Thursday, September 12, 2013

Schizophrenic

Sometimes that's how I feel - or spiritually bi-polar, perhaps. High highs and low lows and they intertwine and interchange at their own will.

I read an article recently that said "Creative people's openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering and pain, yet also to a great deal of enjoyment." Sounds like a typical Tuesday (or any other day of the week) to me.

Sensitivity might be an understatement. Sometimes I feel like I live my life inside out - emotions and feelings all on the surface, easily bruised and always a certain level of rawness. It doesn't help that I have forever felt under high scrutiny, judgment and rejections.

I have been known to call my self a "strong flavor," and declare that people either love me or hate me, and there are very few in the middle of the road. But the declaration holds no confidence behind it because the sense (or assurance) that there are people out there that really really don't like me just kills me! I have a friend (and a husband, come to think of it) that says, "Why do you care what other people think?" Like that seems the simplest obstacle to overcome ever!

My answer, "I don't know why I care, but I do! Desperately!" It matters to me what other people think of me. Reality may be that it matters to me THAT people think of me. Lord have mercy, I am so stinking self-focused sometimes! Maybe if i could come to terms with the fact that when I am convinced of dislike, judgment and rejection, the reality may be, people just aren't thinking of me at all! Maybe there would be a great measure of freedom in that. I guess I hope someday I'll know!

I'm reading a book called The Search for Significance. It theorizes that these sorts of human struggles I am sharing are rooted in a misunderstanding of my value to God. I wish that were true. What? Why? Yes, I wish that were true because then I would know the antidote. Time in God's Word and His presence would be convincing. But here's the thing, I am already convinced of God's love.

I came to Christ a filthy sinner with the blood of my murdered unborn child on my hands. I came to Him, broken, desperate, empty. Kind women I did not know came alongside me and POURED His love into me and upon me, and they saturated me and my life with His Word. I drank it in, every gulp, sip and swallow, and I am CONVINCED both of God's love for me, and that He thinks I am wonderful. Me and God - we are GOOD.

But I cannot for the life of me reconcile myself to why that just doesn't seem like enough. I feel badly that I don't believe other people see what God sees in me. I feel badly that people don't buy into how fabulous God thinks I am (tongue firmly in cheek). And this girl who has spent her life striving to prove herself for the approval of others and has hit stone wall after stone wall after stone wall now runs ahead with the expectation she's going to get knocked down, beat up and disappointed again.

And those dark thoughts creep up whenever they want to. Looking through social media and stopping on a picture of friends (even acquaintances) being together, enjoying one another and their friendship - I suddenly feel lonely and sad. Why can't I be happy for them instead of making it all about me? Therein lies the struggle. Does it have anything to do with being creative? I don't know - but just as low as I can go from seeing something like that, the simplest offer a friendship, an email or a tap on the shoulder at church with a smile, all of those things can rise the low to a high that can last for days. The power of feeling like somebody cares or accepts you is powerful.

I am still in a season of loneliness when it comes to friendships. I have good, loving, kind women in my life who I've known for a long time that I now only see occasionally. I have some newer women I see regularly but who really don't know anything about me or about what's going on in my life. And then I compare those relationships to ones that have been lost in my life and it's lonely. And then I can be sitting in that loneliness and suddenly be completely fulfilled in a room with my husband and our kids around us, and the pendulum swings, low to high - one personality to another, and I feel completely schizophrenic or bipolar again.

I am certain God has a purpose for this season. But I also know what it is is not something I can see while I am walking through it. I have to declare it in faith that I know He is with me (first of all) and for me (always) and that on the other side of this season, I will hopefully be a little more like him, a little more usable to Him, and a little more relational with Him.

At times I am convinced that that is the core of this season, that I will know HIM as Friend more than ever before. And there have been moments on my knees where he has felt very present, but it's never all the time - and though He is never more than a prayer away, it's not the same as a friendly face across a table, or a listening ear on the other end of the phone. But then perhaps that's exactly the point - my strength needs to be all the greater and the knowledge I have of who I am in Christ and what I mean to God needs to come to the place where it permeates my existence. And I don't have to strive anymore for the acceptance and approval of others. I hope so. But i have to say, the process is long and sometimes it hurts like hell.

1 comment:

JESSICA REYNOLDS RENSHAW said...

Diana, have you considered compiling these into a book(let)? You MUST be speaking for more than just the two of us--you and me!