Friday, March 6, 2009

Growing Pains

I was asked last summer by our senior pastor's wife if I would be willing to participate in a discipleship/mentoring group with her and 3 other young pastor's wives. Thrilled that she asked, I wholeheartedly jumped into this group having no idea what it would really turn out to be. I think it is one of the best things I have ever done.
First of all, we meet at Starbucks! And there is childcare (at my house!!) for Elena. And I absolutely love each one of these girls. AND we are being led through this amazing material that is growing me in ways I could have never imagined.
The thing is, growing hurts.
The last few weeks, we have been talking about life principles. Things that you believe in your core. Because those are the things that shape how you think, feel, and act. Wow- talk about eye-opening!!! When Cindy first gave us her personal list, I was like "Oh yeah, I totally agree with that. Oh, and that one is really good. And, oh yes, that is so true too..." But then we were asked to just sort of watch ourselves live over the next couple of weeks and evaluate whether or not our feelings, thoughts, and actions actually reflect what her list said.
Did I mention how painful this is?
The next thing we were asked to do was to try to define the lies we believe (so that we can correct them!). You know the, "I'm not as good as other Moms. Everyone else has it all together." and "I am not valuable if I'm not valued by the world's standards." type of statements we sometimes tell ourselves. The thing is, based on your specific personality type, you will tend to wrestle with lies specific to your wiring. So, over the last few weeks, I have been making a list. Wow, again.

1. It's all or nothing. Either everything needs to be perfect or don't bother trying. I have tried to live up to this idea of perfection my whole life. And, really, the only one putting that pressure on me is me. I have always tried to put the blame on someone else, saying that they might not like/love/respect/whatever me if I didn't do everything perfect (or at least make it look that way on the outside). But the truth is that I'm NOT perfect. I'm completely flawed!! So if someone out there is liking me because they think I am perfect, then they aren't really liking me anyway, are they?
2. If I can know enough about something, then I can always "get it right". I love to learn. I always really enjoyed school. If a toy breaks or a clock quits working, you can find me with a screwdriver opening it up to check out its inards. I just like to see how things work! But there is a fine line between that and defining your value by how much you know. Everything in life is not a academic pursuit. You can't read a biography about someone and that alone make you their friend. You can be told how to do something (and completely understand!), and then fail miserably when you actually try. Because knowing and understanding are only part of the equation. Doing is the other part. Getting it right takes practice. And, even when you practice and become proficient, you will still make mistakes sometimes!
3. If I feel threatened, I should put my guard up and push back. I do this a LOT. Especially when I feel like someone is implying that I don't "know" what I am talking about (see #1 and 2!!!). But the truth is, I should always take people at their word and assume good motives.

That is just the tip of the iceberg, folks! Another lie on my list is that "being wrong is the worst thing that could happen". Because if you are wrong, that means that there was something you didn't know, didn't account for in the equation. Which means you must be stupid. (see #3 & 4!!). Which means I must be stupid, because look at all this junk I have allowed to fill my head! It's so discouraging.
So I am reminding myself tonight that it is a blessing to make these discoveries now, at 32, instead of at 42 or 52 or 62.. That God is showing me something grand, and that He has a plan of where He is taking me. That this process of "being in the fire" will slowly refine me. And that, while I am deceived, selfish, and sinful, God loves me more than I can understand. For who I am inside- the real me. The crazy, lie-believin' fool I am.


lissie said...

wow. i LOVE this post. =)

there are so many lies we believe, most of which we are completely unaware of.

i need to find that list and start my own look at how things really line up. i may have lost it cause that happens sometimes. ugh, it's true, i'm a paper loser...which sometimes makes me feel like a real loser. hmmmm...i may be onto one of my lies already! =)
...i'll let you know!

Jenibug7 said...

Lissie- I was starting to regret admitting my imperfections to the whole world on the internet. The lack of comments made me wonder if finding out that I live in "crazy world" so much of the time scared everyone off! So, thanks for the encouragement! :) If you need another copy of the list, I can bring you one. And losing things only makes you a loser of things. Not an actual loser. lol

lissie said...

people are scared to comment on personal/serious posts. it's been a problem on my blog as well. after i wrote my first serious post, people were silent. i only gave it a day before i griped about it.
but sometimes, it's good to share if God puts it on your heart, regardless of what others say or do in response. you never know how He's using that or will in the future.