Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Truth and Love and Chronic Lateness

I quit facebook last week.  It's true.  Well, it's sort of true. I had to go on to find a recipe I had shared on my wall that I wanted to make for dinner.  And I went on again to see the pictures my in-laws posted of all the snow they got in East Aurora.  And then in a moment of weakness, after being holed up in my house for two days due to the 4+ feet of snow outside, I went back on to see pictures and what was happening outside of my zip code.

And it happened again.  That pit in my stomach. The heat rising in my cheeks. The insecurity creeping over me, whispering unkind words.  You see, I quit facebook because of an article someone posted.  There were several articles over time about many different topics ranging from organic food to clean eating and exercising/fitness.  But this was the one that put me over the edge.

I saw it again today and with it many comments that were not there when I first saw it.  To read the article you can click here.  It was posted by someone I don't know very well.  And it was not posted directly to me. But it hit a chord.  Here's why.  The article is called, "You're not running late, You are just rude and selfish."  Ouch.

I run late. Almost always. Sometimes it's 5 or 10 minutes. Sometimes more. As a kid growing up we were early to everything.  Like 30 minutes early. I found that once I was older I wanted to control something.  Life was chaotic growing up but I could control being late. And so I rebelled against what I grew up with and became that girl.  I was never late to school.  I was never late to my shift jobs. But everything else.

Here's the deal, I no longer like being late. It is a bad habit and it's one I am working on.  Adding 2 kids to the mix hasn't helped make it easier to reform this chronically late girl but I am a work in progress.  And do you know what blesses my heart?  When people show me grace. It makes me want to please them. To be on time. To know although I'm so incredibly flawed I am still cared for. And this may sound so silly, but I don't mind when people are late and I'm on time. I never feel disrespected or that my time doesn't matter. I find it is an incredible opportunity to show them grace. And most times it is needed.

I know. I've showed up to things late, guard up. On the defense. Knowing I've messed up. Knowing I need to apologize. And I have.   And when I've been met with grace, oh it is a balm that soothes my soul.

Giving grace for the chronically late is never wrong. Someone once said, "I'd rather get to Heaven and have shown too much grace than be told I didn't give enough." Yes, your time matters. And that is why choosing grace in that moment is even sweeter. I've been shown much grace and I will continue to choose to give it. And often here is what people don't know when I'm late- that I've changed my outfit 45 times on the verge of tears because I am hating my body and can't stand to look at the girl in the mirror. Because I'm anxious about going somewhere where I fear I won't fit in and everyone will pick apart all of the things I so desperately wish I could hide. Because if I'm late and they are upset their guard will be up and I won't have to let mine down. They can reject me for something within my control vs. all of the things that aren't that they may reject me for and would hurt much more. And sometimes it is because I try to fit in one more thing before I have to leave the house because I continually can't get my act together. And there are times that it's poor planning or because I feel that whatever I have to do is more important than where I am going.

We never know the battle someone has fought to get where they are. So ask. And show grace.

That article and the comments that followed were destructive. Here's why.  Any time we choose to take a stand on something, especially in social media, it can be interpreted as I am right and you are wrong. I am better. You are less. And that is what it did to my heart.

I read the article. I read the comments. And I shrunk back into myself. Defeated. I will never be good enough. The voice of insecurity that plagues me, that God is working on, grew louder. And I felt wrecked. So, I quit facebook.  Because when the voices of women I barely know feed the voice of insecurity I know all too well and becomes louder than The Voice of THE ONLY ONE who should matter, there is a problem.

I know I can't be the only one who has struggled with this. So, I want you to stop and to listen for a moment. You, yes you, have been created in the image of God. And because of sin we are all so incredibly flawed. We choose to turn to things that do not satisfy. We run after shiny, meaningless things and we allow the voices of the world fill our head and our hearts with lies and unkind words.

But there is a voice that we should listen to. It is slow to anger and abounding in love. This voice is the voice of a God who knows all of our flaws, sees our rebellion, our struggles, and our silent cries for more than what we've been choosing to live for.  And God's voice is kind, compassionate and so very mighty. With words God spoke the universe into being. It's that powerful.  And His voice can break through our walls and crumble our insecurity into a million pieces revealing the girl He created in His image. To know Him. To love Him. 

The truth is God will call us out on the things He wants to change in us. He may use people that know us and care for us to do that. I've yet to have him use random articles on social media to do that. See, there's the difference between God and us. I post things because I want to make a point. I want to take a stand. I want people to know I am right and they are wrong.

courtesy of
God calls us out on things because He cares for us. Because the end goal is always to make us to reflect Jesus. To look more like His Son and less like the world. That is why it is so important that when we take a stand it's a stand worth taking. That it won't be something that in eternity won't matter.

An incredibly wise, sweet woman posted to her facebook wall these words, "When we 

stand before God at the end of our lives He is not going to 

ask us what kind of clothes we wore, the type of food we ate 

(organic or not), or where we lived. He may very well ask, 

however, whom we clothed, fed and invited into our homes."

Truth in grace is often speaking truth and then continuing to walk alongside. That's what is impossible to do via facebook and posting articles. Often it's truth without grace. It's taking a stand and not caring how it makes people feel. I know because I've done it. And I've been on the other end, too.

So, today, I am going to stop and to listen to God's voice. To remember that you and I are worth it to God- worth it enough for him to send His one and only Son to die on the cross to secure a place for you and me in eternity.  That we might have a personal relationship with Jesus. That's a voice of love. That's a voice that is always truthful and always, always loving.

Whether you are chronically late or eat non-organic processed food for every meal, are overweight, don't have your life together, don't drive a great car, have an old house that needs updates, feel like you are failing at your job, as a mom, at whatever, are having trouble paying your bills, or look like you have it all together but life is still hard, there's a voice that will speak love to you today. You are more than all of that. Keep pressing on. And if you need to, like I do, set your clocks 10 minutes ahead :)