2013 Is Off To A Rousing Start
I feel like the guy in the UPS commercial who’s sitting in an empty, glassed-walled office randomly proclaiming “BUSY!……….I’M BUSY!!” to his fellow office workers walking by. We’re not even three weeks into the new year and I’ve already accomplished quite a lot with little or no effort. The jury’s still out on whether it’s all been good, but I’ve been learning, so I suppose it all can’t be all bad.
For starters, I managed to alienate two “friends” on Facebook without even trying. It was a gigantic misunderstanding where I made a comment on someone’s wall (in response to some conversations that person had been having very publicly with other people their wall) and my comment was instantly misinterpreted and then he/she became deeply offended, and then another person took up that person’s offense and proceeded to eviscerate me with private messages. I apologized profusely, but to no avail, really. (Actually, it was definitely to no avail because that second person accused me of some heinous things that I hadn’t said about a different person in an entirely different conversation about an entirely different topic.) Felt like I was being hunted. I’m a little late to the party, but I learned a couple of very important lessons that all of you figured out eons ago after joining Facebook, and that is, that “friends on Facebook” are really not your friends. At least not in this case, because anyone who had truly been my “friend” would know that the comment I made was NEVER in a MILLION YEARS intended to be insensitive, cruel or mean. A true friend would have been well enough acquainted with me that in reading my words, they would have heard my voice in their head and know that I truly care for them and are praying for them (mainly because I said so in the post). They would also know that I use humor to connect with people and am at the same time very sensitive and sincere in how I feel about people (again, because I said so in my post).
But what the Gigi-you-really-suck incident drove home for me once for all is the fact that I had no business in the first place commenting on that person’s wall. Just because we used to know each other (back in the day) means absolutely NOTHING in the real world in which we live now, and in thinking it did mean something, I made an enormously dangerous assumption about the level of my relationships via social media. Friends are the people you can touch, talk to on the phone and whenever you can, see the whites of their eyes. They are also the people with whom you’ve shared some recent and relevant history in order to bring context to your words. Had I had that with the person whom I deeply offended, he/she would have read my post entirely differently and would have known that when I said I was holding him/her up in prayer that I really was waking up in the middle of the night praying over him/her and the direction of his/her life. They would also know that the last thing in the world I would want would be for my words to hurt someone. But because we were literally not on the same page of life (again, it’s all on me, thinking that because we’re “friends” on FB it means we’re really friends) I totally blew it.
The other thing that ugly incident brought up was that even now, after all this time, I still care WAY TOO MUCH about what people think of me. Handing over people to the care of God, as I understand Him, is an enormous daily task for me. Relationships between human beings are messy by definition because all of us are broken to some degree and no one likes to be misunderstood to be sure. But to have people assume the very worst of you, take your words and twist them into a Gordian knot brings out all kinds of my insecurities. And obviously I still have many! So not only am I apparently an insensitive and cruel slob, I’m an insecure and fragile one at that. Ah, it’s a good thing life isn’t a race in which the winner achieves total consciousness (which, is nice), because apparently I’m just starting on my journey.
One of the first things that came to mind when all this blew up in my face was Job. Ya know, that Job guy in the Bible who lost everything in his life within hours? Not that I am in ANYway comparing a simple misunderstanding that snowballed into a sticky mess with losing everything in my life. No, it just brought to mind this little elusive (to me) concept called PERSPECTIVE. Job went from having it all (he was enormously wealthy) to having nothing and being near death within days, and yet he kept his relationship with The Lord strong. It was a deeply personal and vertical relationship, which regardless of his circumstances (which he wisely knew were lateral), he kept his eyes on his beloved Father, his Provider and Protector. I realized that as my misunderstanding quickly turned into an assassination of my character, the people who wanted to think the worst of me were going to do that. And they probably will go to their graves thinking the worst, but God knows my heart and God knows I tried my best to make things better. Very little on this earth is under my control and God can use EVERY circumstance to His glory, even innocent mistakes that we can’t fix.
Not even three full weeks into the new year and relationships are being realigned. I’m learning that I can only do so much to make people understand and accept me, which, trust me, if you knew my story, you would know how enormous that is. ALL my life I have spent an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to prove to people that I am lovable and that I am worthy of their approval. I feel like I’ve always been on the outside of the “cool club” looking in. King Solomon said “there’s a time to reap and a time to sow”. I also think there’s a time to pull back and realize that I have nothing more to prove. The one person who should have been in my corner and loving me unconditionally since day one has recently made it enormously clear that they don’t want me in their lives at all. I mean how much more clear can you get? And the people who are on the periphery of my life NEVER did have my back and aren’t the slightest bit interested in seeing me in a positive light now. But it’s okay. God IS working it out on my behalf. He DOES know my heart and my motivations and He IS seeing me through this. Not only is it not the end of the world, I think it’s the beginning of a really interesting and a much deeper chapter.
Go with God.
And as my daughter is now saying, “live long and prosper”.