This is what happens when you work full time, have a sick baby and travel every week, three weeks in a row.
Earlier this week, I introduced Heather as being our other guest for this week.
But actually, Heather is not for a couple weeks, and Ally is chapter three (today!)
SO, I am going to do a double whammy and introduce Ally + share Angie’s intro of her.
Thank you for grace.
Introducing Ally Bergstrom
Family: Wife to the amazing and always entertaining Blake Bergstrom, mother to the most wonderful four girls a mom could ask for…Madison (14), Moriah (12), Montana (10), Mercy (8)
What I fear the most? I fear failing. Often times I might not even put myself out there for fear of not getting it right. 🙂
Favorite book: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers…hands down the BEST Christian fiction book out there. Other favorites include Same Kind of Different as Me and Irresistible Revolution.
Words from Angie: Sweet Ally. Everyone who knows her loves her. She is the one you can call in any situation and know that she will be on her knees (probably at 5:30 a.m. during her quiet time…:)) praying before you can finish your sentence. Ally and her husband Blake have 4 beautiful daughters and have shared about the way their story unfolded. It wasn’t the way they thought it would, and I have heard Ally talk about a time in her life when she felt judged and like a failure. She and Blake are two of the most faithful people I know, and I can’t imagine Todd and Blake hang up the phone without telling each other how much they love the other. I remember when Blake shared their story at church and imagining what it must have been like to walk in those shoes, feeling like one decision could change your trajectory forever. I knew her thoughts on this chapter would be amazing and I hope you love her as much as we do.
We welcome your thoughts in the comments!
Ang and Jess
I love the two stories in this chapter. Relating to the woman with the issue of blood has always been easy for me. I think that has to do with the shame she felt and the tenderness Jesus showed toward her. The fear of being found out is what keeps me in my shame wondering if Jesus will show me the same tenderness. I love, “You might even say you spend more time ‘presenting’ yourself rather than being present.” Amen! It’s the story of my life.
The story of Jacob has sweetly shown me the redemption of a new name. Angie, you did an awesome job of fleshing the story out. I think God is asking me my name, and instead, of answering, laying everything on the table unashamed, I’m ignoring the question. But I’ve been challenged in this chapter to get in the match.
I agree! Doesn’t reading this inspire a motivation to act? 🙂
I’m in the same place as the last chapter, feeling like I could read it again, and gain even more. Great chapter! My favorite sentence is, “Don’t trade your legacy for your reputation.” I actually read that sentence multiple times to get the impact. This is something I’ve done for years, but it wasn’t really revealed to me until I read these words. I’ve been afraid to completely “show my shame” to God, as Angie so rightly put it, for fear that He won’t love me. Why do I forget that He already knows my sins? He just wants me to answer, just like Jacob and the woman who grabbed His hem. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this! It opened my eyes to something I was failing to see before.
I love that quote also! Revealing shame is such a vulnerable thing, even to our creator!! I’m glad your eyes are being opened too.
Yes! When Angie said that part of being healed is showing our shame I pictured this woman in a crowd looking for her opportunity to touch Jesus’ garment. I imagine her looking around to see if anyone is noticing. And then the picture in my mind was me in her place and I was thinking of myself in situations like a small group with other women or talking with other moms or just gathered around other people. I don’t think our most intimate frailties are something that always need to be shared with everyone though they need to be shared with some of the people that our close to us, but other times I do need to let go enough to say that no matter what all of these people think, I am willing to show my shame so that I can be close to Jesus, be healed, move forward. I wonder how many other people would be encouraged and freed if we were the ones to take that step?!
So true, Emily! I’m very cautious in small groups- but I take it too far for sure, when I struggle even to be vulnerable with those closest to me.
This was such a good chapter. I loved what Angie shared about her friend who had/has it all together, great birthday parties, clean home and when Angie asked her about it, her friend broke down in tears that it was all a sham. I struggle with envy at times when I go to friends homes that are completely put together, clean, they can cook and throw the best birthday parties. I always wonder, “how do they manage, how do they do it all?” I feel so scattered, my house a mess, photos not hung on the wall, I have spit up on my clothes and I forgot to put my make up on……the list goes on. I desire to be the best mom I can be and often feel like I am coming up short. Just yesterday, my son fell off the changing table at a restaurant because I went to grab my toddler who was getting into trouble and let go of him for a second. After crying and feeling like a failure as a mom, my nurse-sister-in-law told me they get a lot of kids that come in to the ER because they fall of changing tables, beds, etc. I just didn’t think I would ever take my hands off him! I just thank God that my son is ok and God gives me grace.
