She drew in a long breath and let it out. She caught her reflection in the glass door and shifted the bakery box into her left hand, opened the door with her right, and expected the worst.
Why was it that she always expected the worst? Everyone in the room cheered and drawled her name. “Mah-lissa!” “Get on in here girlfriend.” and “Girl – whatchyou got in that box is about to go straight to my thighs – shore thang.”
Her thoughts – Melissa, place the pastries on the table, brew yourself a cup of coffee to keep your hands busy, and whatever you do – don’t cry and spoil the party.
This was the usual pattern. Same social anxiety – different party.
She looked around and began the mental checklist:
- Suzy is always so well put together. Her outfit is so cute. *looks down at her own 3-day unwashed ‘good’ jeans*
- Carrie’s house is always so clean. *thinks back to the tone she took last night with her middle child about the laundry being left on the bathroom floor – once again*
And on and on the judgment train chugs along until she finds herself seated and every eye is trained on her. There must have been a question, but she missed it.
Her – “I’m sorry, can you repeat that?”
Cute outfit girl -“How was your week?”
Her thoughts – “Don’t cry. Just say ‘fine’ and let them move on.
Recently a group of ladies I attend Bible study with on Sunday mornings decided that enough was enough when it comes to judgment, bitterness, and silence.
We decided that we need each other. Not one of us is better than the other. We learned that we all had “secrets” that we kept from each other because of fear. Fear of being judged. Fear of not saying the right things. Fear of losing face. Fear of losing reputation or position.
Fear Is a Liar https://g.co/kgs/yBGfCY
Fear is most definitely a liar.
The notion that you are unloveable because you think are the only one who has ever (fill in the blank) IS A LIE.
Here’s the truth:
For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
ALL meaning: cute outfit girl, clean house girl, fancy car girl, rich girl, educated girl, ministry leader girl…we ALL fall short.
And I’m just going to be one more step honest with you: If God can take me from MY past and make something useful of me, then He can definitely redeem your current season.
Because here’s who I was:
Divorced, alcoholic, homeless, liar, judgement-placer, adulteress, pathetic, victim-mentality-projector, curser, co-dependent, food addict, angry, manipulator.
Given that list, I wouldn’t wanna be my own friend.
But when I live with my hands open to God and His desires for my life, when I allow myself to be open to healing, when I’m courageous enough to invite humility to my table, (none of which I ever do perfectly) God sees me this way:
Loveable, whole, pure, loved, His daughter, hand-crafted with love, worthy of love, kind, caring, sacred, an encourager…
And the more I let this list sink in, the better I become at believing it. And the more I keep my eyes fixed on His, the less the habits and belongings of the people at the table matter. And the less I look at myself, the more I see of their hearts, their hurts, and God’s desire for their healing.
This isn’t a blog for you to read and “like” – this is a call for a decision on your part. Are you – dear reader – going to change your circle of influence by making it better or worse?
Challenge: invite someone in your circle of influence to coffee or to share a meal this week and really lean in and listen to their story. I bet you’ll find out they are the same kind of loveable as you.
Always remember this: what you are walking through is a life-season, not a life-sentence.