Hey guys. Today was going to be a video, but I've decided to make it brief. Family is #1 and on days like today, it is especially so. A year ago on October 22nd, Mike went through what so many of us who've lost a parent have come to know - the one year anniversary. You never quite know how you are going to feel. You just kinda have to walk through it. No one can make it less or go away, except the God who loves us. But I do remember my husband being there the day Dad died, so I'm just going to be present to Him today the best I can. Know that my heart goes out to any of you who have recently gone through or are approaching that one year mark of a loved one lost!
So, here's the message that you were supposed to have yesterday.
I saw that Taylor Swift said two things about her flaws, “I know my flaws before other people point them out to me,” and “My confidence is easy to shake. I am very well aware of all my flaws. I am aware of all the insecurities that I have.”
Now, I know for many of this reading that would bring out our inner perfectionist, or comparing critical voice of how we're nowhere near Taylor Swift. But I challenge you to think about it differently.
On Monday I posted the message at the bottom of the blog to Facebook. It came out of an experience from the weekend that as soon as I went through it, I thought - what a teachable moment for my readers. Cause it sure taught me a lot!
So, here's the story....Mike and I were at the jeweler where we got our rings. They are great people and one of the girls on staff has become a friend. As we were standing there talking to her over the glass case, she stopped in the middle of a sentence, looked at me and said, "I'm sorry. Wait a minute. Are those your real eyes?" Mike said, "Yes," right away for me. I of course said, "Oh it's the blue Notre Dame sweatshirt I have on. It just brings out my eyes." Made sense to me! Then I for some reason felt the need to point out as I leaned over the counter this bone spur thing I have on my wrist. You can't see it unless it gets pointed it. So of course I pointed it out. Once again my friend interjected as she realized what I was doing WAY before me...
"Wait Meredith, why do you always point out your flaws?"
I didn't even realize I was doing it, but when I thought about it for a minute, it was like - WHOA! I totally do that! So for a few days I thought about it, prayed about it and in my Monday devotion time God reminded me that He is my Healthy Voice, and that sometimes my Unhealthy Voice creeps in and I don't even see it. I thank God for those moments when someone else sees it and can call me out on it.
I don't know if you've ever been in a situation where you are pointing our your own flaws and someone calls you out on it. Not only that, they point out your strengths and you just don't see it. Maybe you have. Maybe you haven't. But next time someone complements you or points out something special about you, see how you respond. Do you say, "Oh I got it Target on sale, thanks." (I totally do that.) Maybe just say "Thanks!"
It's funny how so often we point out our flaws but all it really does is magnify and even solidify them in our minds, as if for some reason they define us. (That's just a huge Unhealthy Voice in the world - that surface imperfections aren't good. Wrong!)
But the truth is we need to receive the complement, hear it, and leave it at that. It's so hard for us to recognize our good qualities because we're afraid of looking vain or prideful. But really, isn't it more so if we point out a flaw? It's like, "Oh I suck, here's why."
So resist the urge to say, "Well thank you! - But let me tell you about ____ (my flaw)." We do not need to justify our imperfections by pointing out our flaws. YES we are imperfect. Hello we are HUMAN!! We are worse critics of ourselves than anyone else.
As Mike says his Mom used to always say growing up, "You have to see yourself as others see you," and I think that's sage advice. I'm not saying everyone else gets to define you - cause that's not healthy. But I am saying listen when someone wants to encourage you! Realize that people see the good in you and stop focusing on the people who don't appreciate you or see only the not good in you! Drop the haters. Appreciate the encouragers.
With that, I found a couple verses to encourage you when you are beating yourself up like this.
One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight."
Another that is helpful and I'm sharing with you The Message version because I think it points out well the contrast between our mind focusing on the negatives vs. positives. It's Philippians 4:8-9, "Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies."
When you think about encouraging remember it says that we ARE to encourage each other! 1 Thessalonians 5:11, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
And lastly, we may have thoughts about ourselves but God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts so when our own thoughts are defeating us, God gives us this HUGE reminder in Isaiah 55:8-9. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, "declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."