masking my patience.
So I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. Some would say that is a bad thing, but I believe thinking helps us reason out what is going in our lives. With that thinking comes some reading, and I've been reading the book, 'Scary Close' by Donald Miller (author of 'Blue like Jazz'). So far, it's pretty bumpin'. I honestly couldn't think of what to call this post, so I am going to be straight up here and tell you what it's all about. Being patient and hiding behind a mask. Over the past few days I have had the immense pleasure of getting to know two wonderful ladies. They are both very different, and unique in their own ways. The first is Sophie. She is my teammate and new training partner. Coming into this year I was very nervous about taking on a new event (well, five new events). Sophie has been doing the hep and pent for some while now and has already made me feel comfortable in these events. Even though she is two years younger than me, I feel as though she radiates immense knowledge and confidence. She has made me realize a lot about the masks that we put on in order to make others like us. In reading this new book, and getting to know her over this past little while, it has been really great to take on a new approach to friendship. Being honest, telling the truth, and committing to friendship. Hopefully I am doing these things.
Miller speaks about in his book, that there are events in our lives that make us feel as though we simply aren't good enough. That there is something wrong with us, whether psychologically, physically or in whatever other aspect of our lives. He talks about how he embarrassingly peed himself for the first seven years of his life and couldn't get over the shame from elementary school. That eventually scarred him and affected the way he saw himself for the rest of his elementary and secondary education. First off, this idea is just bananas. There is nothing wrong with you. Absolutely nothing. Second, God created you and I in His image, so there isn't even a slight chance that He designed you wrong. (Head to Genesis 1:27 for the real details). We have this idea in our heads that people will like us if we can make them like us...as in creating laughter, attention or love. So often I desire to project my outer mask and attract attention, and make people notice me. There are so many avenues that we can go about this - our words and appearance are the focus though. I am an attention addict that wants to get noticed. This goes for everything in my life - schoolwork, worship, friends, etc. It makes me feel good about myself and gives me confirmation that I am worth something. Imagine stepping back, removing the mask that we project, and giving ourselves over to someone. We commit to their friendship, yet we are naked and vulnerable with everything that we do. Miller puts it: "I began to wonder what life would be like if I dropped the act and began to trust that being myself would be enough to get the love I needed". I don't need attention, I need to trust myself, and more importantly trust God that who He has created me to be is enough for one person to love. Unless we are honest with each other, there isn't any real chance of being close.
The second lovely person that I had the great opportunity to meet, actually today, was Charissa. Funnily enough, we have creeped each other from afar and finally connected over some really good coffee...okay, I had a chai tea latte. My favourite :) After THREE HOURS of talking at a local coffee shop, we found out that we have an insane amount of stuff in common. We also decided we are long lost twins - who knew!? We also had the great chance to talk about patience. Being patient in God's timing, and trusting that we don't have all of the answers. Patience for me goes like this: ripping my hair out, watching paint dry, and watching a clock tick by. I hate it. So much. I don't hate anything in this world, but I hate patience. My goals in this patience are what counts as well as what I take from it. If God teaches me to trust Him more, then there is a point to this patience, right? Charissa, you are lovely beyond design and I want to keep talking awesome life stuff with you.
Now, I think I talk about patience a lot, but it is really important! Really! And, I think it's a fruit of the spirit (don't quote me). Sometimes I feel like I repeat myself in these posts, but maybe repetition is good to get my point across. With that being said, there are a lot of other ideas that are circulating and are SO worth talking about. You should for sure get your hands on this book (or heck, borrow mine!) and read it and tell me what you think. Maybe I'm insane, but I think we can all relate to the ideas that this book puts forward. As well, I honestly believe that this idea of love is so incredibly powerful. Love is this power within all of us, that we are capable of, and it is so crucial to all of our relationships. Along with love comes patience and as Miller puts it, "love is an ever-changing, complicated, choose-your-own adventure narrative that offers the world but guarantees nothing."
I want to finish off with some awesome Colton Dixon. It might be cheesy, but I LOVE him. Not love in a gushy way, but love as in I appreciate his music, talent and efforts that He puts forward in loving Christ and professing his faith.