Everything has changed.
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and lost and unsure of where I am, who I am, whether I'm important or significant or valued or loved, and whether I have anything worth contributing to this new life. It has been somewhat disorienting but incredibly refreshing because it has reminded me of something.
My feelings of worth and significance can't come from what people around me think. Their estimation of me doesn't equal my actual value. I got so cozy in Princeton because I made lasting friendships with people and felt truly loved and respected and valued- but it allowed me to forget that it's NOT their love, respect, or value that actually informs who I am. In other words, how I feel about myself can't be based on what people think of me.
I know, I know...this topic is such a dead horse for some of the people who've been forced to keep up with my thoughts for the last seven years. BUT for me the horse is not dead. I have to keep beating the stinkin thing until I finally kill it!!! (Isn't it funny how people often "preach" the message they themselves need to hear the most?)
This is a poem I wrote my freshman year of college:
i just want You to tell me who i am
so i can be assured
...and i can be secure
that You love me not because
of what i do
or what i try to prove
but because you think that i'm
perfect for You
and You're proud of the way i am
..that all this is just a part of Your plan
(I thought it was cool not to capitalize words, apparently.) So, yea, this is a recurring theme in my life. And God is so faithful in continuing to teach me SO patiently (I'd certainly be fed up by now if I were God) that seeking others' approval will always be in vain. It doesn't matter what people in Dallas (or anywhere!) think of me, whether they think I'm a fun person or a valuable "team member" or a gifted evangelist or a good singer or a creative wife...b/c I had a group of people in Princeton who thought I was great and now I'm not in Princeton anymore and I'm feeling insecure. Hmm.
God you are good to remind me that when I put my confidence in man (ie. what people think of me) I will always be insecure.
Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit."