#FMF – Fear

joining up with Kate and the other writers to put fingers to keys and write…without editing, just letting their words spill on to the page, concerning the same one word prompt.

FEAR

Today I received the phone call that I knew was coming…well I thought I knew it was coming. I went for an interview last week for a potential job, and then was told that I would hear by Wednesday if I was accepted. Yesterday came and went and there was no email. The phone call today was just a call to let me know for sure. And it was interesting, because I was disappointed, but I also felt resigned.

And then I realized that a week ago I’d found out that there was an opening for an organization I would love to work for, but I hadn’t applied for it because at that time I thought that the bank might be a done deal. And so I waited. And when I looked up the information today, it needed to be submitted before tomorrow. And so in the midst of my discouragement and negative self-talk, I attempted to start writing a cover letter and working my resume up in a manner which would highlight what this particular job required.

In this midst of this I wrote on twitter “came across another opportunity to apply for. Can’t get myself going to apply for it. what is wrong with me. it has to be done by tomorrow”

and a dear friend whom I have only connected with online several times wrote me back ‘I find its fear usually stopping me. Sometimes deeply buried, but always there. May perfect love cast it out tonight…” and my heart was blessed.

and i knew that fear was indeed the culprit. Because not only was my soul discouraged, but I had been telling myself untruths about my worthiness for the position. and there was fear that perhaps if I applied, and if I put hard work into this application and all the steps required that I would once again not be selected for the position. And this fear, is resonated. Because it spoke to me of my worth, or lack there of.

And I know that I am more than what I do, but sometimes that is all that I can see my worth in, and I fear that perhaps he doesn’t have more for me. that this is all there is. And i’m not sure why i’m not okay with that. I mean i lead a blessed life. I do. I just am not satisfied. Perhaps I need to get over myself. Perhaps I need to see that what i fear most is not mattering, not making a difference, not having something that I can be proud of doing. Instead I shrug my shoulders, tell people where I work, and when they exclaim, I indicate that I’m not all that impressed anymore and that when I applied to work there, i never thought it would be me still there all this time later.

I’m thankful for a job. But i fear that I’m not brave enough, qualified enough, good enough…for anything else.

end

five minute friday

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#FMF – World

joining with a group of lovely writers at Five Minute Friday to pour our hearts out on the page, unedited, for five minutes on a one word prompt. Join up with the group and don’t forget to comment on those beautiful ones who have written before and after you 😉

PROMPT: World

Its always interesting to me to see where this prompt goes. Because it inspires so many different responses usually when we write. and to be honest, this could have gone many ways. I had read some of what others read and was thinking on what I’d write about. And then I received an email from a friend and knew what I’d write about.

You see, this friend has been in Kenya for the past year. She’s been serving for a year with AIM in the northern part of the country, in a land that is completely different from anything that she’s every known. And its been an incredibly stretching experience, on many levels, some of which i’m sure I don’t even know the half of (because I only get to know what she shares with me in letters.)

The past month has been a time of upheaval for the team as they have had to leave their post quite quickly to avoid the warring tribes that were in their area. The dry season and some other aspects had brought some hostility out amongst the tribal groups, and there was a real danger for them. They had to leave in quite a hurry, and were not able to talk to many of the dear people they had been ministering too.

My experience with traveling the world has been limited. perhaps more than others, though. I was blessed to be able to go and serve in France for a summer 10 years ago at a Camp that is run by an amazing mission. It was and is still one of my fondest memories. And while France was different from what I am accustomed to here in Canada, it was still fairly westernized and I’m not sure that it was as much of a shock as I was expecting. Perhaps the missionaries that were there helped to keep us from really experiencing too much of it, because they were always present to advise us on what to do.But I digress.

Because all of that to say, that even when i’ve been overseas, it has been to a country that is very much like my own. And while there was a learning curve, it wasn’t at all like what my friend has been experiencing.

New language, new customs, new environment, new animals, new rituals, new living conditions, new everything pretty much. And she’s had to take it all in, and process it in a way that only she can. And I can’t imagine. Alot of the time i think that I process things by attempting to relate them to something else in life that I’ve experienced. Kind of like having a touchstone so that I know where to go from there…something that I’ve experienced before, know the outcome of and can kind of guess on what might happen.

My friend has had very few touchstones. Everything is new. And while she went through orientation, and has lived with a family that has served faithful for several years who i’m sure imparted much of their gleaned knowledge with her, its still different then experiencing and processing it yourself.

And so as I reflected on her journey this past year, and all that has transpired over here on this continent it made me reflect on how large our world is, and how diverse the things that occupy our minds. At this moment, survival is on the minds of the Kenya’s where she has worked. On her mind, how her remaining months will look as her journey has taken a twist that was unanticipated (not outside of His hands, but still unknown to her.) And they have very little knowledge or care of what is taking place here on this continent, because at some point they are just trying to survive.

And while there are so many important conversations that we need to have about life as it has happened in the past months, I wonder how much of a grasp on real living we have. Every day in Kenya seems to be lived moment to moment because each breathe is a gift, one never knows what will happen next. and the same is true of us here, but i find myself taking those breathes for granted as i”m preoccupied with all the things going on around me and I wonder if anything that i’m saying/doing/living will make a difference.

so that is a bit of my limited perspective on the word today…there is so much that one could expound about on the word World.

END
five minute friday

#FMF – Gift

joining up with the gracious writers over at Kate’s place for our Five Minute Friday writing. One prompt, many different people setting down words as they are inspired. no editing and visiting of friends to see how they were inspired to write. Love this group.

GIFT

It is always interesting to me to see what the word is that is given as a prompt. I also always interested to see what comes out of my fingers as I write. Usually by the end of the piece its a surprise even to me what I’m going to finish up with.

There are many gifts that have been given to others that I appreciate. The ability to write in a means in which others connect whole-heartedly with what has been written is such a gift. I know a couple people who write in this manner and I’m so blessed to be able to sit under their words. But I also tend to compare myself to this gifting. And while I am capable of writing, and while I have a degree in English Literature…sometimes I wonder if I have ‘the gift’. and sometimes this wondering, keeps me quiet. Makes me think that I don’t have much to share, so I shouldn’t even try. and i feel like I’m suffocating with all those words stopped up inside me, and yet I listen to those lies. i listen to the comparison. I listen to the reaction that comes up within me after I read something amazing, ‘wow, i couldn’t ever write something like that.’

and when i really think about it, a gift is never supposed to be seen in this manner. its a gift. we’re all given them. we all have different ones. And we are all gifted in different manners. there isn’t a reason to compare…because each gift is ours. it is ours alone. we all different. we have all be blessed. And how much more refreshing would it be to lift others up in the gifts we see in them, instead of being challenged or threatened by them.

I am a big fan of seeing the gifts that others have been given…but sometimes i’m not so quick to share how blessed I am by them, or even call out the blessing they have been to me. I think that if we were (or rather if I WAS) more inclined to offer real praise (genuine, affirming) rather than comparison towards others I would perhaps be an encouragement to someone that was questioning their gifting as well.

END

five minute friday

Crashing Pedestals

pedestalThe thing with putting people on a pedestal is that you forget that they are human, or you choose to disregard that point. And I’m not sure what causes us to elevate people to this status when we know that we are all fallible, and yet I know that there are people in my life that I look up to, that I think aren’t possible of some of the things that they have done. I guess in some way that it think that the version that I see of them on the outside reflects what is going on in their lives internally.

I can’t remember how old I was, I just remember staring in shock at the television. right before dinner I had turned on the local news, and as usual they had a summary of some of the items that they would be covering on the news. When I saw his face and the cops arresting him, my mouth dropped open…tears started pouring down my face, and I called my mom urgently. It was devastating for our church. He went to jail to pay for what he had done, when he was released on day passes he attended church with a guard, and eventually he was restored to community. but for the longest time, after he returned I couldn’t look at him without remembering what he had done. how he had betrayed who we thought he was. and I realized that I had put a mere human on a pedestal that no one deserves to be put on. People will let us down. People have things going on in life that we can’t even begin to fathom until they are revealed or sometimes we never know.

Several months ago a friend shared with some information that I wasn’t supposed to be privy to. it was devastating. it was about someone who I had known for quite some time who had been asked to leave the church as a result of some of the choices he refused to acknowledge as ungodly and detrimental to his personal and familial health. My heart-felt like it was shattered. we had been in small group together. I had looked up to him, I had interacted with his kids.

It hasn’t been on my mind the past couple of weeks but today it was brought back in devastating clarity when it was announced on Facebook that he was now engaged to someone else formerly from our church. His family had been shattered into pieces, he had walked away from truth, and I realized that the person who he was now engaged to began to be missing from our church about the same time he was asked to leave. I don’t know anymore details…but my heart broke again and my first reaction was words that I didn’t want to have spread around Facebook….I reacted and in a vague way, but the tears began to course down my cheeks. I couldn’t believe it..and then I thought why not? he’s human. she’s human. they aren’t ever worthy of the pedestal I’d placed them on.

And as I drove to do some errands it kept resonating in my head, putting people on pedestals always results in a fall. it depends on how high the pedestal is, how big the fall will be, but really there isn’t ever a reason to put anyone on that pedestal. We never know what’s going on in other people’s lives. No one will be perfect. No one will ever live up to our expectations. I mean I don’t even live up to my desire for perfection or my expectations. But I have been reminded once again that anytime you put someone in a place they don’t believe, that you choose to believe they are above and beyond the faltering of this world…one day those things you thought will be proven false. and not always in devastating ways, but in ways that continue to remind that one never knows what is truly going on behind the face that people put forward every day. I have had many conversations through my life that have taught me that. that have shown me how much I’ve judged without even knowing, how I’ve made opinions and really had no idea. and yet i continue to do so. And I guess I’ve been reminded today. This world is fallen. This fallen-ness will always affect us until redemption is complete..and we are removed from this world, removed from this curse of sin.