I’ve felt pretty grateful this week that I have so many people who intrusively care about me and the happenings in my life. The favorite question of one of these people, my best friend, is: “What are you learning?” So I’ve felt inspired to share that this week. Here is what I have been learning recently:
1. Don’t ever apologize for who you are
1a. (unless who you are is mean or something, but that should be obvious)
The Lord woke me up in the middle of the night with this one. I was interacting (ok, ok, I went on a date) with someone who I realized had made me feel like I needed to apologize for who I am, what I believe, and what I do. I was making myself small because this person seems to live small. Friends, don’t apologize for having a degree or for having an opinion.
Jesus spoke this strongly over me: Something about this person makes you feel like you need to apologize for yourself. No one should make you feel this way.
Be unapologetically you. There isn’t time to be fake in this life, and honestly? People are going to like you or they’re not. So it’s a disservice to your darn wonderful self to try and be someone you’re not. Live your life, man.
I find it interesting that this situation happened after what I wrote last week. The Lord tends to do that I have noticed – teach us something and then say, “Ok, do you really believe it?” I’m choosing to believe that I am treasured and loved, no matter if someone else seems to think that or not.
2. Extending grace and forgiveness is not the same thing as getting played or letting someone off the hook.
It can feel this way. It does, often. But here is the thing: we don’t want to forgive or offer mercy because it feels like we’re losing control. There is some sort of sick power we feel when we are holding onto a grudge, like we are teaching that person a lesson. But the real control is in letting go of that bitterness and allowing grace to flow freely. Someone wise told me this week, “People who are getting played don’t know they are getting played.” Choosing to forgive and offer grace isn’t tolerating or allowing what they did. It is freedom for you. Let’s be real, bitterness and grudge-holding is not flattering. It doesn’t look good on anyone. It’s like a man-bun (BURN).
3. When making a decision, not everyone’s opinion matters.
Brené Brown talks about cutting out a one inch by one inch piece of paper, and on one side writing the name of each person whose opinion matters to you. You can’t fit very many names on that size of paper – which is the point. Anyone who isn’t on there? Their opinion can just go ahead and slide right off your shoulder. Choose the people who get to speak into your life, whose words hold weight in your mind, and who truly care about your growth and personal well-being.
Be careful who you share things with. We have placed such a high value on vulnerability and authenticity that we take it too far sometimes and feel like we need to share all the dirty details with every person who crosses our path. Sometimes, you need to choose not to bare your soul to someone. That is healthy vulnerability.
4. Don’t waste your time with boring people.
Ok, this is kind of tricky – because everyone is made in the Image of God and has deep, soul-level value and worth. But maybe the people I think are really fun and interesting, someone else might find boring? (I have a really hard time believing that considering how cool the people in my life are…) I am not positive, but I know that sometimes I meet someone’s significant other and think they are…uhhh…kind of dull. (Is that ok to say? Meh, it’s my blog).
Maybe what I mean is that there seem to be two types of people who will stir you to dream: people who dream big, and people who don’t dream at all. And it just seems like it might be better to hang around the people who dream big too, because everything is better when done together. Holla-lujah.
The biggest takeaway, a two-parter! Woo!:
5. We get to rescue each other.
We get to be a part of the redemption story God is writing in this world. We get to witness AND participate. This living hope to which we are born again (1 Peter 1) – we are literally rescued to it and for it.
We are the world’s lifeboats. Sometimes we don’t even know we are drowning until someone comes up next to us and pulls us out of our mess. Don’t miss these opportunities to save each other.
We get to put each other back together.
We are restorers. If we engage, we get to take broken pieces off the floor and put it all back together. We are His Image Bearers- we do what He does. We take part in His work. He redeems, He saves, He restores. He is our rescuer. We get to rescue.
Be a part of His redemption work here, on this earth, in this one precious life. We get to offer each other little Easters of the heart, resurrecting each other through kindness and words and love. My friends do this for me often by not allowing me to justify the hurtful actions of others, or keeping me from dismissing my own feelings and hopes. Let’s do this for each other.
I am constantly amazed, little me over here, that the God who created the world gives such precious gifts to His undeserving children. This life is good, and you are wonderful.
These are my little nuggets from this crazy week of life. What have you been learning? I want to know! Comment below (: