Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Revelation of Sorts

This morning I had allowed myself to think of something that hurts me everytime I dwell on it. It is selfish, I suppose, this thought I was focusing on. If you could imagine me at the center of the picture with the words "woe is me" all around it, then you might have an idea of the way I see this as. In a sense, it might have been a pity party for one, and I was the guest of honour.

I often wonder why I don't have tons of friends. I have a small group of three or four close friends, which is great (and these ladies are fantabulous!); yet when I see others with lots of friends, people surrounding them wanting to talk about this or that, going out places together, you name it...I wonder why that can't be me. Why can't I have more friends who want to be intimate with me (and no, I am so not referring to sexual intimacy here), rather than just superficial?

I am somewhat extroverted, though I am also introverted (depends on the situation and if I feel comfortable or not). I try to be friendly to people, laugh and joke, etc. But yet I feel as though most of the people I have contact with are more of an 'acquaintance' type than a 'friend' type of person. It could be that trust is hard for me; I've had my trust broken a lot by various friends and others so I think that is one of those "deep down" things that hinder me from becoming friends with someone. It's not necessarily a grudge, but if someone has broken my trust, I tend not to trust them again - or at very least it takes me a long time to gain that trust back.

I know I am not perfect, far from it. I know that at times I can talk too much (which happens more frequently than I like), and that some people probably think I'm weird or something because of this; I know that there must be things about me that speak to others yet I am totally blind about...otherwise, wouldn't people want to get to know me? Sounds selfish or self-centered, I know, but I am not meaning every single person I come in contact with. I am meaning anyone in general. What is so wrong with me that people are just satisfied with being superficial...you know the "How are you? How is school? You must be done soon, eh?" kind of talk...small talk I guess. Why doesn't anyone want to dig deeper and find out more about me, or want to get to know me better and be my friend? Am I that bad? Am I that uninteresting? Do I talk that much? Is it because I am not exciting and interesting to them? It really makes me feel like I'm not good enough. It makes me feel like I don't fit in anywhere in church, or life for that matter. I suppose this is my "focusing on worldly things" attitude speaking, but I wonder about this and I often feel hurt by it. Of course I don't show it to others because heaven forbid they see me cry! Or worse yet, I will find out exactly why they don't like me!

So, I sat here in the living room, alone and talked to God. I had a heart to heart, and let the tears flow, let my eyes get all puffy and red (it's ok because no one is home except for me) and I told Him what I was feeling. Well, maybe not told, but asked a lot of questions. I felt so down on myself, so negative; and again that is wrong because I am being too self-centered. I know it is OK to take this sort of thing to God and talk to Him about it, but I can't help but feel like I do this sort of thing too often. It seems to be more about 'me' than 'others'.

As I cried and asked my questions (those 'what is wrong with me' kind of questions) and confessed that I talk to much (while thinking that I am going to do my best to speak less, shorten my words down so that I can say things in a couple of sentences rather than give details and stuff), I came to my answer. I don't know if God gave it to me, or He just let me talk and talk until I arrived at it myself or what. Anyway, I laid down on the floor prostrate (something I have never done) and repented and confessed that I am worrying about 'worldly' things too much, worrying about others liking me and wanting to be my friend (among other things) when all that I should be focusing on is God and that He like me. I know He does, and I know He more than likes me - He loves me. Basically, I rededicated myself to Him - told Him to use me where He wanted, asked for His help in getting closer and intimate with Him, asked for His strength and comfort and peace. I told Him that He could have every part of me - school, church, home life, worries, fears, everything. I know He will not let me down, but for some reason I feel afraid of what He will have me do...natural, or is it satan playing on me? Why does this scare me?

I need my embers to be rekindled into that flame I had in the beginning of my faith. I need that passion and drive I once had. I need to stay focused on Him. I need to give Him every part of my life. I need to spend more time with Him than I have been. I need His beauty pouring out from every part of me. I need for Him to be reflected in me and in my life...so that when others are around me, they can see Him. Is this selfish? Maybe. But I think it is something that He wants from each of His children. I am not saying I want this so that people will be friends with me or want to get to know me. I am saying this because I know that is what He wants...evidence of Him in our lives.

So, now I am sitting here feeling a little better. It still bothers me a little that I feel like people don't want to get to know me or don't care to get to know me...but I can't focus on that. I can't. I have prayed and asked God to help me to not care about it and asked Him to help me focus on Him.

Now comes the hard part...doing it.

My Christian walk has been up and down for awhile now it seems. I have never lost my belief in Jesus, my faith in Him or anything like that; but the walk itslef has been a struggle. A struggle to be in prayer and in the word more than I do; a struggle to spend quiet time with Him; a struggle to not focus on me and waste my time on things when I could be using it to spend with God. I guess it is a struggle we all face at times, though (I'm not the only one to go through this). I want Christ to be evident in my life, evident in what I say and do to/for others. I want them to recognized that I am a Christian. I don't know, maybe I'm just emotional right now, and maybe it's satan...I don't know. All I know is that I could use some prayer.


Maggie Ann said...

Dear Shelley...I don't have the answers but you turned to the One who does have them *smile*. And of course Satan wants to throw us 'off course'. God doesn't have to bombard our thoughts of why and what ifs....God simply says..."Be still and know that I am God..." Psalms 46:10. We live in such a busy 'mode' nowadays...add to that the 'me' sin nature and that all factors in to why people don't have time for one another....perhaps?? Just trying to think this out in a little minute. You are a very special person Shelley! Have you time for joing 'art' club groups or anything like that if it wouldn't compromise your testimony for Jesus? I tried an art club once with a friend...and a sewing group but found it just wasn't for me personally. I'm a homebody for sure, and my occasional tea parties and shopping trips are just the thing. Hoping and I will pray...God will direct your path along the way he chooses and that you may be very blessed!

Katie said...

Prayer lovingly offered on your behalf. Keep holding on sweet girl, He will give you the answers and He will comfort your heart. And also know that while you may not be surrounded by friends in person, your sweet, tender, and authentic heart touch me daily.

Kate said...

Thank you so much for your post. I just read Krissie's post, and I feel as though the two of you have acted as God's messengers for me today. I had a hard day as well (I'll be posting in a bit) and I feel that you have said what what God wants me to say, if you understand what I'm talking about...anyways, I just want to let you know that you're a great friend, I'm keeping you in my prayers, and I know that God has a fantastic future for you!
take care!

Jennifer said...

Shelley, I struggle with the EXACT same thing. I actually have more friends in blogland than I do in real life, which is pathetic. And yes, I have given myself lots of pity parties, too. It's my party and I'll cry if I want to! But over the years God has shown me that he intends for me to be lonely so I learn to walk closer to Him. And Jesus shared our pain, too. He was surrounded by crowds of people, and had 12 (ok, 11) close friends, but even they misunderstood Him and deserted Him at times. So He knows just how we feel.

What's my Mission said...

Hey Shelley:
I don't really know what to say here except I love you!!! and I can't imagine why anybody wouldn't want to get to know you better. You are a great friend and I can't imagine my walk on this earth without you!!!
That being said... sometimes in the pursuit of friendship one needs to be more active than passive. You usually seem like you have it going on so maybe people think you don't need any more friends... Maybe you could try and reach out to someone... ask them to go out to coffee or whatever. I don't know, this is something I in general struggle with too!!! You, as always are in my prayers...
You know, when you are in the rough spots you can always call this friend.

steve said...

Ok. This is a topic I LOVE. Seriously. I am a guy that doesnt have a huge amount of friends. I dont have this massive amount of people that I hang out with. I have a very small group of REAL friends. People that I am 100% real with... no superficial stuff... blood and guts friends. They know my darkest times and they love me... we share LIFE together.. REAL life.. not "hey lets go to the bar and meet people" kind of friends. I would take this small group over MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF FRIENDS any day of teh week. They are real. They will ALWAYS be with me through it all. I would say if you really have ONE of these types of friends in your life then you are blessed beyond most.

Joe said...

Although they might never admit it, you have just described 70% of the people you know, think you know and/or see, myself included.

We all have insecurities with which we deal by either denial, overcompensation, projection or just taking them to Jesus.

The latter is the best.

That's what you did.


Jayleigh said...

Shelley, I could have written this. In fact, within the last year, I'm sure I DID write it, though not in so many words.

