This blog is a story about a very recent occurrence in my life and how I dealt with it.
My goal is to share and be real, but even more than that, I hope to give you a practical example of what I so often teach about.
Let me start with this: We live in the country and several times a year we have to deal with strangers pulling into the property and/or parking on the side of the road and wandering onto our property to either: take pictures, pick wild asparagus or who knows what else they think they need to do.
So, I am very aware when someone does that and I will approach them to help them if they are lost, let them know the rules about being on private property or simply help them on their way. smile.
So it happened…
Some stranger pulled up on the side of the road, got out of their vehicle, stepped onto our property and started taking pictures. I didn’t know this person. I was on my way into town so I figured I would just pull up behind him in my vehicle and ask some questions if he didn’t move on. Often all it takes is this… pull up, they see you, they move on. So, I sat there briefly and put on my makeup while I waited to see if he was leaving. About the time I was ready to get out and have a chat, he left.
I ended up following him, not to badger him, but because he was going the same way I was. I took a few pictures of his vehicle and license plate. Then went on my merry way.
Here's where it gets interesting.
I came home and the same vehicle, same guy, was at the same place, and there was another pickup there with him. I decided to park my car and then walk over to chat. He was instantly, shall we say, less than friendly. I was simply checking in to see who he was and what he
was doing. Turns out, he was a neighbor of ours and had a “right”-ish to be there. We still should have been notified they were going to be on our property, but whatever.
I felt like an idiot, to be honest. I didn’t know who he was, and I have always wanted to get along with our neighbors and know them. He had moved in around 8 months ago and I had not yet met him. So… yeah. I felt dumb, he felt mad. I tried to make light of it, he wasn’t having it. He said several things that I quickly informed him were inaccurate in the best way I could and in the kindest way I could.
Still… I felt really bad, and it affected me for a major part of the day. None of the rest of that day went well until I took my own advice (which I give to my clients) and talked to myself out loud about a few things. After which I also journaled a bit.
I reminded myself, out loud and in my car, of what is true!
And as I did that, I heard Father reminding me also. He started the convo with a simple “remember who you are,” and a “remember what I think of you,” because He knew that in the midst of the whole interaction the problem was not the guy, nor the interaction. The problem was that I temporarily thought that guy's opinion of me was what mattered.
It was not.
What matters above some dude I don’t know is the some God I DO know. Father’s opinion of me is more truthful, more accurate, and more important than any ‘Joe Blow’ off the street.
What matters is how HE sees me and what HE says about me. I refuse guilt, shame, and insignificance from just some human when the Creator of the Universe speaks to my core about who I am.
Shame and guilt come when we forget what Father God says about us. We begin to listen to and believe the lies of people around us, we start to place value on others’ opinions instead of the One who made us, and we feel horrible about who we are. When we understand, listen to, and believe Father’s words over us, there is no comparison or guilt or shame or embarrassment.
And this doesn’t mean I need to be hard-headed and unapologetic for my part in things. In fact, it makes me softer and more willing to make things right. While I don’t feel like I was WRONG for trying to protect my property, the security I have makes me absolutely willing to apologize to him for what apparently felt very negative to him.
While I don’t know WHAT he felt or why it was negative for him, I can still apologize because I recognize the negative affects of my actions. Understanding who we are in God’s eyes gives us incredible grace for ourselves and empathy for others. I will be apologizing soon, with a note, with verbal convo, and with cookies.
I carry no shame, because Father is not ashamed of me. He is proud of who I am. I can be as well. I hope this gives you insight into some area of your own life. Remember who you are. Remember how
He sees you!