Thinking About What Others Think
“Why didn’t she smile at me? Do my friends still like me? Did I say something dumb?”
“They must think I’m the worst parent ever … look how my child is behaving!”
“I can’t believe I let my daughter go to school so mismatched. Her teacher probably thinks I’m a mess.”
“Oh goodness, my car looks like a family of monkeys has been living in it … for years.”
Do you worry about what other people think?
Golly, have I struggled with that!
I used to want to appear like I had it all together, always. I wanted my children to behave and look good, my house to be neat and clean, and for me to be put together on every level. I wanted to be involved in the right things, serving where I should be (or thought I should be), be invited to things (who am I kidding … be invited to everything), and basically be known as your all around great gal.
Things have changed a bit.
When my marriage shattered very publicly and I had to deal with the fallout of being the abandoned wife, I learned a valuable lesson about who I wanted to be and who I really was … am.
I was so devastated by the events happening in my world that I leaned heavily on my Savior, praying and reading His words of love to me.
I’d lost my identity as wife. I would soon lose some other identities–homeschool mom, stay-at-home mom, Bible study teacher, care group host, children’s ministry leader, worship team member. That list doesn’t seem like that big a deal in some ways, but it was such a big deal to me.
Instead of those things I added new things: single, divorced, working mom. And with those came more exhaustion, sorrow, and overwhelming moments than I can recount.
But along with the change in my circumstances and my definition of me, I learned some valuable lessons about what was and is important. I gained clarity.
I learned that no matter how many things vie for my attention, God has to be my priority.
As long as I keep my focus on Him, I’m not as easily overwhelmed by my circumstances no matter how difficult they are. And with His perspective, strength, and joy I know that I can move forward confidently.
I learned that my children are my blessing, my joy, and my main concern. It was okay to focus on my children more than anyone else. It was okay if they went to school with mismatched socks and clothes. It was okay that we didn’t keep up with the Jones on pretty much anything! It was okay that my house wasn’t perfect … it was happy and fun! I’d choose happy and fun any day!
I guess it doesn’t matter what other people think; it matters what God knows about me.
And He knows it all – the beautiful and the horrible. He knows everything about me and loves me completely! What a blessing!
Throughout our journey here on earth, we will always be confronted with “identity crisis” moments. I appreciated the refocus on “God being our priority” as we look toward a new year.
Linda, Thank you so much! God is so good to get our focus back where it needs to be!
AW Tozer’s “Pursuit of God” addresses this issue directly on target with his quote of 1 Cor. 10:31, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” The key is “to the Glory of God”… as God chooses, not as we choose. I find that it is often when I am most humbled that he is most glorified. I pray that God continues to glorify your family in 2014… sending prayers from Idaho to Virginia!
Pam, Amen to that!!! All for His glory!!!
Prayers back to Idaho!
Love your story on what others think! So easy to get caught in the security trap of how others are perceiving us but as long as we “fix our eyes upon Jesus,” everything else will filter down from there, including, the right perspective and the right views of ourselves…we are women of God; our first and foremost source of identity. Thank you for sharing!
Linda, Thank you so much! I love the reminder that we are
women of God!! We sure are!! He gives us all we need to be all He has called us to be. Thankful for His grace to enable us to fix our eyes on Jesus!! Thank you again!
You inspire me, Sue. My heart goes out to you every time I read your posts. God definitely knows your heart, and I believe He’s so proud of you and the way you’re raising your family — mismatched and all!
What a blessing to read your comment Kelcie! So appreciate the encouragement 🙂
What an amazing story, Sue. I identify with that list of “identities”, too – you are so right that what God thinks of us is what matters!! Thank you so much for sharing.