I can relate to the women with the blood. Throughout my life I struggled with shame (more like toxic shame) and I would hide because of my shame. I love how Jesus showed this woman so much love and she believed that he would heal her. There has been times that I questioned if God would heal me, if he would rescue me, if we would end the pain I was experiencing and it is when I believed that God would heal me was when I could experience true healing.
Kristin Smith says
I too struggle with envy and always comparing myself to others. But I never seem to remember that they just may not be sharing with transparency either and we never know what happens behind closed doors. This chapter was a reminder again to me that my focus should not be on people, places or things of this world but instead on God and what he would have me do with my life for Him while I am here.
There is a song by Casting Crown about shiney plastic people…isn’t it sad that is what we as a society have become!! Working so hard at keeping the “exterior” clean and not focusing on the inside!! I love that we can have transparency here but also know that beyond the security of a computer screen I need to be transparent with someone IRL too if I am going to stay accountable!! It is easier for me to be honest here b/c I believe that IRL I may never meet anyone who has read my words…but I should be living out that example in all areas of my life. Hard to do though isn’t it?!
Kristen and Melanie,
I am right there with you on the mommy front. Your struggles are mine as well. Very well put and thank you.
Hi Melanie, isn’t it funny how we sometimes can accept the grace from God but we can’t give ourselves grace. Mommy guilt is a big one the enemy loves to throw at me ~ daily.
I love how God can heal our brokenness even when our situation doesn’t change. His ways are much higher than our ways, He can supply peace that passes all understand. and I have experienced it on so many occassions, I pray you continue to also. In God’s Love, sheila
I have this same struggle with comparing myself to others. We used to attend a bible study at a couple’s home, and their home was litterally picture perfect. Seasonal fruit in the fruit basket, family photos based on the season, light candle frangrance, fresh dessert prepared for the end of the bible study, kids in pjs and ready for quiet time while the bible study was going on…It was so hard to hear my husband’s comments about how he wished our house was like theirs. I am not a great homemaker at all. After 3 years, we stopped attending the bible study. I miss the people, but not the home comparisons. Although I know we are all in different seasons in life, it is hard for me to give up my expectations of myself, and stop comparing what others do to how little I seem to do.
Steph "Shine" says
Sabrina, I can understand and relate as I’m in a similar scene right now. I feel I was cast aside hosting some international guests coming to a conference here because my home is not huge, or prestigious and I am not a “Suzy homemaker hostess” (I despise the kitchen) but I am more than willing to serve in a way the Lord asks of me, including making meals, and sharing our modest home. I am heart sick today feeling insignificant because I have been compared to someone else.
‘m struggling with the fact that I am very Transparent. I share alot and wear my heart on my sleeve and am open and real and while I’ve loved that, it brings me an awful lot of heartache. when others abuse it or won’t go that deep with me. While I don’t want to be a “chat about the weather kind” it is safer. I am finding I want to prevent heartbreak and be silent these days. pg 34 hit it on the nail for me: “It looks different in each of our lives, but either consciously or unconsciously, we can become so caught up in what we think people are seeing in us that we lose sight of who we are. As a result, we may begin to shut down socially an decide that building walls makes more sense than a broken heart”.
Good morning everyone. I just can’t wait to be sharing with you on each of the chapters. For this chapter, my fears are past mistakes that I managed to keep undercover from certain family members. I’m afraid that if they find out they will think I just a fake. I know that God has forgiven me. But I do no feel people will understand my motives for keeping this to myself. In the past I struggled with this issue of shame. I did not forgive myself for being so foolish.
The part that stood out to me in the book was: “What I want you to hear and pray about is the fact that you are created in the image of God , gifted with His love and desire to use you. Do you wear that proudly or have you stuffed it in a drawer in favor of something you think is better?”
I think this fear, ties in with the fear of rejection. We are afraid that our past mistakes will not be forgiven and we will be rejected by others.
If you choose to tell people about your past mistakes, they may not completely understand your reasoning behind them; yet, even without that understanding, they can still love you. No one but God can really understand the depths of your heart and the motives for your decisions. Maybe you don’t necessarily need their understanding or approval. Maybe you just need their acceptance and love.
