what do you see in me?

a few weeks ago, i went to church and took a seat in my sunday school class. i was exceptionally tired that morning and had some things on my mind, but once the lesson was completed, i went through the motions of social civility and engaged in conversation with those beside me. an older gentleman at my table, suddenly remarked to me, “that’s the first time I’ve seen you smile since you came in here!”

i was a bit taken aback by his comment (even though i should be used to it by now,) but went on to explain that i was tired, and wasn’t really conscious of the fact, but i assured him i was fine.

usually it stops there; but for some reason, he felt the need to go a little farther. “you need to smile more! that way people know you have the joy of the Lord! if you don’t, how else would they know?”

well, guess i missed that memo…

i proceeded to tell him – with all the composure i could muster – that i always have the joy of the Lord, but it generally resides down in my heart.  while he remained to be convinced that happiness and joy was tied together, i told him that i wasn’t given to deceit, and wasn’t going to paste a smile on my face just for show.

maybe people expect that, especially when you walk through those doors on sunday morning. for some reason, it’s not safe to be vulnerable or honest. we have to put a show on for people…regardless of the fact that we’re never promised an easy road, that this world is full of evil, that we’ll be faced with daily heartache and hurt.  for some reason, people have mixed up their definition of things. yes, there is a time and a place for things, but i would rather people see me being honest rather than fake. christians shouldn’t be deceptive in any way, shape or form. the world knows life isn’t easy, so why do some people pretend? why am i even having to explain myself?

more and more i’m becoming indifferent to what others think of me. i’m tired of being judged. tired of wondering if people are willing and capable enough to try and look past what may (or may not) be on the surface and see me for who i am. there are few people i know who seem to appreciate me for who i am, for what i am, and it’s those people i want to draw closer to…and that’s who i want to be. i want to see past the surface in people and appreciate who they are. i want to know them, just as i want people to know me. it takes effort, and i’m trying. i am what i am.

in the end, i know He knows me, and that’s all that matters to me, truly. that’s where my value is.

_______________________________

if you’re curious, here’s how the conversation concluded:

“so, you’re not a morning person, then?” he asked.

“no.

no i’m not.”

sara

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reassessment

i feel like i’ve become estranged to things that i once thought that i loved, things that i was certain of, things i felt so strongly about, so passionate about, so certain about.

i feel like i’ve lost something.

i’ve had to learn how to be content. i’ve had to learn how to roll with the punches. i’ve had to understand that “the show must go on.” i’ve had to pick myself up when i wanted to stay down.  i’ve had to accept that some things/people will never change. that things won’t work out to the way i want them. and on and on and on.

i’ve been asked several times lately what my dreams are, my hopes, my plans…like where do i want to be, what do i want to do, who do i want to be with. i can’t answer those questions anymore. when once i thought i knew, now all i can do is shrug my shoulders.

music, writing, relationships: these were the things i thought i had all planned out. dreams i had allowed myself to dream. but somehow i’ve let them go, or have had to watch them go…for the sake of contentment, it seems. i’ve had to be thankful for what i have…because when i went for the things that exceeded my reach, i got nothing but air. now i feel like it’s a sin for me to get disappointed. and i feel totally selfish about it all…how dare i want more when i have so much to be thankful for already.

i turned 27 yesterday. i’ve realized that i have all i need, but i’ve forgotten how to want. now i’m just afraid to.

am i truly content, or have i just given up?

sara

when lying was my art form

i was a tremendous liar back in the day.

no conviction. no hesitancy.  it was just second nature to me.

i did it to avoid criticism. i did it to avoid extra work. i did it for fear of what others would think. i was perpetual, and i was goood.

things are different now. now, i just can’t. the conviction i get weighs so heavily on me that i’m afraid to do it. but there are moments every day when i find myself hesitating. when the thought actually crosses my mind. often they are inconsequential, petty little things. things where it would be just stupid and ridiculous to lie. and no one apart from me or God would know…

and that’s exactly it: HE would know.

i put a lot of emphasis on love, and i’ve explained why i do as it relates to my life…but truth is another one. God is love and God is truth.

back then it didn’t matter. part of it was survival. lying was the example i had, so a liar was what i became. and i take full responsibility for it. i mastered the art of  “playing dumb”…that was my greatest trick.  and because i was such a people-pleaser, i told people what they wanted to hear – whether it was true or not (usually not). i have that “innocent” sort of demeanor, and i played off it. i was a twisted, ugly little deceiver…and no one knew. as i look back, i almost can’t believe it myself.

i was able to justify it then, but when everything reached a climax, what it all came down to was either adding to the lies or telling the truth. i chose truth. i was tired of the lies. i was tired of the hypocrisy. and it was only then that i experienced freedom and change. (go figure?)

one of my greater life lessons has come as i’ve fumbled my way through recovery. the clearer my head became, the more i saw the deceit of my abuser and its effect on me. i was almost overwhelmed by it. and my family helped to open my eyes to even more that i didn’t know. what i came to realize was that i couldn’t focus on the lies, the counterfeit…there was just too much. my focus needed to be on the pure and simple truth. THE truth. truth never changes. no matter what anyone says or thinks, if you have the truth on your side, it is all you need.

sara

always tell the truth.