Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When God Speaks In a Bathroom Stall

My 10 year high school reunion is approaching quickly : about 40 days from now...eeek!  I cannot believe it has been that long since I walked the halls of good 'ole HHS.  Some people dread reunions, but I am actually looking forward to mine.  I had a really good group of girlfriends and those years represent an all around great time in my life.  A lot has happened in my life in 10 years.  Matter of fact, I feel that this 10 years probably will remain the most life-altering decade of my life.  After leaving my parent's home I...

...met a nice guy and had one fun summer of dating.
...One fun summer of dating led to a long distance relationship for a year.
...The LONG distance grew exhausting which led Robb to a new job near Waco.
...New job was not so hot, but relationship was worth it!
...Worth it led to an engagement.
...Engagement led to a June Wedding.
...June wedding was followed by a job offer.
...Job offer was accepted and followed by a move.
...Move meant a new home in Lewisville, TX
...Lewisville, TX meant a new college for me.
...the new job was loved and the college was despised.
...Also despised was the 5 1/2 hour drive home to our family
...The 5 1/2 hour drive home and the despised college led us to...
...a new home in Huntsville, TX
...Huntsville, TX meant a new job in Willis ISD and a new college @...
....SHSU meant my major would change one 3rd and final time
...except for the minor change from Spanish to marketing
...Minor change led to job in sales and a degree in Communications
...Degree meant I graduated!
....Graduation led to desire to start a family
...Desire to start a family led to fertility treatments
...Fertility treatments led to no where
....No where led to Houston Fertility Institute
...Houston Fertility Institute led to quadruplets
...Quadruplets led to miscarriage of one.
...Miscarriage of one led to delivery of three.
...Delivery of three led to near death for me.
...Near death led to lots of soul searching
...No time for soul searching, babies to tend to!
... 32 diapers a day, 30 bottles a day, and lots of volunteers.
...New family meant another move
...This time our move would be back home
...Back home meant "help" which came in the form of 2 sets of grandparents, great grandparents and anyone else willing to rock or feed a baby!
...a new job for Robb
...another move into our own home (as we were technically borrowing someone's before)
...a new home
...a new job from home which wasn't what it was cracked up to be which led to...
...Kirkland Apparel Co.  which I struggled with in the beginning because I was sick
...sick led to lap. procedure
...lap procedure led to Endometriosis
...Endometriosis led to hysterectomy
...hysterectomy led to wellness doctor
...wellness doctor led to wheat allergy
...wheat allergy led to freedom (strangely enough)
...freedom meant gluten free foods
...gluten free foods meant HEALING! 
...healing meant a great vacation in Hot Springs this summer!
...Hot Springs was hot, but family time was great!

In a nutshell, I know!  And yes, I know that this post is titled "When God speaks in a bathroom stall!"  And that is kind of related and yet unrelated to my reunion.  I have had some deep soul searching this week.  When contemplating this upcoming event, I found myself analyzing my appearance, picking apart my life, and wondering if people will look at me and be disappointed.  Did I turn out like they thought I should?  A swirling vortex of wanting "THE APPROVAL OF OTHERS!"  There, I said it...I have a problem.  If this was an AA meeting it would not be Alcoholics Anonymous it would be Approval Addiction.  

Maybe I am wrong, but I think some young mother's can probably relate.  For me, I always had a "place" growing up.  I was always a label of some sort; a cheerleader, a basketball player, "most likely to"...you know the types of labels you get in school, right?  Even if by default, those labels give you an identity.  Those labels gave me confidence.  As an adult, all those labels were stripped away.  Yes, I got new labels: wife, mother, etc...

After I had the babies, I didn't look like myself (still 50 lbs overweight).  I didn't feel like myself (raging hormones)!  And, therefore I felt blah.  After a few months the blah passed, but my desire for others approval raged on.  The problem with approval addiction, besides the fact that it elevates man's opinion above God's at times, was that I couldn't make people "approve" of me.  It's funny how I chose certain people to be my human "approval gauges."  

I was lonely despite being surrounded with people all the time.  Robb and I had a really good church home in Huntsville and I missed that security.  Now, fast forwarding.

I have realized some things over the past month.  I cannot control how people feel about me.  I try my hardest to be respectful, polite, and to make the Lord proud in my relationships.  I know I am not perfect and have plenty of flaws.  But, I must confess that I have spent a great deal of the last 6 months on overdrive pondering rejection.  "Why do they go out of their way to show me that I am nothing?"  or "I thought they loved me, but now I see that they are simply tolerating me."  Just a few thoughts of many...

Rejection hurts.  Sometimes we imagine it.  Sometimes we create it.  And sometimes, our worst fear comes true and we realize that some people just don't like us.  In school, I tried to be nice to everyone - not just because I wanted them to like me, but because I wanted them to see Jesus in me.   And honestly, until adulthood, usually nice = friendship.  But, as an adult, I have learned that nice can just as easily = rejection.  Over and over and over again.  

So at last, after months of torment, God spoke today.  In a bathroom stall of all places!  And I was transported back to a prayer I prayed one night a few months ago.  The prayer was "make me not care that they don't like me.  This will never change and so You have to make me not care!"  But, God didn't make me not care.  Instead today in the bathroom stall, he told me to quit apologizing for the way he made me.  He showed me that he wants me to "care," but to also be balanced.  To use that desire to befriend others to bring people into His kingdom, to use that desire to please for him not for man, and to be balanced in my thinking.   And even when God speaks in a bathroom stall, the truth always sets us free.