Dear Rosario, I too have a hidden sin that I would be so humilated and shamed if found out., yet it is comforting to be to know the one who matters most, the one who at the end of the day holds my life in his hands, says FORGIVEN. Oh it’s just so good to be a child of the most high God. In God’s Love, sheila
As Angie states beautifully, that we shouldn’t worry about peoples judgements. And theg can be cruel and harsh! That does not matter. It is all in His unconditional love we must focus on. Take comfort in that.
Oh and the worst part is im driving around a nice 2008 minivan and we don’t even have a 1.00 to pump gas in it. So I like to look like we are well off and can afford all these children but then I think what we were thinking. We should have done and planned things a smarter way. Now I wouldn’t want anyone seeing that. We make it…but no room for anything but bills. But they would never guess…wondee if like Angie asks in the book, if they’d skip out on our playdates or get uncomfortable asking us out to eat knowing we struggle so….very depressing thoughts if it weren’t for Christs healing and promise.
I can’t really come up with the words to explain my thoughts on this chapter – it touched me deeply. I dealt with my hidden life a while back after a wonderful book ‘Seduction of the Heart’ showed me the extent of my sin and how Satan deceives and traps us little by little. I saw myself in the rationalizations of “at least I’m not a _____ like so-and-so” – you fill in the blanks. I went to church on a regular basis and had made sure my children received instruction like our parents before us. But neither me or my husband had a personal relationship with God. I knew in my heart that if I didn’t confess and change my life that I was a goner. I was exhausted from living my lie similar to your ‘perfect’ friend and though everything was beautiful on the outside – there was plenty of work to do inside. Our children were nearly grown when I had my epiphany – so it’s been a challenge to lead them to a personal relationship with God – but God did work a miracle in my husband’s life – and he spends quiet time daily with the Lord – and we are praying that through our prayers and our example that God will bless us with their conversion as well. Praying we can all do some inside house cleaning and have a fresh start. God bless.
Kristin Smith says
Debbie – thanks so much for sharing that. Beautiful example of God’s redemption!!
Oh but how sweet it is Debbie that you have found that relationship and that God has allowed you and your husband to share it together. In God’s Love, sheila
Kasey Krawiec says
There were several areas in this chapter that stuck out to me. The last paragraph on page 54 hit me square between the eyes. “…. we can become so caught up in what we think people are seeing in us that we that we lose sight of who we are. … we may begin to shut down socially and decide that building walls makes more sense than a broken heart.” And then on page 55, “You might even say that you spend more time ‘presenting’ rather than being present.” Boy does that sum up my life various aspects of my childhood, teenage years, adult hood. So fearful about others expectations of me and worrying that I’m going to let them down so I keep up the “fake” just to appease what I think that person wants/expects from me. So exhausting…. and most of the time, like Angie referenced, it’s all in my head. That person didn’t set up an expectation – I created it.
Good, good stuff in this chapter!
Kasey…thank you for putting in all the pages that I too have now soaked in red ink and exclamation points!
I found myself listing in the margins the things I think I need to maintain in order to “present” myself. Truth be told people probably don’t know or don’t care about the things that are exhausting me to maintain!!
You have to think that Satan would just love for us to get so caught up in the obviously unnecessary in order to keep us from the real Kingdom work.
I underlined those phrases too, Kasey! So often I struggle with this very thing…so concerned with being the perfect everything so as not to disappoint anyone. Crazy, I know, but the fear of disappointing the ones I love (and even strangers I don’t even know) haunts me. But I LOVED how she tied it all to Jacob and what she then wrote on page 61…”We can go to Peniel as often as we need. It may be daily, hourly, or moment-by-moment for us, but we can go meet Him face-to-face and have that which has been promised to us before Jacob ever wrestled in the night. And He who loves us more than He despises our reputation will delight in our new name.” :0) Praise You, Father!!!
Oooh there is so much in this small chapter. Right from the beginning ‘couldn’t bear the thought of everyone knowing she was not who she seemed’. I am known in my ‘circle’ as always happy, always has a smile on her face, faithful and loyal. Oh boy, if they only know, I yell too much at my children, my husband use to say ‘why are you happy every where else but here (home). I am trying to become more transparent and let’s be honest, when your marriage falls apart, the transparency is gone. But, I now struggle with the shame of a failed marriage.
Even I my family are we being truly genuine? I long to be able to connect with my daughters (11 & 9) and share their true feelings. My 9 yr old is a true perfectionist and that worries me, I want to allow them to make mistakes and not always have to be perfect.
