Timeline of a People Pleaser

  The heart palpitations began at three years old. I remember watching my babysitter cut apart my blanket. As my chest pounded the voices in my head screamed… “Please no more!” “Sew it back together!” “Don’t throw the satin ends away!” My throat began to close as she placed the odd smelling pillow in my hands. Tethered to the center of the pillow was the satin teddy bear appliqué that once lived at the heart of my blanket. Turmoil and despair twisted my innards but a polite smile graced my face. Gratitude spilled from my lips as I held the Frankenstein version of my once loved blanket. This is one of my earliest memories…and I was already people pleasing! ——————————————————————————————————————————— The heart palpitations I experienced at 10 years old were mixed with fear and shame. He was sitting on a park bench the first time I saw him. His gaze made me feel nervous. I watched in disbelief as he casually stood up, walked past my little sister and eerily grazed her back. The palpitations began! Like a mama duck with her ducklings under wing I ushered my baby sister to the other end of the crowded playground.  With danger behind us, we quickly returned to our carefree play. Just as I was about to reach the top of the eagle’s nest I felt something touch my butt. Waves of fear rushed over me when I realized it was him. He found us again! “MY SISTER! WHERE IS MY SISTER?” I began to panic inside. His eyes were locked onto her bleach blonde hair and olive skin. I had to get to her first! Fight or flight kicked in and I flew to her rescue. The nearest form of shelter was a tall slide a few feet away. I forced her on the slide with a ferocity that bewildered her.  I was determined to be a human shield between him and her innocence. He was fast! He touched me again. We ran to the safety of our father but shame had already engulfed me. My mind was swirling… “Will Dad be mad at me if I tell him someone touched us?” “Will he think I made it up? Did I make it up?” “I should have told him right away…He’ll be mad that I didn’t tell him right away!” For days the palpitations remained as I quietly relived the events of that day. I was ashamed. I feared that my dad would think less of me. People pleasing sealed my lips once again. ——————————————————————————————————————— This year, at 28 years old, the palpitations returned. But this time it was The Lords doing. He was ready for me to change my people pleasing ways. These new heart poundings began to pound my mind, my soul, and my spirit. He revealed to me that people pleasing was damaging my friendships, myself and most importantly my relationship with the Lord. Here is what he revealed to me… I fear people and their opinions more than I fear God. (Gal 1:10) I often love out of fear. (1 John 4:18-19) I’m dishonest with people. I think I know what they are thinking so I try to cater my actions or words to suit their needs. (Gal 2:11-13 Peter was people pleasing) (Col 3:9-10) I have a Savior complex. I feel I’m personally responsible for other people’s well-being.  Christ is the only true savior…I need to trust that he is taking care of his children. If I actually hurt or offend someone I am physically, emotional and spiritually debilitated for days! (Prov 29:25) I worry that my reputation would be ruined if I allowed people to see my daily struggle with sin. I struggle with lying to myself and others to “save-face.” I struggle with dishonesty, pride, people pleasing and self-righteousness. (1 John 1:9) Conflict and criticism can cripple me. I accept other people’s words and opinions as truth. I must first check them against God’s truth. (Rom 12:2) I am disobedient to God when I put other people’s opinions over what He has called me to do. (John 12:42-43) Humbled, humiliated, and repentant I cried out to the Lord! Create in me a clean heart O Lord! Help me to let my “Yes” be a yes and my “No” be a no. Strip me of my prideful and people pleasing ways! It was not pretty…there was snot, coughing, and hyperventilating.  But in the end I have never felt so free! People pleasing no longer has a place in the timeline of my life!   Do you struggle with people pleasing? Take some time to answer these questions… Recall a time when the Lord brought...

Focus On What You Want to Be In Christ

Focus On What You Want to Be In Christ

  We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.          Proverbs 16:9   My mind has been abuzz this week.  My inner dialogue has been focused on resolutions and what the Lord would have me DO in 2013. To be TOTALLY honest, I’ve been a little frustrated that the Lord has not revealed his perfect plan for the coming year. Come on now…it’s been a WHOLE week! Times a wasting…I need to get to work if I’m to complete it in a year!  Can you tell I’m a BIT of a planner? I was totally prepared to ignore verses like Matthew 6:34, “Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Not to mention the ones about “plans of men”…this that and the other thing….you know the verses I’m talking about. I did not want to sit on my hands this year! I was ready to make a difference! The Lord, in his great wisdom, led me to a new small group this week. As my friend Jeff Queen deliver a power message to a room full of young adults I listened, rather I watched his mouth move. You see, my mind and heart was clogged with questions. “Is this the ministry God would have me serve in?” “Will young adults relate or connect with my husband and me?” Thankfully I stopped obsessing for a few moments (Oh how I wish my mind came with an off switch) and tuned into the message.  This is what I heard, “Focus on what you want to be (in Christ) and not on what you want to do!” I confess…It took about twelve hours before I realized that word was for me! I’ll readily admit I’m a little slow sometimes…thank goodness the Lord is patient! I had become consumed with the “DO” when what really matters is who I’m going to “BE.” Here is what I want to be in Christ… A servant leader A light in this dark world The hands of Christ that feed, cloth, and help the needy in my community Loving and honest A willing vessel! Proverbs 16:9 reminds us that no matter how much planning we do, it is the Lord that determines our steps. In his time the “Do” will become clear. What do you want to be in Christ?       photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/vixl/5199437255/”>Faisal AlKhudairy \  فيصل الخضيري via http://photopin.com”>photopin> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a> Share...

Midweek Encouragement: An Unlikely Competitor

I recently stumbled across the legendary story of Cliff Young. I was amazed how this unlikely competitor turned the running world upside down. God loves to use the “unlikely competitor” to do great things for His glory! Today I proudly stand as an unlikely competitor toeing the line of my next big race! 2013 HERE I COME! I hope you enjoy Cliff Young’s story as much as I did!   Cliff Young Every year, Australia hosts 543.7-mile (875-kilometer) endurance racing from Sydney to Melbourne. It is considered among the world’s most grueling ultra-marathons. The race takes five days to complete and is normally only attempted by world-class athletes who train specially for the event. These athletes are typically less than 30 years old and backed by large companies such as Nike. In 1983, a man named Cliff Young showed up at the start of this race. Cliff was 61 years old and wore overalls and work boots. To everyone’s shock, Cliff wasn’t a spectator. He picked up his race number and joined the other runners. Click here to finish reading about Cliff’s amazing race! Share...