If you are part of my life or have been reading this blog, the last few years, you have undoubtedly caught wind of the fact that the kids and I have been through a storm of epic proportions — and found GOD faithful even when the road did not go as planned. The issue is not my trust in GOD for roadblocks that come up even now. That is almost automatic at this point. Not completely for I have not yet reached perfection –ha! But running to GOD is more instinctual than in past years for sure. The problem is that those that don’t assume a self-righteous attitude that I need them to control my life in order to “fix” it, generally hold themselves aloof and “damn with faint praise” while not truly letting me be part of their lives nor accepting invitations to be part of mine.
I have been repeatedly told by various church leaders and those of my church family that have walked with me through the storm to the best of their ability that “people” are watching how I am facing the storms with faith and it is ministering to them. I don’t know who these “people” are because they never talk to me. OK–yes, I am glad that my paltry attempts to draw closer to GOD in all this so as not to let it break me is a good witness and beneficial to someone else’s faith. I surely want to be a good witness of my GOD without a doubt. What bothers me is that as nearly as I can tell, all this reported “admiration” bears no fruit in stimulating relationship. Such superficiality creates a sense of loneliness even when surrounded by a crowd of obligatory “kindness.”
I do not seek any admiration from anyone and absolutely DO NOT want pity or obligatory, forced “compassion.” I am not looking to play a victim or sympathy card here or be an emotional or financial black hole, expecting other people to meet my every need, emotional and material. If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re missing the point — real relationship is lacking when you “admire” from afar but bar that person from your life or only let them in superficially for appearance’s sake. Meet and greet, polite chit chat but nothing really real while you blithely socialize freely with other people in front of them, in person and online, making it clear that they are not among your “real friends” to be included in the fun things that friends do together. Sometimes you even actively avoid them and stop talking to them altogether if they press too hard for a real relationship. Cue loneliness.
I don’t know whether people do it because they are: (A) afraid of getting sucked into an emotional/financial trap (not my intent AT ALL); or (B) the self-righteous type who only wants to control and manipulate my solutions according to their own prejudicial vision of who I am and what I need without ever investing time in getting to know the real me and what I really need; or (C) if said “people” think they need to protect themselves from me because they jump to unfair conclusions about my character because of the nature of the storm without bothering to learn the truth about me; or if (D) “people” are put off by the storm (it’s NOT catching!!) or just don’t know how to relate because they have never been through it themselves, and so keep their distance; or if (E) some have put me on a pedestal because of the alleged admiration of my faith in the storm and don’t feel like I am approachable because of it because they don’t think they could do it.
NEWS FLASH — Neither could I! It’s not me. It’s GOD. I am just a regular, flawed human being, no better or worse than anyone else, in spite of what I’ve been through. If it’s A, B, or C, you really need to get over jumping to conclusions about a person based on what they’ve been through or how things appear to you without investing real time in getting to know the individual and setting aside your prejudices and self-righteous “advising” and manipulation or avoidance. If it is D or E — relax already!! We are all in different places on our spiritual journey and life experiences; that doesn’t make me better than you or vice versa. I’m a nice person, a responsible adult who intimately knows that without GOD I am nothing and I would not be where I am today without Him. I don’t bite. I am not scary. This is not a trap. But I am human and it does hurt when you avoid me and keep me on the outskirts of your life for no apparent reason, even if it is because of your own baggage.
For most of those I am talking to, and if it’s you, you should know it, I have repeatedly invited you into my life and you have repeatedly put me off, in spite of superficial appearances of friendship. I won’t force the issue if you do not reciprocate. But just so you know that your lack of reciprocity has a hurtful impact. If this makes you want to reach out out of guilt, don’t bother. As the LORD loves a cheerful giver, I only want those in my life who WANT to be there and WANT to have me in theirs.
Maybe that is part of the problem — because I have a spidey sense for fakes and phonies and superficial and being seen through makes people uncomfortable; and when they are uncomfortable, they tend to blame me for being anti-social or judgemental, rather than discerning. But if you are sincere, respectful, truly kind and willing to follow through on relationship building, we shouldn’t have that problem. I won’t chase you down though. You have to want to move beyond the “casual acquaintance” or freeze out zone enough to pursue my friendship because I am so done knocking where I am apparently not wanted. In my world, lonely is better than fake, although I’d prefer neither. If you want to change the status quo between us, you should know how to reach me. (If you only know me online, I am not talking to you. I don’t give personal contact info to people I don’t know in person.) Not holding my breath that anyone is really listening….so surprise me.
P.S. Don’t bother leaving comments about this only being a temporary season or gaslight me saying my experience isn’t real or that I’m only imagining it or tell me it will get better if only I (fill in the blank), just surround myself with people who do care, get out more, and yadi yadi ya. I’ve lived in my life. You haven’t. This is real and it is chronic and I am sticking to my story. I am not an idiot. If that’s all it was, I wouldn’t be writing about it. Pat psychological or “spiritual” answers are not a panacea to instantly turn things around in the way I want. Real people don’t follow Hollywood scripts and solve all their problems in under 2 hours. People don’t change because I want them to. Whatever “advice” you have, I’ve already tried it. It doesn’t work because it isn’t me. I am not defective or unloveable or anti-social or judgemental or prideful or arrogant or a sucking black hole of neediness or any other “label” that anyone has ever assigned me, privately or to my face. I’m perfectly fine with me the way I am; and so is GOD. Not a self-esteem or shame issue here, although I never claim to be perfect. Of course, I am still growing and learning, but I know I am not fundamentally flawed as a human being nor in my social, emotional, spiritual being. If I like me and GOD likes me, that only leaves one party who evidently can’t or won’t see me the way He sees me. It’s not me….!
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous for the LORD your GOD will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
I am not ashamed for I know in Whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard that which I have entrusted to Him until that day. 2 Timothy 1:12