Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Be True to Thine Self

Over the past two weeks, I have been very reflective. It’s amazing how God place people in your life that may or may not be a barrier of what to come. About Eleven years ago, I met a man from Ohio via internet that turned into an 18 months relationship. At the time, he was an over the road truck driver and a PK of a Nazarene pastor. He terminated our relationship and said he wanted to return to his family because his kids were important to him.
Over the years, I have prayed for him to return to the Lord. I did not have any contact with him, but I always wondered how he was doing. I also prayed that someday, the Lord will let me know. Recently, through another friend on Facebook, he showed up. I had the opportunity to review his Facebook pages. It appears that he has reconciled with is family and with the Lord. His daughter has graduated last year and she is in the Air Force. His eldest son, graduated from High School this year. His youngest son appears to be doing as well in school. He and his wife are communicating better than eleven years ago. Praise the Lord! After about three days, the connection to his website was close for me. But that is okay, because my prayers were answered and I am content with that.
While in Clinical Pastoral Education, I met someone who had shown me what a Christian brother is all about. I witnessed his loving relationship with his wife as he talked with her on the phone. I also heard stories how he came to Christ through his wife and his wife shown him what God’s Love is.
His relationships with his patient at the hospital were of empathy, patient, and God’s Love. He also passed the same relationship to his co-workers. We talked over McFlurries many occasions about patients, my troubled marriage with Jerry and Nazarene theology. (He is also a Nazarene) Because of his Christian Brotherly love, I placed him high on my list of trust next to God, until recently.
God has shown me that no man (or woman) can be placed next to Him or be equal to Him. All men have fallen short of the glory of God. We, as human, are not perfect. We make wrong choices. We place a mask over our face, when we are face to face with other people. We put on an image or persona that we want others to see. Base on our trust in others, is how high the walls is built or taken down. It is when the wall is down, we see the true person for who he/she is.
God says to be true to thine self. This is the image I have been striving for since my salvation. In the movie “Pretty Woman”, Vivian (played by Julia Roberts) was asked by Edward (played by Richard Gere), “How do you like your eggs cooked?” Vivian would choose how her current boyfriend like his eggs cooked. She did not know for herself how she like her eggs cooked until she was face to face with herself, asking, “Who am I as a person?”
When we meet other people, we tend to take on the quality and nature that we like in that person. It’s like a chameleon effect. We merge in to our environment around us, whether consciously or unconsciously. How we act when we are with family is usually different than how we act with friends.
There was a time that I was considered “wild”. I got around a lot and could talk about anything a guy could talk about. But I didn’t like who I was as a person.
The day I accept Christ into my life, I went from one side of the pendulum to the other side of the pendulum. I went from being “wild” to being a conservative Christian. I was trying to “fit in” to what I thought people wanted me to be. Not who I am.
Recently a short term relationship with a Christian brother, whom I highly trust, shown me that the image I seen as a friend was not the same image he portrayed after the walls were lowered when getting to know each other as more than friends. As I am sure, my image has changed for him as well. He thought I was very conservative in nature and I thought he was very conservative in nature. Knowing where I came from, I had fear that he would not like the “whole” me as a person. Therefore, I had only shown a part of me.
Yesterday was Lola’s funeral. Lola is an aunt of my first husband. Lola had requested me to do officiate her funeral years ago if her nephew was unable to do so. The family honored her request and I was honored they called me. As usual, I was nervous before the service. I wondered why God chose this day for the service.
Afterward, we went to Vicky’s (Lola’s daughter) house for the reception. Unlike the last ten years, I felt for the first time that I belong in the family. When I was “wild”, many have shunned me, especially when I divorced Everett. Now I am accepted. More importantly, I am content with who I was yesterday and who I am today. My goal is to find a balance between the wild child and the very conservative religious child. Be who God has created me to be.
Now that you have read this story, I want you to know that this journey has taken years to get to where I am today. My questions for you; “Who are you?” “Are you being true to yourself or to what someone want you to be?” “Who do you want to become?” “Do you like yourself the way you are today?” “Do you want to change?”
If you desire to change who you are, then start with a prayer. Ask God to come into your life. Ask God what He wants you to change first. Then ask God to help you to make this change and become a child in His image.
When you do this, be ready for change in your relationship with others. Some changes may not be welcomed by others in your clique. While others will open eyes and make them wonder what has happened to you.
The change may come quickly or it may take awhile. Sometimes it takes other changes to occur before this change can happen. Be open. If you can’t trust anyone or yourself, then trust God. After all, He created you.
May your journey be blessed and an adventurous one. God Bless.

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