The Girl No One Really Knew

004When I imagine people from my past talking about me, it usually goes something like this: “Remember that girl in school, the one who__________(fill in the blank)?” “Yeah. I hated her.” “Remember J…? You know, the one that….” “Oh yeah, she was stuck-up!” “That girl who… You know, the one who was always….?” “No. I don’t remember her at all.”

Of course, when I remember me, I’m pretty much my worst critic. So much so, that I hate even remembering who I was. I always struggled to fit in, to be accepted or to just be liked. I know the things people most often remember about others are what they hated about them, or the mistakes they made.

I have made some bad choices in my lifetime. I mean REALLY bad. Awful. I had so many mixed messages from all sorts of influences, and not enough healthy interactions with the adults who were supposed to help direct me. I was just so very lost. And, no matter what I did, I felt like a tremendous failure.

I learned to guard and value the friendships I made, because they were pretty sparse. I had the social skills of a bull in a china shop (someone actually made that reference to me about me, to my face, and I have to admit, it’s pretty darn accurate.) When a misunderstanding happened, or someone I valued got upset with me, it felt like the end of my world.

The one thing that got me through the awkwardness that has always been me, was just knowing God loved me. Every time I saw a rainbow, I remembered that God kept His promises. There were times when I was miserable and sad, then all of a sudden a cloud with rainbow colors would pass overhead, or a rainbow would peek out at me from behind some dark clouds.

When I met my husband, I confessed every stupid, horrible thing I have ever done or have been wrongly accused of having done. And he listened. He stuck by me. He called me back. You know, he was one of very few to ever return my calls. And, that was after he got to know the real  me – the bull in the china shop.

I still can’t figure out what he sees in me.

I still can’t figure out what God has seen in me.

But I am so thankful they have stood by me, even in my most awkward and stupid moments.

Being Falsely Accused

“‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Deut 5:20 )

Don’t take hold of a misunderstanding, giving it no opportunity to be resolved or cleared up, and instead tell others about it as if it were the truth.

1-sad-girl-bad-love-relationship-quotes-photo-images-wallpaper-fanzwave-netMisunderstandings happen.  I have often hoped for grace from others when I have either misunderstood something, or I have been misunderstood.

But there is a pride in some that just won’t let them admit they have misunderstood something. That lack of communication that could most often keep friendships safe, marriages strong and family close in heart, often gets overlooked or disregarded.

That’s when anxiety pulls the strings with impulsive reactions, causes a spewing out of hurtful words that can’t be pulled back in under a controlled tongue. The mind plays tricks, creates scenarios that consume concentration. Reality is saturated with illusions and injections of a “read between the lines” offensiveness that often doesn’t even exist.

Negative, accusing thoughts are illuminated and become like darts of poison to a misunderstanding.

The wisdom of God‘s Word in Philippians 4:6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (NASB)  stands out like a beacon of light on the darkest of nights.

God’s Word heeded saves friendships during times of misunderstanding.

I grieve the loss of friendships torn away from me by confusion of circumstances, misreading of intentions, and not having open heart-to-heart conversations.

Be anxious for nothing. But in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving: Let your requests be made known to God.

That seems so clear. Until I walk away from it, and my thoughts remind me of a perceived offense.

In light of God’s advice: maybe my own perception is affected and influenced by things outside of what really happened. Maybe what I see is tainted by my choice to instead meditate on the perception. Perhaps my prideful ego suckled on the bitterness of a false negative, while stirring up strife in my heart and in the hearts and lives of others.

Who wants to admit when they’ve made a mistake? Isn’t it easier to instead cover it up and share with others the perceived offense? Doesn’t the sweetness of revenge that drains the vitality of relationships grant a satisfaction, while turning people away from an innocent person that we project false guilt on to? To drag a reputation through the mud to elevate a temporary false victimization, that’s vindication, right? Isn’t that fair?

Enough of that. When it becomes the destroyer of reputations it is unfair and wrong. It’s actually a form of bullying.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (NKJV)

What are God’s thoughts towards us?  Even though every one of us have sinned against God and fallen short, this says His thoughts are …”of peace and not evil, to give you (us) a future and a hope.”

What about thoughts towards those who we perceive to have sinned against us? Are they of peace?

We need to get this right. God will hold us accountable for our words and our actions. No matter how justified we believe we are.