How would you answer this application question that was recently asked in a women’s Bible study:
“How attached are you to your reputation? To your stuff?”
In high school I wrote a poem called “Strange Popularity” and that phrase is one that makes so much sense to me. I was known more than popular. I was hardly noticed and then I was being talked about. It was uncomfortable to go from being almost invisible to being so exposed.
God has reminded me in life that my reputation is not mine to manage.
I have no problems being vulnerable to a point it might alarm people. As I keep re-writing this blog, I recognize that I never could really manage what was said of me or how my life was going to go. If it wasn’t an option then, it hardly seems worth hiding now. However, I also am aware that at times our story can be taken and used in ways that do not end up reflecting well upon God. At the end of the day, that is truly all that matters.
Miriam Webster Dictionary defines “exposed” as being open to view and not shielded or protected. Bingo. I did not feel protected at all. I felt that all of my peers, family, and enemies could see every part of me except the truth. It is quite possible that to many I was still unseen but that is not how it felt. I felt like a moving target.
During that tumultuous time, I felt least cared for. I remember the amount of worry for how this situation would reflect on the people around me, the people who knew about it or how to keep people from knowing more than might already be out. Fear for the reputation of others skewed the seemingly good intentions that were extended to me. I felt last.
Why God allowed this in my life, I don’t know. I’m still bouncing between acceptance and being numb about it. I know God is love and I don’t think He wanted me to feel the pain. Yet I know from the Word of God that we all will feel pain. I’m in His story, not the lead in my story.
How does what happened in my life give God glory? I think that is what I can influence more than anything. How I’ve grown and am learning to heal and to renew my faith might be more valuable in the end for someone else. God is able to take pain and use it for good. If I look at the people who God was with in the Bible, there was definitely pain. I don’t know what type of dream I was sold that I thought life was about being happy and “perfect”. There is nothing wrong with dreams but it isn’t the sole point of life. My enjoyment of God’s blessings is a kindness He extends and I can appreciate it or ignore it. There are going to be times though when it is not sunshine and rainbows. How I praise God in the valley, on the mountains, and the wildernesses between will also be opportunities to give glory to God.
This blog doesn't have a clean ending. It's not over but I don't know the ending because its not entirely my story. For now, I'm going to work on resting, healing, listening and living. One day at a time. Clinging to my Savior.
Father, Thank you for the way I'm slowly softening to Your merciful heart. Help others who feel so untrusting and broken to be able to lean towards You. You are not the way we think. You are not cruel and overbearing. Your love is beyond comprehension. Your love is not comparable to some type of love that we thought we knew here on earth. It would be a fraction of the goodness that You are. Being so out of control of the things that caused us pain, makes me want to cling to my being the lead in this story. But I clearly see its so much more than I can see. I want to live for you more than me. Equip me to heal and slow down to be in the moments You already put right in front of me. Being "healed" might not be the answer. Striving doesn't fix things. I need to let You love me. Thank you for loving me! In Jesus name, Amen.