The section on Jacob had me praying for my husband. It seems as if he would get so close to God, then pull back and even run from him. Like there was in internal struggle and patrick could not truly trust God with his past. I’ve been on othe recieving end of ‘good Christian advice’, well-meaning just not helpful. In regards to my husband, ‘Well maybe he was never really saved.’ I can say without a doubt that I know my husband is saved, I know he loves/loved the Lord with all he could; BUT there was a place he could never get to, never give to the Lord because of shame and guilt and I don’t even know because it was a place he didn’t allow me into either. However, I pray he will come to that place where he finally does just what Jacob does and says OK Lord, here I am, all of me, all of me. You know me, you know all of me. Change me, bless me, help me.
I think of how the women must have felt incredible love being poured out on her that it brings sweet tears to my eyes. (Pg 61).
Pg 62: She will not be known for what she was, but by what she had in spite of it. FAITH. Oh Lord, increase my faith. Pg 63: You will walk for the rest of your days telling the story of redemption, not in words or deeds, but in your very existence.
I can’t help but think of the song: This Little Light of Mine, I’m going to let it shine…..
I’m going to shine and give God the glory for taking my shame and guilt and replacing it with honor and love. He is God and He loves me, sometimes I forget. Thanks ladies, In God’s love, sheila
ps: oh dear, I think I was all over the map, lol
Julie Sunne says
I absolutely love how this chapter starts. How you paint the picture of this woman desperately reaching, yet terrified of being found out, is a masterpiece, Angie! It points to my life and so many others, I’m sure.
Page 58: “I believe in every one of those moments we have a Savior who is asking the same of us … What is your name? Who have I truly intended you to be?”
Page 60: “What I need to get in my head is the fact that all the while I am caught up in what looks impossible, my arms are wrapped around the Possible.”
Page 62: “Don’t trade your legacy for your reputation. He is here, and He is able.”
In my mind, each of these quotes comes back to the same question: Are we willing to claim discipleship of the One True God and be a princess to the King? If the answer is yes, then we must see strive to see ourselves through His eyes and lean on His strength–putting blinders on to the stares and earplugs in to the taunts of the world.
I’ll admit – that fear of being found out has been so real for me at times. There have been all kinds of things in my background that I so didn’t want my brothers and sisters to know because I was afraid my dearest friends would judge me. Nothing is quite as humbling as that moment where it all comes out and you realize that you haven’t given your true friends nearly enough credit.
Originally I didn’t think a chapter about “being found out” would apply to me.
I think most people that know me would agree that I am an open book. There is nothing that I wouldn’t share with someone about myself. Even the lowest, darkest times are out there for scrutiny – or at times, entertainment.
However, while listening to your thoughts during the video there was something that was said about ‘vulnerability’ that hit so very close to home. You see, although I share anything and everything, (and feel that people relate to me best through all of my imperfections), I realize that I sharing these while still, in a sense, wearing a suit of armor.
I might have spent the night in a cold sweat begging God to take away my anxiety over a situation, but I would spend the next day recounting my struggle to my friends in a very self-depreciating, humorous sort of way…..in an unconscious attempt constructing a blind of sorts to keep them from seeing how truly scarred (and scared) I am.
And yet, up until now, I guess I felt that I was being completely transparent.
I am not sure if I am actually afraid of being found out, or that I am afraid that the person I am, shaking in the midst of darkness, will end up being the person I am in the total light of day.
*that I – am – sharing these while still, in a sense, wearing a suit of armor.
Steph "Shine" says
I too am an open book… I share all my struggles.. but my fault is I tend to (with kind words) try to put my lifestyle choices higher than theirs so as to combat that they are any better than me…for example a friend who has her house perfect and makes all her own food, and folds her laundry straight away etc etc, I would say “well she must not play with her kids like I do, or she’s wearing herself down so much with perfection she doesn’t have the time to blog and read and do fun things like I do” It is so well said to the normal ear it may not seem as insult, but it is. I am insulting her to make me feel better. To make who I am and what I choose to do ok. I do this with homeschooling, child raising, homemaking….It is never a good thing. I feel worse after and feel regret rise up all the time. I am better than noone. This article really hit my heart, maybe it can help another. http://shineliketheson-mymotherhoodtrail.blogspot.com/2011/10/31-days-day16-all-equally-deserving-of.html
I am trying to be more aware of my fear so that I can tame my tongue.
