarily need you to think that I’m smart or pretty or talented, but I need you to like me as a human being. I would also like you to think that I have excellent manners (but to be quite fair, that’s my mother’s doing). Now, to be perfectly clear, if I don’t respect you then I truly don’t care how you feel about me. Respect is huge to me. I mean, it’s not like I care what my ex-husband thinks of me…which shows HUGE amounts of progress on my part; however, if I respect you, then I am desperately seeking your approval. Constantly. Yes, even at 33.
Truth No 4: I love bows.
The funny thing about people is that many would look at these truths of mine and see them as failures. Many would see “fear of failure” as failure itself. I prefer to think of it as “constantly seeking to be better.” The real truth is: Personal truths are not universal truths. In life, many times, you are going to meet fellow humans who don’t share your personal truths. Who don’t even understand your personal truths. Who can’t comprehend where your personal truths come from. I don’t really know why I am the way I am. My sisters aren’t like me. My parents aren’t like me. My mother will stand on the front lines of confrontation and take you down in a single sentence. My father will graciously shake the hand of a man who has said terrible things about him, without giving it a second thought. I can’t do that. That’s not in my make up. I would run from the confrontation and spend the rest of the evening trying to convince the man that he should totally like me while giving him a bullet pointed list of reasons why.
Lately, when I’ve stumbled and failed and disappointed, I’ve felt so ashamed. I hate to feel like I’m moving backwards. I hate to feel like I’ve been given a chance to succeed and I’ve blown it. I hate to feel a depression start to creep back in when I’ve worked so hard to suppress those feelings. In these not so wonderful moments, when my personal truths have me doubting myself, I’ve realized the answer is to turn to the only universal truth. Friends, sometimes you just gotta get back to the word of God. Yes, his word reminds me that I am loved and worthy and that my life has a purpose. But his word also keeps me in check. His word is a reminder of when I fail in my spiritual life and when I fail in becoming the person I was created to be. His word keeps me accountable. His word keeps me honest. His word keeps me humble. His word emphasizes the way I am called to live my life. His word is what I must stand by and own and project. His word, and his word alone, must become my personal truth.
Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”