Hurt people hurt people

In the classes I teach, we talk about a little girl who is moving from her foster home to her adoptive home.  Her foster dad is upset that she is leaving, and chooses to say goodbye over the phone instead of in person.   I have thought many times that if I were ever in this situation, I would ask foster dad, “isn’t this precious little girl worth crying over?  Shouldn’t she know how important she was to you?”  I envision myself telling him to “grow some balls” and “man up” because that little girl desperately needs to know she matters.

 

Just like the foster dad in the story, I run from situations that may cause me to have a strong emotional response.   I avoid confrontation like you would not believe, and if there is a possibility that I may disappoint someone?  Count me out.   When my feelings are hurt or I am overcome with sadness, I wait until I have plenty of time alone to let the tears run down my face.   I hide my emotions because the instant people know how much they matter, I start to feel vulnerable.  And that’s not exactly my favorite feeling.

 

So….what am I trying to say?

 

Just like the little girl in the story, every person needs to know that they are important.   I’m learning that by hiding how I feel, I am communicating to the people around me that they don’t matter.   And nothing could be farther from the truth.

 

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a post about art

I absolutely hate when I go so long between blog posts.  Every single time this happens, I sit down to write something meaningful, and I’m overwhelmed by the hundreds of things I have been learning and the many different ways I have been growing and then I have absolutely no idea where to start.   So- today I am just going to tell you something about myself.

I love art.  In high school I wrote my final project my senior year (for those of you who were in IB, my extended essay) on the influence of Japanese Printmaking on the art of Edgar Degas.  Before I even began college I owned four humongous art history text books.   I have always been fascinated by the different applications of color and texture used by artists.  Art museums make me indescribably happy- even if I’m not particularly fond of the actual artwork being displayed.  Even browsing art supplies in the store makes me giddy inside.

And yet….for the past fifteen years or so, I have ripped up, thrown away, and destroyed every piece of art I have created.

This year, however, something changed (when I say “something” I clearly mean “everything.”  When your world is 100% different than it was a year ago, it can be challenging to pinpoint how each individual change influences you). I enrolled in an art class- one full of graphic designers and classically trained oil painters- and discovered that I am actually capable of making some pretty cool stuff (at least I think it is pretty cool….I didn’t throw it away and I’ve let others see it, so…).  I have enjoyed being able to relax and see where my mind takes me….this has been so very good for my heart.

Maybe, just maybe, I will post pictures of my work in December after the class is over.  Good idea?

 

 

unsatisfied

So…I’ve been reading this book about how God created me to be ME…that everything about my identity as a woman was perfectly planned and designed to teach us- as humans- more about the character of God and His love for us…..and it’s hard.   It is hard for me to grasp that as women we are the crowning jewel of His creation- that our longing for beauty and to have someone desire us is a reflection of God’s heart… that there is nothing wrong with these things.

Pretty intense start, isn’t it?

And then the book goes on (by the way, I’m only in the second chapter) to describe how sin has impacted more than just our relationship with God and with each other, but that the result of that sin means we will always struggle to be fulfilled in the roles God created for us.

and I’m speechless.

You see, in all of the times I’ve thought about how sin affects us…I’ve never considered more than just the basic impact of original sin.  I never once thought about how those sins affected our perceptions of who we are.  I never considered how with that first step we took to take matters into our own hands (by not trusting that God was giving us all that was good), we set ourselves up to be unfulfilled- always searching.   Thinking about this for the first time I can finally understand how it is that all humans struggle with the same primary issues- we are all trying to fulfill a role we were created for, but are no longer able to achieve.  Because of our sin, we are unsatisfied.

it explains so much.

Another year older…

Last week I turned 27.  Sticking with my birthday tradition of reflecting, I spent some time considering all of the things I learned and experienced during the previous year.

Let me just say- it was too much for one little blog post.

So- instead of posting ALL of EVERYTHING I learned, I am going to share a few of the more (most?) important ones with you.

Friendship- real friendship- can weather any storm, no matter how long you’ve been pushing someone away.

Openness and honesty are really really hard, but the results of being open and honest?   Totally worth it.

Making a mistake- no matter how big- is not the end of the world.

And most importantly:  God is faithful.

Captivating

Four years ago, a dear friend of mine bought a book for me (*Captivating, by John and Stasi Eldredge).   I’ve opened it a couple of times, but never gotten past the introduction.   The reason?  THIS BOOK SCARES ME.

I know how weird that sounds.   Here I am, almost 27 years old, and I’m scared of a book.   *rolls eyes*

To be honest, this book scares me because at some point, I’m going to read it.  And it’s all about how God feels about me and how He created me to be exactly who I am, and how everything about me is more than just OK.

Scary, isn’t it?  Of all the things I’ve felt in my life, the only one that has been consistent is that I have never felt that I am enough.   I’ve never been good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, skinny enough, talented enough…I’ve always just been “OK.”

Last night, as I sat in my car, I opened the book and started reading.  The first page was interesting and uplifting…exactly what I was expecting.   The second page brought me to tears, as I read “Sometime between the dreams of your youth and yesterday, something precious has been lost.  And that treasure is your heart, your priceless, feminine heart.  God has set within you a femininity that is powerful and tender, fierce and alluring.  No doubt it has been misunderstood.  Surely it has been assaulted.  But it is there, your true heart, and it is worth recovering.  You are captivating.*”

Just in case you didn’t get that- my heart is worth recovering.


Blog is a funny word

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about blogs.  There are two types of blogs I really enjoy reading: 1) blogs written by my friends and 2) blogs with an identified topic/purpose/focus.  I posted the other day thinking that a few my close friends would stumble upon my words and would know (at least a little bit) about what is going on in my life, but discovered that over 100 people read my first post.

Uhm….that was a little unexpected

I’m mentioning this because that little tidbit of information leads me to believe this blog should have a purpose, and that, perhaps, I should share that purpose with you.

Over the past year, my life has changed drastically.   I have experienced  heartache and loss, guilt, fear, trust, love and peace to an extent I never thought possible- and usually all at once.   I’m going to write about what I’ve learned- what I’m learning– and the things I’m experiencing as I build an entirely different life.

To all who visit:  thank you.  I hope my word are able to encourage you or bless you in some way.

On being needy…

I woke up in a grumpy mood this morning because for some unknown reason, I was up for about an hour in the middle of the night.  I got ready for work, stepped foot in the office,  and almost immediately decided that today would be a day better spent at home.

I felt so overwhelmed.

It is so hard for to be honest with people about what I’m struggling with- but over the past six months it has become easier and easier for me to be real with the people I’m closest to.  I’ve been able to- for the first time in my life- admit when I need support, or love or attention.    It hasn’t been without hesitation, though.  In the back of my head, every single time I’ve had to admit that I need something, I get scared that I’m “too much” for someone to handle and that they will tire of me being so “needy” and will leave if I continue to share my insecurities.

Imagine the relief I felt as I read this: ” We are needy people because we were created that way.  We need to be loved.  We need to be affirmed.  Those are not weaknesses.  We were created with those needs.”

Wait- did that just say that needing love and affirmation is not a weakness? That God created me this way?  That I’m not some kind of broken person who isn’t good enough to feel whole on my own?


I’m not sure how long I sat on the middle of the living room floor soaking that up, but it felt really, really good.