That is an eye opener for me, how often am I saying the same type of things to make myself feel better & does it really. I too need to try to think before I speak
ANGIE…are you thinking about putting this in small group format at all? I would love to go through this with my bible study group next year or this summer. ??? or you know you could summer with us in beautiful Idaho and just take us through it yourself 🙂 (just dreaming)
This chapter spoke volumes to me. Fear of being found out is very real to me in my life right now. I have things in my recent past that I am so ashamed of, and while my husband knows, no body else does (nor could I even go there). The fear of my shame is so strong, and I struggle to even look at myself realistically in the mirror. Is it weird to be afraid of being found out by yourself? Yes I know who I am and what I have done, but I struggle with facing the reality of my actions.
“Maybe He won’t forgive me. Maybe my sin was too great. Maybe He doesn’t even care. He’ll just go on His way to more important things. I’m one in a crowd of millions. Who in the world do I think I am, calling out to the King?” (Page 61-62)
Those words completely name my fears.
“Who are you, now?” (Page 58). I am still wrestling with God. I still feel like I am in the night, waiting for dawn to come… hoping to find the strength to make it to the dawn… waiting for that blessing and redemption.
Kristin Smith says
You are beautiful, you are loved and your “sin” is NO greater than mine…than any of ours. So although you don’t have to reveal all here I pray that you can begin the process of forgiving yourself first and find healing!!
And in an amazing act of grace – before you or I were even born our loving Father sent His only Son as a sacrifice for each and every sin he already knew we would do….and He chose to send His Son anyways. His love was that great. It is overwhelming to me somedays that in spite of who He knew I would be…He chose to save me anyways. And He did the same for you.
In a crowd of millions He sees you and chooses you! Praise God for that!!
Kristin, thank you for those beautiful words. I too, struggle with guilt and shame a lot. I have a crazy desire to be perfect and be the wife, daughter, friend, RN whatever, that I “think” others expect me to be. When I make a mistake, the shame and guilt I feel is very deep and I just want to curl up into a ball under the safety of the covers on my bed and not ever leave. Like Cody, the words on pages 61-62 completely describe how I feel about our God and those here on earth that love me: “Maybe He won’t forgive me. Maybe my sin was too great. Maybe He doesn’t even care. He’ll just go on His way to more important things. I’m one in a crowd of millions. Who in the world do I think I am, calling out to the King?” (Page 61-62)
The words Angie wrote to describe through words what Jesus’ actions show touched my heart and, I hope, began to give me a sense of peace. “You are the one I stop for. You are the one I long to heal. I know your name. I know your heart. I know everything about you, including that we would meet here today. You are the one who sought me and I delighted in knowing your hand would reach for My hem in faith. What you saw as an act of desperation, I saw as an act of love. How many never reach out to Me at all because they don’t think it would make a difference? Now go in PEACE and newness of life.” page 62.
I pray we all can remember these words and know that our God loves no matter what we do. I pray He brings us the peace that passes our understanding. He knows our names and our hearts and if we keep our eyes on Him, He will guide us every step of the way.
Kristin Smith says
Loved this chapter as all of you have said. I love seeing these Bible stories from a different perspective!!
What struck me most was on pg 63. “Don’t trade your legacy for your reputation. He is here, He is able. I don’t want to miss that blessing either, despite how hard it is to acknowledge my sins and my weaknesses while the crowds look on…..Go to the Lord and tell Him your name. Tell Him the depth of your brokenness and regret.”
As I have shared in previous comments my husband got sober 5 years ago (tomorrow!!) God is SO good! Anyways I was still so very bitter and believed in the depths of my heart that I had NO PART in any of our troubles. “If he had never…then I wouldn’t have….”
I was absolutly unwilling to take any responsibility for myself or my behaviors. So we would pray together in the morning as a family – something I had longed for and when we were done I would curse my husband under my breath. Like how dare you try and be holy now after the sinner you were. I was a real treat to be around! 🙂
One day my husband came to me (7:30am) and said “Kristin – what have I done today, this morning to make you so very mad at me?” And my response was “I don’t know…but I hate you and I hate my life and I can’t do it anymore”.
That was the beginning of my journey up. I realized at that point that I was so very broken, so angry and bitter and unwilling to forgive and even in sobriety it was breaking apart our already fragile marriage. My journey started with God and a willingness to start admitting my part in our mess and looking to the only One that could heal it.
