Maybe I write more when I have answers than when I have questions.
It's coming up on a month since my last post, and it seems like SO much has happened since. I went on several dates, had several entertaining and/or insightful conversations, and, sadly, maybe even broke a heart or two. I accidentally threw my healthy eating style and tidy budgeting out the window, and now I'm trying to get it back. It takes a lot of post-defenestration coaxing. I realized that I am actually pretty good at my job, and that I like that it's not very demanding. Conversely, I realized that I'm in a rut and I don't like it. I received some very strong criticism from someone I consider my friend. I'm still working through my thoughts and feelings on this, and praying hard.
It's moments like these that make me realize just how essential it is to turn to Heavenly Father. It's been a month of having my weaknesses shoved down my throat, as again and again, I've essentially tied my own noose. God is unchanging and everpresent, but if all I'm doing is checking off my obedience list instead of truly giving Him my heart, then I have turned from Him and am not allowed to be a part of His work.
And I want to be a part of His work, so badly. Joy that lasts, the trust of good people, the sense of accomplishment that comes with the smallest thing done on the Lord's behalf. That is what I want my lifeto be full of, not snarky, alienating commentary I don't even really mean.
But I'm not sure how to do it.
When I had little to no self-esteem, the right choice was almost always "assert yourself!" "be bolder!" "you are wonderful just the way you are!!" Now it's become "woah now, Sara," "please be more sensitive," and "for pity's sake, THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK!!" The switch has left me reeling.
I worry that if I choose to be sensitive to others, I will lose the respect for myself I have worked SO hard to acquire. I don't know how to be forthright and sensitive without being judgmental and manipulative. I really don't. I'm not much one to do anything halfway.
But I think it's Satan that sets up a false either/or like that, and I can't use my past self-deprecation as a hook to hang my current poor choices, though that is very tempting. So I just...turn to Heavenly Father. I pray for a softened heart and opened eyes, for forgiveness, for humility. It's not easy -- in fact it's downright scary, because the possibility lingers there that I will loose the good things I've gained as I try to get rid of the bad things that have latched on. Damaging the ship as I scrape off the barnacles, if you know what I mean.
I like that metaphor though, because it's a little silly to think that scraping off barnacles is going to sink a well-built ship. In fact, isn't NOT scraping them off actually what jeopardizes the ship's integrity?
So, I try to be brave, and remember what a dear and wise friend told me once: you always keep the best things, but you don't gain anything by resisting progression.