God bless you, sweet Lady, as you give it all up to Him.

And Steve is right on target. Real friends, however few, are much better than tons of fake ones.

I had to learn this recently and it stings because I'd always wanted tons of friends, and when I HAD them, my REAL friends felt abandoned and I never got any "real" time with people who truly want to know the real me.


Hang in there!

Badoozie said...

I think you've struck a nerve here. I could babble on forever about how many times i've pouted and cried because I don't have a soul mate type friend. I'm always the one who ends up listening to everyone else's problems. And no, it's not because I don't reach out. I do. I call, I invite, and sometimes people take me up, sometimes not. But I do all the work. I have good friends, but they live aways away. and they too have busy lives, so I don't hear from them much, and I visit them, they don't come over to visit me. This hurts, and It makes me sad, but it's just the way it is.

Most of the people I know who have a lot of "friends" are very superficial. And you certainly don't want that. I guess I have to say that I am extremely disappointed in so called Christians, who fill their lives with meaningless activities that will burn up in the end. To me, Jesus intended this life we live to be about each other, and about helping out others who are in need. But no one has time. people are running their kids to sports, and involving themselves in numerous worthless activities.

Every Christian person that reads this needs to ask themselves. What do I do that emulates Jesus christ in my everyday life? Is my life all about me? or is it about other people and putting them first?

That which you give to anothers life will come back to your own life. So, just keep plugging away, and know you are not alone. I, and the others here who have expressed their own pain are with you. Let this be a lesson to all of us. Keep doing what we think Jesus would want us to do, and someday, it will pay off.

I am a person of worth. And YOU are a person of worth. And if those around you don't recognize this, then they are not worthy of your time and talents. Be you. Don't try to be someone else, (less talking) because you are exactly who God made you.

And it is normal for you to feel alone, and left out. But you are ahead of the rest of them, because you are so intuitive, and you recognize things that no one else does, so consider yourself gifted with wisdom, and a depth others could only dream of having.

I hope and pray for you that God will send someone into your life, to share your life, and your everyday joys, pains, suffering and happy times as well.


Anonymous said...

God knows how we all feel. He knows what our desires are. you may have a handful of friends but all of them are your real friends. some may seem to have a lot of friends but actually they don't. i pray that God will give you the "right" ones. never mind if they're just a few. cheer up, girl. you've got a friend in us.

Hikingalong said...

Shelley, I certainly could empathize with you today. I've felt the same way in my life many times and in fact, I just sent an email to my daughter who's away in college because she was going through the same feelings you were! It's difficult to be alone. God didn't want us to be alone, he made us to be with other humans. Sometimes, in today's busy world, people just seem to get caught up in the busy-ness of life and don't take time to get to know each other. When I was growing up, we knew everyone on our street and we all watched out for each other and each other's children. Today, I don't even know my neighbor's names..not because I don't want to, but because they don't want to get to know us...they're too busy. Be encouraged! You have many friends out in blogsphere. I know it's not the same as having flesh and blood friends you can visit with, but we are a caring community of Christians who want to love you and encourage you. God bless you and remember to keep your eyes on Him!

Saija said...

Hey Shelley!

you got some great comments to this post, eh ... :o

seems like you DO have blog buds ... folks who care what you write about and what you have to say (and sometimes, when i want to leave a comment - blogger goes to s-l-o-w and i haven't, so i am sorry about that!)

and the fact that you have an inner circle of people who you call friends - well you are rich indeed ...

isn't it great that we have Jesus, who sticks closer than a brother, who never leaves us ...

Lord bless you as you grow in grace ... may your life overflow with all good things and way too many friends!

Shelley said...

Thank you to all for posting your comments. You don't know how much they have all helped and blessed me! God has blessed me with some good friends face to face, and some good friends in Blogland. God bless you all greatly!

Ruth said...

i myself am a VERY relational person (always needing people around me to walk through life with me) but at the same time, it's actually very difficult to be close to me. i am one of those people who has "alot" of friends, but in truth, i hold alot of these friends at arms-length, and only a very select few get to see the inner part of me and to be close to me. i also realize that no one on this earth can fill my relational needs the way Christ would - everything on this earth is so incomplete, isn't it? it just gives us a little nudge closer to putting our hope in heaven. =)