I almost traded my legacy for my reputation. I didn’t want to ever have to apologize or admit to being wrong (I still struggle with that even today). I was ready to walk away because I thought that I could convince everyone that I had done all I could to save my marriage – when it was a lie. I had only pointed my finger of blame away from me.
God is so good in that He did let me wrestle through that. It wasn’t a night’s process either but many many months of wrestling. But I came out changed. With a new heart and love for God and I am so grateful. Grateful that the hardship lead me here because without it I would still be in the dark. That probably sounds trite…but it was my experience. I thank God for the path that led me here and hopefully I can bring hope to others in a similar situation. If even 1 person can see hope in my story…then it was all worth it!
You guys are all awesome here and I feel so very blessed to get a glimpse of your hearts here.
I didn’t think I could take anything from this chapter by reading the title. However, I was proven wrong! In the ‘spirit’ of being proven wrong, I think I have something to admit. Since my baby died 2 years ago..i’ve really struggled to find my faith. Really, the lack of faith comes in waves. I think I may have mentioned this in the discussion of the last chapter..
anyway, I’ve dug back into some of my theological books when I was a freshman in Bible College (yes, I am a Bible College graduate..that makes this harder to admit) I still struggle! Even though a lot of what I read seems pretty valid..I mean, the books I have gotten back into have a lot of really good thinks to say about why we can believe what we believe. I’m not sure if any of this is making any sense. I think its because Heaven is so…unknown I guess that it makes me wonder if all of this (being a Christian) it worth it. I have stayed in church and praying..I just sort of feel like I’m going through the motions
I want to leave a legacy for my daughter I can be certain and proud of.
Kathy Tankersley says
I believe that God will honor your desire to leave a legacy. Your transparency about your lack of faith is part of the whole process of answering the question God posed of Jacob, “Who are you?”. As you continue to look to Him for healing (just like the woman at the beginning of Chapter 3), your faith in the midst of doubts will be recognized not only by Him, but in the long term by your daughter and all of those around you. Praise the Lord for your steps of transparency towards becoming a Contender, Soldier of God and proving that God prevails in your life! We all, as Christians, are in the process of becoming who He wants us to be for His glory. I am so thankful for His patience, love and understanding of me in the midst of my own doubts about myself and also my faith at times.
thank you Kathy for your encouragement!!! I appreciate it
& need it so badly
I miscarried 4 times, and through all of that pain and grief, I too went through a long period of just going through the motions and having serious doubts. In fact, I still do have those moments. You aren’t alone! I pray for you as you continue on your journey of grief, and of healing. May you find God’s arms around you and his truth speaking to your heart.
I call that auto pilot. Ive been there. Still am in waves, like you put it.
BUT you are here. He knows your effort and desire for him and your faith. Keep on, even if you are numbed right now. He’s with you and it will hit you with beautiful force sooner than later.
Stephanie Hanes says
Oh my…I could have underlined every single word of this chapter, because I felt like she was writing about me. I blogged about it here: http://tjsmhanesfamily.blogspot.com/2011/10/31-days-of-devotions-new.html
Wow. I so need this chapter right now. I am in a rough season. I am in my second marriage and we are struggling tremendously. My husband seems to have a sort of attachment problem with anyone. He has no relationship with people that is very deep. At all. I have a great counselor getting me through this but I am struggling with shame in marrying another man who can not attach. Why have I walked into another bad relationship. Another struggling marriage. I am not usually one who walks around with shame. I had overcome my first divorce but now Satan seems to be using the shame of this to bring me down. I see now that my husband, who loves God tremendously, but is so damaged and does walk around with a fear of being known, is rubbing off on me. I need to somehow find the strength to show him different.
praying for you
First, Querina (our 10 month old) was rocking out to the opening music, she loves it. 🙂
On to the meat of the topic for me…
Pg 52, where Angie talks about how there are people who say that people see them as more spiritual than they are, or feel they are. This is so me. My husband always comments about how much closer to God I am than he is and I’m not. I don’t pray as often as I should. I don’t read my Bible as often as I should. In fact, he’s more on top of those things than I am (because I’m the mom maybe? It seems to be “the mom” thing among the moms I know.) and no matter how much I tell him otherwise, he keeps telling me I’m wrong. I have no idea if I just have myself pegged wrong and see myself as worse than I am or what. But I so relate to this.
