things i suck at [part I]

Well this should be a fun series, right? Who doesn't love splashing all their inadequacies on these here internets? The full name of that should be "things i suck at, but am actively trying to be better about". I actually kept this first installation of this series in drafts for a couple of months, looking at it here and there, but always ending up leaving it alone and unpublished. But God kept bringing me back to it. He kept pushing me to talk about the things that I, personally, struggle with on a day-to-day basis. These are the things that I struggle with, and convince myself that I am the only person on the planet who does. Which I know to be wholly and completely untrue, but that doesn't always make the feeling go away, now does it? This is, unfortunately, a series that I could probably write on for posts on end, but I don't ever want this to cross the line from transparency and honesty to self-crucifixion. Plus I don't want to bore you.

things i suck at [part I]: saying what i feel, and not what i think people want to hear
If you've ever read this blog before, you're aware that I am what they call a "people pleaser" to my core. This usually raises its ugly head in awkward or tense situations, not when my friend asks me if her jeans make her butt look big [in that case, I tend to be the honest friend]. But when there is potential for disappointment or strife, my brain is now trained to figure out what a person want me to say at lightening speed and spit it out like clock-work. Which has landed me in some fairly sticky situations. It's had me saying yes to things that I desperately wanted [and needed] to say no to. It's forced me to do something even more awkward than saying no in the first place, and back out after the fact. It's turned me into a doormat in multiple situations. But most of all, and most embarrassing of all, it's kept me from sharing my love for Jesus the way I know I'm capable of. If the situation at hand calls for me to point to the Bible or God about an issue, but I feel as though the person will be unresponsive or "weirded out", odds are I'm probably going to give them some real world mumbo-jumbo and call it a day. [ugh, this is SO MUCH FUN, sharing all this. right?!]

But as I've fallen more in love with God than ever over the course of this year, this is one of the things he's began to chip at. I loved it when Tim Tebow was recently quoted saying "If you're married, and you have a wife, and you really love your wife, is it good enough to only say to your wife 'I love her' the day you get married? Or should you tell her every single day when you wake up and every opportunity? And that's how I feel about my relationship with Jesus Christ, is that it is the most important thing in my life. So any time I get an opportunity to tell him that I love him or given an opportunity to shout him out on national TV, I'm gonna take that opportunity." The baby steps for this have been working at the root of the issue, working at my inability to speak truth when I feel as though it will offend or make someone uncomfortable. Through walking hand-in-hand with God about this, and admitting that I can't just do it on my own, I've found myself saying no more! I've found myself taking care of myself and not succumbing to the debilitating fear that someone will disapprove. And the most cool part, God and his word just kind of come out of my mouth unprovoked. Because I don't want him anywhere but everywhere, he's in everything I say, even if his name isn't. I find myself less concerned with if someone's going to label me a Bible beater, and more worried about giving half-assed, worldly advice. In the same way, I'm finding it more important to give real, honest answers to things, than half-hearted, contrived ones. And while it's awkward [I just told someone no and kind of thought I might throw up after], it's good. It's difficult and against my nature, but it's good.

I'm sure I'll end every part of this series this way, with a loud & proud oh ma gah, I so have not even put a dent in this and still totally suck at it, because it's true. But my hope, and the whole purpose of putting this "out there", is that if someone who reads this struggles the same way, they realize they aren't the only one. And that there really is hope. Everyday, God is remodeling me. Taking out things I was certain would be a part of me forever, and breaking them down. I'm just along for the ride at this point.

"Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him."
-Romans 6:8

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