It's the fear that if people really get to know the real me, they won't like me? Crazy, I know. I mean, who wouldn't love me? I'm so gosh darned cuddly and all...
2 Timothy 1:7 says this:
"For God did not give us a spirit of fear or timidity but of peace, love, and a sound mind."
So why do I wrestle with this??? I mean, The Hottie knows me- ALL(most all) of me and he still loves me, right?
When I was growing up, I was that doormat friend. I was the one who people walked all over. And I'd let them just so long as they would still be my "friend". I put up with ridicule, with sarcasm. I was the butt of all of the jokes in some of my friendship circles... and I allowed it. If they said I was too loud, I'd become quiet. If they said I had ugly eyes, I believed them and agreed with them. If they made fun of me or anything about me, I'd laugh along with them, so as not to offend or drive them away- which, in reality, is likely why I make fun of myself now, as a 32 year old woman. I guess I feel like if I can beat people to the punch or point out what they must already be thinking or feeling, then maybe it won't hurt so badly.
But my whole life I wanted love so badly that I put my self out there as a rug and people took advantage of that. I found that the people who would "care" for me, or call me friend, were those people who needed someone to belittle or those who needed to use me for whatever purposes. And I thought I didn't mind. I thought it was okay...
But it wasn't.
And I got hurt. Over and over again... I got hurt.
I started to look for new ways to find acceptance and approval. I threw up walls left and right and found the masks that people wanted me to wear. I covered up any real feelings or emotions I had so I wouldn't be shunned. I carried these habits into adulthood- into my marriage and into my adult friendships. Before I was married, I found that I could get "love" from my boyfriends by making myself available physically. I figured that if I was pretty enough or sensual enough, THEN they'd love me. If I gave into their demands for physical intimacy, THEN I would be loved. But I was not... at least not by them- which, in turn translated long term into thoughts and fears that I was ugly, unlovable, and several other really damaging lies.
I put the ideal of marriage on this pedestal and set unattainable goals for myself. I was convinced that if I became the perfect wife, then Kyle would meet that deep seeded need for love and then he would never leave me. I started to look for ways to show him love- whether it be affection, friendship, "stuff", hard work, a clean and perfect home (HA!), clean and perfect children (HA, again!). I was convinced that if I could just get it right, THEN I'd be happy and know that love I'd been so desperately longing for and trying to get from him. And when I performed and he didn't respond, I became discouraged and angry and bitter. I took it out on him and continued to beat myself up for not getting it right. And when I sensed he was looking for love from me, rather than praying for God to show me the best way to love Him, I continued to do it all in my own strength... often failing and growing more and more frustrated with myself.
When it came to friendships, if I sensed that someone wanted a friend who was mellow, I'd become that person. If someone needed to laugh, I'd be funny (or at least I'd TRY to be funny, often times unsuccessfully). If someone needed advice, I'd become the know-it-all (gag). If someone wanted a listener, I'd transform to become that. If I needed to be "cool" to fit in, I'd try my hardest... which, as it turns out is so not cool. If someone needed help with something, even if I didn't have the time or money or physical energy to help, I would MAKE a way to help.
And eventually, I just reached the end of me. And I was exhausted.
Have you ever read THE GIVING TREE by Shel Silverstein? I'm not her- but at some point I felt like her. Like I'd given everything to everyone and what was left was a stump- worn, used, and feeling very unloved.
And in the process, I never really made an effort to find out who I was- like who I REALLY was. I think there are little pieces of that person somewhere inside of me. But try as I might, I have sucked in (worn a girdle), colored my hair, dressed up, dressed down, talked, kept quiet, studied, written, played the game of pretend... and still this square peg won't fit into that round hole.
We are designed to crave love. All of us. It's really frustrating, but it's true. Each of us was created with a God-shaped void inside of our hearts- a design that would set the world in motion, searching for love. What God intended to be a tool to keep man from being satisfied by anything else besides Him has also become a tool that the enemy uses to try to keep us looking everywhere else EXCEPT the one place where we know that thirst will be satisfied.
Isaiah 55:1 says:
"Come to me all you who are thirsty. Come to the waters."
John 4:10-14 Jesus is speaking to the Samaritan woman:
"10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
He loves me. He loves you. Nothing can change that. Period.
Remember this- he's a liar.
Remember this as well- when you feel alone in your marriage, when you feel like you can't do anything right, when you feel like no matter what you do, your spouse just isn't meeting your needs and he/she never will... when you feel like all hope is lost, when you feel like you just can't go on, when you feel like no one could ever love you...
He is there. And HE deeply, desperately, intimately loves YOU. Drink.
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.