This is me to a tee: “one of the reasons we, as Christians, fear baring our souls for each other is that we know the person may try to play God instead of trying to love us the way God commands.” I hate telling people when something is wrong simply because I’ve had so many people tell me “well, this is what you’re doing wrong” or “you need to do this” when what I needed to hear was “you can do it” or “I’ve been there”. So I end up keeping everything bottled up in the hopes that I can make it without exploding all over someone and showing them I’m not as put together as I look. This is something I work on daily, and I’m getting better with it. When my husband and I first got married I wouldn’t talk to him when something was wrong because 1) I didn’t want him to think I was a basketcase and 2) I really didn’t need him telling me it was my fault. We’re both doing so much better in this area but I still have a hard time doing it with anyone other than him.
My favorite quotes are the one in bold lettering on pg 62: “Don’t trade your legacy for your reputation. He is here, and He is able.” and the one a couple lines down: “What matters most in this moment is not their eyes, but His.” The first is one I’m going to write down and post on the wall. The second is one I’ve been working with for a while. Audience of One. Hard for me to remember sometimes but oh so worth it.
I am blessed enough to lead a small group for the girls on my hall. I was joking with one of my girls about what a “bad” leader I am (I never stick to the curriculum!) , and she told me she loves seeing me in small group because I am much “deeper” than normal. I tend to be a bit of a goofball most of the time. I blame it on stress, but in reality I know I put on the funny-girl show because I’m scared of what others would think of me if they saw my “deep” side all the time. I’m a big fan of “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young, and one phrase from the October 2nd devotional has been ringing through my mind all month: “You don’t need to work at revealing yourself to me”. He KNOWS my truest self, I never need to put on a show or hide myself from him 🙂
There’s a quote that says something to the effect of “Be concerned with your character, not your reputation. Your character is who you are, while your reputation is merely who others THINK you are.” That quote came to mind as I watched this video.
I struggle often with the fear of other people realizing I’m not as strong as they thought I was. Anytime someone hears of all the medical traumas I’ve been through, they pretty much end up saying things like they could never be as strong as me, or I’ve taught them how to be strong in times of trauma, or things like that. I do appreciate the fact that God has given me a story to help others, but part of me wants to just shout at them I’m not as strong as they think. And even when I do try to explain that God is the only reason I’ve made it through it all as well as I have, I’m usually left feeling that they didn’t understand me, they weren’t listening, they didn’t get it.
On the other hand, there’s my best friend Matt, who has told me I’m the strongest person he knows, and he HAS seen me at my worst moments. And I don’t understand how someone who has been there at my weakest points can still call me strong. I don’t know, it’s one of many things I’m still trying to work out in my head.
I’m such a perfectionist, I’ve built up all of these expectations for myself, especially regarding school, that I feel like if I don’t meet these expectations, if I don’t please everyone in my family who is watching my every scholastic move, then everyone will find out that maybe I’m not as smart as they thought, either.
So yes, this chapter was also spectacular. Thank you, Angie, for giving me so much to think about.
Excellent chapter! I do tend to keep up an appearance regarding how much I put in to my mothering. Women always ask me how I did it with 3 babies under 3. I just smile and load the babies in my minivan and say how great it is. Reveling in the fact that this is what im a super hero at. supermom. The one that can exclusively bf, homemake baby food, playdates, cook, clean, and everyone is well cared for with a smile. But man, the truth is it is HARD, lol. I find myself wanting to rip my hair out. So many needs, not enough time, someone has to get the back burner until I take care of the other. No, they dont hear that from me. Its easy peasy…got it all together.
I am humbled…thank you for the chapter. I dont really have a fear about being found out as im sure if they did, id throw myself in to the opportunity to rant away since I have no real life friends and no close family except hubby to vent to. But im still relating to this chapter on a level and that is what makes it so great.
Thank you and will read comments soon!
Same here, but we don’t have 3 under 3! Ours are 4, 2, and 10 months and people always tell me “wow, you’re supermom” while I’m really thinking “It’d be ok if you wanted to borrow them for a little.” LOL! Can I do it? Yes. Would I like to use the bathroom alone? Yes!!
Meghan @ Spicy Magnolia says
I loved and appreciated Angie’s story about going out to buy new clothes and makeup for her speaking event. I did the same thing two weeks ago being 2 months post-partum for a family member’s wedding. Eeegads!
