A couple of days ago I mentioned how I was going to share what I consider a major spiritual victory in my life. For some of you, it’s going to seem so trivial. For me, it was huge. It was the day God won the argument.
A little background. There was a time when I entertained a lot. I enjoyed it. We opened our home for all kinds of functions. We held Sunday school classes in our home while our new church was built. One time we opened our home at Christmas for three days in a row and invited the entire church.
As our family grew and matured, life got really busy. While I had female friends in quite often, I no longer invited people over for dinner. I got out of the habit.
And after a while, the desire just kind of faded. I still had relatives and long-time friends over. We changed churches and because my husband started traveling and was gone two weeks each month, we didn’t have a chance to meet other couples. When he was home, we had way too much to do to entertain and we didn’t know any other couples anyway.
Then there was depression which you can read about a lots of places on this blog by either searching for the word, or clicking on “depression” on the header menu. This took its toll on my self-confidence.
Back to the present. I’d been praying about what my goals for 2015 should be. One of them turned out to be that I needed to get over some of my insecurities. I needed to get over thinking my house had to be in perfect order before I asked anyone over. Well, I should have known God was going to put me to the test.
Right out of the blue and when I least expected it.
We had run into a certain couple a week before. My husband grew up in the same neighborhood as the husband and went to school with he and his wife. I had been in an art class with his wife and would always stop and talk to her when I saw her. On this particular occasion, she mentioned, “Hey, let’s get together for lunch.”
We exchanged phone numbers. In a few days we had a date set for lunch for the four of us.
So last Thursday as I’m trying to re-arrange some things in the dining room that I just couldn’t get the way I wanted, trying to gather things together for my upcoming surgery, and having things in various forms of disarray throughout the house, I looked out the window and saw my husband talking to two people in the driveway.
I didn’t have my glasses on so I thought it was a couple of his friends that had stopped by. I didn’t think too much of it but when I went back in the dining room about ten minutes later and looked out, they were still there. I was curious.This time I put my glasses on to see who it was.
Oh, my gosh! It was this is same above-mentioned couple.
What to do? What to do?
There was no doubt in my mind that God was putting me to the test. It was as obvious a “holy” direction as I’ve ever received.
“But God”, I said. “The house is a mess. You can’t really expect to invite her in. I’m trying to get things done before surgery.”
As I’m saying this, I’m literally running from one room to another straightening things up as well as I can. Tucking things under things, throwing things in drawers, hiding things in the laundry room. And all the time God and I are having this conversation-no argument.
“No, God”, I can not to do this now. I’ll do it when I can plan for it. Just not now!
I came so close to disobeying. It scares me to think I could be so deliberately disobedient.
Then I found myself walking to the door and saying, “??????, (her name), I didn’t realize it was you. Come on in. I’ll put some hot water on. Do you drink tea?” At this point, I’m just kind of blabbering anything, I’m so nervous. But I actually sounded like I did this all the time.
Was this really coming out of my mouth so effortlessly? What was I doing? I knew I was going to have a nervous breakdown over this. All this is going on as she comes in the house.
We talked for about an hour and had an absolutely terrific conversation.Then the “hubbies” came in and the conversation continued. All this time, I’m really self-conscious. What is she thinking about our house? I’ll bet she’s rich. I know she lives in a really nice house. She probably thinks my old farmhouse is awful. What does she think of my decorating? She probably thinks it’s lame.
Really. I am not exaggerating any of this. I was really nervous. They stayed for at least ninety minutes and the four of us had a really nice conversation. We really liked them and when we had lunch a few days later and enjoyed them even more.
So where am I going with all this?
First of all, when God makes something clear, we put our spiritual health in jeopardy if we don’t obey. Not that we would lose our standing with God but that we open ourselves to all kinds of attacks from the enemy. It is these kind of “openings’ that Satan uses to insinuate himself into our conscience, into those places where doubt and fear live. It’s an open door.
We do it to ourselves more times than not. Then God just allows us to deal with the natural consequences of our disobedience. For me, it would have been the berating I would do to myself for weeks. God’s discipline wouldn’t have been anything as severe as what I’d be doing to myself.
Secondly, what is the matter with us (me, more than most) that we can’t just be who we are? Why do we (me, more than most) get so hung up on comparisons? Why are we (me, more than most) so insecure about such things? Why are we (especially me) so self-conscious?
Here’s the funny part. No one would ever consider me as insecure or self-conscious. I seem so confident about things. And I am confident about many things. But in this area, I quiver like jello. (My husband says he can never understand it.)
After this couple left, my husband turned to me in a state of shock.
“You can’t believe I did that, can you?” I asked.
“No, I can’t. My mouth dropped when you invited her in”, he said.
I responded, “Well, it’s about time I got over it. Besides, God gave me no peace.”
Do you know how good it feels to have been obedient in something so frightening for me? I’ve spoken in front of hundreds with nary an extra heartbeat. I’m fearless about lots of things. But this one throws me for a loop.
I know why. It goes back to childhood and it’s not important to share. What is important is that there are some fears we just have to get beyond. It doesn’t mean we won’t still be fearful in those same circumstances, but that we know we can get past it. I will never be truly comfortable with entertaining, especially if it involves cooking. That’s another thing. (We’ll talk later.:)
This was probably a little thing to most of you but I feel good that I let God propel me through this. The rest of that day, I sensed an overwhelming sense of “rightness”. Does that make any sense?
Anyway, I hope this helps anyone out there who has an insecurity that is getting in the way of moving on with their life.
If you let God in on it, He’ll get you to that place where you will have the opportunity to move forward in your faith. It might well be out-of-the-blue, when and how you least expect it. Just be ready. 🙂
God bless and I hope you have a good day.
I also “live” at: firstname.lastname@example.org