Wednesday 3 August 2016

Terrified by disapproval

(Originally journaled on February 6, 2015)

I read this morning an article that said the best writing comes out of really emotional experiences. Maybe that is true, because since I went through my "Great Depression," I've been trying to live in this smooth unruffled way, not getting overly excited or upset, avoiding things that are scary for me. And I know I've lost my drive to write in the way I used to have it.

Approval. That's a big hurdle for me. I crave it.

And I'm terrified by disapproval. This morning I wrote a highly complimentary response to an article someone shared on FB--then removed my comment when I saw another article explaining why some people hate what the first article talks about. Good grief! Why am I so scared of ruffling people's feathers?

"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine."

But I don't. I hide it under a bushel till it flickers almost into nothingness.

Let it shine till Jesus comes? He's here and I'm still hiding it. When he comes physically will he deny me? Because I act--maybe I am--ashamed.

Don't let Satan blow it out. Well, I could blame him, but really--isn't it just me? Why, oh why, am I so afraid of disapproval?

All around the neighborhood ... I fail to let it shine. Only in "safe" spots where it will be approved, and even then, only shine minimally :-(

I really don't know when and where my fear of disapproval began. And I'm afraid of it from all sides. Afraid to be too "bad" ... afraid to be too "good" ... Afraid to stand up and speak out, live out what I really think. (Believe? If I really believed, would I be afraid?)

Why am I so afraid to rock the board? To be disapproved of? Lord?

"May our sitting down and our rising up contribute, Lord, to your kingdom's work."

Does mine? Maybe in some ways. "Quiet action" ways. But "speaking up"? No. More likely embarrassed back-peddling, even denial.

If only I didn't keep screwing up by trying to "keep the peace" and by "denying you."  Tears ...

"Lord, remind us that it is not always agitated uprisings and nonstop activity which leads to justice, but that change often comes through the quiet commitment of a small group of people. Help us raise our small body of people to set about quietly becoming the change we want to see in the world. Amen."

But maybe that is the key: "a small group of people."

I spend way too much time alone. I need others. Not just on Sunday morning church gathering and Tuesday morning street outreach and occasional other "events." We need to live our lives together.  Maybe there was a good reason for all the "church" we did back in the day.  Somehow, deep down inside, I miss it. I want to be part of a big family, an intentional community. I still want to be a grandma teacher-facilitator.

I need that! How? Father? Show me, please.

Psa 33:13 "The Lord looks down from heaven and beholds all the people in the world.... He fashions all the hearts of them and understands all their works."

Is that what you've been doing? Fashioning my heart? Do you "understand my works"?  Yes, I sense You do ... that this is a message from You ... that You see my heart. You know my fears, where they came from and all. You understand, and You are working in my heart. Thank You. That's a comfort. A great comfort. You still love me, don't You, Papa? Thank You. Amen.

"...Through Jesus Christ, we have become the children of peace."  Maybe all this "time-wasting" on Fb and internet hasn't been a total waste of time. Maybe you are softening my heart, driving me to long for true peace.

I know that my heart is truly in pain when I read or hear about all the horrible things that happen in our world--the war, the grabbing for power, the oppression, and cruelty. And I don't see any hope except through You!


Unknown said...

I love this piece. I am in the same boat, terrified by disapproval. Afraid to step out and be myself no matter what the world thinks. Thank you for writing this!

Norma Hill - aka penandpapermama said...

Thanks, Lester! I suspect many of us suffer from this ... and after reading your blog over the past few months, you've given me the courage to tell the truth!