I related more to the second part of the chapter with the fear of failing and not meeting people’s expectations (namely my own for myself). As I was processing this chapter, I realized that I’m not so much afraid of a tarnished reputation as I am the wrestling with God, the night part of this journey. I recognize this as a lack of faith and a skewed image of my loving Father, for there is nothing to be afraid of Him. And maybe I don’t have a clear understanding of the type of wrestling that occurred between Jacob and God, but I picture it being difficult and painstaking, and possibly very lengthy. I usually am impatient and want a quick fix. Enter the ‘what if’ fears of God taking too long, of Him not coming through, etc…
It all comes back to who I believe God to be, believing who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do. It all comes down to faith, just like what Angie said the bleeding woman and Jacob exercised. I want to want freedom, a new name, & victory rather than succumbing to the fear of the night/wrestling to get it. I just need to be convinced of this in my heart.
I am loving this book so much and particularly this chapter.
“It is so interesting to put ourselves on the other side of the equation, though, where we tend to be accepting and loving of another person’s weaknesses. We don’t expect them to respond that way toward us, but we kow it to be true in ourselves.
To me, who they are (really) is not based on a single unchracteristic action, or a part of themselves covered in shame. I see the whole person and i don’t judge based on errors or weaknesses. ”
I’ve spent years trying to make myself believe this. Oh, I know it to be true but I can never feel it as such. It’s either I think what I’ve done doesn’t deserves grace or that others are not willing to offer that grace. I’m trying to improve in this respect and trying to let myself be more open with people and letting them see the real me.
When I was first got my driving permit, a friend offered to give me lessons. During our third lesson, I hit a parked car and there was some minor damamge to bth cars. After all the necessary exchanging of details was done, we went back to his house. I went into his house, locked myself in his bathroom and sobbed for a long time. When I finally came out ( a good 15 minutes later), he was waiting for me with a plate of cookies, some tissues and a hug. It didn’t matter to him that I had damaged his car or that he had to answer to his dad for it. All that mattered to him that I was alright and that I didn’t feel bad for hitting his car. This story always reminds me of the beauty of grace that is offered and how far it goes to heal. When I hit that car, I told myself that I never wanted to drive again. Today, I take any excuse to drive because I enjoy it so much!
I hope that when I’m older, I can look back at my life and see stories of grace just like this one. It may seem like such a little story to otehrs but to me, it’s a big one because it was one of the first times that I let someone shower me with that much grace and I let myself accept all that grace.
I love the statement on page 60 that says, “look straight to Him and tell Him everything that has followed us here. Despite the fact that He knows, He longs to hear the repentance of a heart that desires Him.” I have wrestled with God through some struggles and found Him to be faithful in His promises. There have been several times in my life that I knew beyond any doubts that God was working things together. Meeting Him face to face with hearts wide open, we will never walk away unchanged. Thank you Father for seeing and loving us, as we are, and for putting the desire in our hearts to come to you.
Ok, I am still playing catch up — just got back from vacation.
This chapter ministered to me deeply in several ways. First of all, I walk with an actual limp due to a birth defect, so when you used the phrase she who rejoices in her glorious limp” on page 63, I had to have a good cry. I think the enemy longs for us to stay isolated and not share our weaknesses, but God longs to use our vulnerability to display his glory.
My husband and I were visiting my sister in law’s church this weekend, and the pastor played this video as part of his sermon that cemented this for me. God uses vessels who are willing to be put on display. See the video here: http://www.intouch.org/magazine/content/topic/solitary_refinement
I too have a limp due to MS – the tears came for me at that sentence too :).
This chapter got me deep. I have always sought to do/be more because of how inadequate I have felt, and I have always feared being “found out”. Shown as a failure, a sham. My name is the one thing that I have literally bolted from for most of my life. I find it amazing to read this because I just started writing something having to do with my name, what it means to me, what it might mean to the Lord, and I never could finish it…
And when I read this chapter, I felt like maybe now I would have enough courage to finish it and answet the question fully – Who are you? Who have I truly intended you to be?
The Lord has freed us from these feelings of shame, insecurity and inadequacy, yet still I go and pick them up, and tie them back on, because at times, I just cannot believe that the Lord would care about little old me, to bless me in such a beautiful and magnificent way despite who I truly am. Not who I pretend to be. Like Jacob and the woman with faith – I dont want to stay here, I want to move beyond, with Jesus leading me.
Thank you for the prayer at the end. I truly believe it was one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever read – I felt it flow through my heart like calming water.