Monday, July 14, 2008

Free At Last!








In Proverbs we read, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever
trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)



I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who does not want to be liked, admired, and valued for who they are and what they do.

As I watch my young grand-daughters play, it doesn’t take much time before they are trying to get my attention and approval. “Look at me Grammy”, one will say…and the next moment the other will be in tears if I didn’t show my approval for the little pictured they just colored. Now as innocent as this may seem, I remember doing the very same thing as a little girl.

First it was the approval of my parents, then my teacher, and friends. I wanted affirmation. I wanted to know I measured up. By nature I was a pleaser and at times I still battle with this.

As a young minister’s wife this became not only a burden in my life, but it caused me to walk in fear. I slowly began to loose my joy in serving the Lord. I became part of a vicious cycle of pleasing others and wondering if I met all the expectations of our church members.

Ladies, let me just interject here to remember to pray, love and honor your pastor’s wife. She needs to know you love her and are there no matter what she may or may do.

The most liberating thing I ever did, after receiving counsel from my spiritual mom, was just to be honest with the women in my church about my fears and insecurities. She told me they would love me more if I was real and vulnerable. It was a risk, and I must say I was petrified to do it.

I’ll never forget that ladies meeting when I stood up and shared my heart with a room full of eyes that seemed to look strait through me. I was so nervous I was shaking as I spoke. At the end the meeting the women began to form a line to thank me. I stood there and wept as each one hugged me and shared many of their own insecurities with me.


Freedom, freedom I continued to cry all the way home. I felt like I could literally fly. This was the beginning of learning how to truly please God and not man for the first time in my life, and I made a pledge to never turn back.

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4)

Am I totally set free? Don’t ever believe that, but now I enjoy a freedom I didn’t have before. My focus and passion is to please Jesus, the one whom my soul loves most.

How was this post? Please tell me it was OK?



Please join us over at Shortybears place today to see what others have said about this amazing quote!


22 comments:

Twinkle Mom of Sunflower Faith said...

Susan,
I'm so floored and touched and encouragement by your post...a hurt and need to be loved soul here reaching out and just telling you...thank you for helping me feel okay.

My biggest fears is being open and vulnerable and then getting hurt and rejected and felt like I wasn't good enough or imperfect and I feel encouraged by your words....

Thank you so much for being open and sweet and loving with your wonderful post!

Carmen said...

From 'The Fulfilled Woman's Workshop' - Session III: Key of Love...

"LOVE GIVES AND MULTIPLIES!

SIN TAKES AND DIVIDES!

LOVE IS THE BETTER PLAN! LOVE ENABLES ME TO HIT THE MARK IN LIFE!!!!

LOVE COVERS a multitude of sin (1Peter 4:8 - Above all, keep your love for one another at full strength, since love covers a multitude of sins.)

LOVE CASTS OUT fear **The ONE great hindrance to bearing fruit is 1.) the FEAR of MAN and the NEED for their approval.

You CANNOT fear man and fully TRUST God at the same time. That’s why Proverbs 29:25 says: The fear of man is a snare, but the one who trusts in the Lord is protected.

1 John 4:18 - There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love."

FREEDOM is what the LORD died and rose again to give us...and His LOVE is what gives us new life & a shackle-free existence!

bountiful blessings Susan...beautiful word today.

Tami Boesiger said...

Yes, this post is more than okay. It is honest and good.

I've had the same experience, gaining love and acceptance among our church family by being real. It's a wonderful thing.

But I must admit I still struggle with it at times, more than I'd like to. It's a good thing God is patient.

Love you, friend.

Denise said...

Thanks for such a lovely, and very honest post sweetie.

MiPa said...

What a beautiful, heartfelt post. Bless you for sharing today.

luvmy4sons said...

What a beautiful, honest, and tender post. I am so glad that you listened to your friend. We are free...free indeed! Jesus loves us alays...if we can only get past the spirit of the fear of man!

Laurie Ann said...

Susan, your spiritual mom sounds wise indeed. I'm glad you took her advice and began the much needed walk toward freedom. God bless you for the inspiration and encouragement you gave today through your post, and most of all, thank you for sharing your heart with us. What a treasure you are.

lori said...

Girlfriend..
I understand...completely! The fear of being open and honest makes us vulnerable to being rejected by those we are trying to please....crazy wheel we run on, huh.....

Freedom is a much better course! Only one place to find it...and to seek out those who will encourage us on this walk....great post!!

and of course the chocolate I.V. from dear friends does help...lots!!:)
glad you got the right post up!!!
THAT grandbaby sure is cute though!!
love ya!
lori

Di Di said...

Susan,

I can't tell you how often I have avoided opportunities because I was afraid I would fail or that I wouldn't do something as well as so-and-so had done it.

When I was a young mom, I did everything that I thought "godly" moms should do: I tried to cook and bake from scratch; I tried to sew my own clothes; I tried to "look" pious and godly. I did all these things because I just knew that nobody would like the real me.

The real me is loud and humorous. I don't say "Lord willing" after every statement. I don't have a godly analogy for every event in my life. But people that get to know me soon realize that all of my victories have come through Christ, and all of my failures have taught me to lean solely on Christ.

God made us as we are, and , by His grace, He is transforming us into who He wants us to be. Once we realize that, we are indeed free.

Thank you for another thought-provoking post today.

Amy said...

Are you kidding me that post was way more than okay..... Susan it takes alot to open up like that and share something personal with all of us strangers. I thank you for being honest. You are one blessed lady. I have alot of things in my life that I am so affraid to post because of being ashamed of being there at one time or another in my life. But it is things that God has done miracles in. Pray for me to open up and share. It would probably help heal me.

Maxine said...

This was such an interesting perspective on this topic. You are so right about this need to be approved all through life. (I loved reading about your granddaughters.) I will remember your exhortation about pastors' wives. Thanks for being so honest about what you have been through; I'm sure it's a help to many of us.

Kim said...

What a great post.

I too, find it difficult to fall into this trap...the people pleaser that I often am.

God is really working in my heart....as I rest in him.....knowing that HE is the only person I need to please. (besides my hubby)

Thanks for being so open and honest.

Kim~

Kristin Amato said...

Perfect post! =) You got my approval. Thanks for being so honest and real.
Have a great day! I hope Kelly and Aunt Judy approve of the house and dinner plans. haha Just kidding!
Love, Kristin

Terri Sue said...

What wisdom you have shared! As a deacon's wife I totaly relate to not wanting to disappoint others. I also has a wise woman tell me just to be myself.

God bless!

Peggy said...

Ouch Susan!! EXCELLENCE once more!

My comment later!Approval FIRST! and then a scolding

...where have you been? did you go join your hubby? I checked all day Sunday and at Internet Cafe and all day Monday, then around 6, which felt like midnight, I gave up! I knew that you had a special place in my heart, and I wanted to share something special and then
someone shared it and I wanted to
know if you might want TWO...and I prayed and chose to...well, you can seeon my post yesterday. I guess you could say you have an honorable mention...but that's not enough...I wanted LO MAXIMO for my friend that is always there, commited to excellence and encouragement...well, let me know, you are alive and well at least!!

I so relate to THIS POST...major hinderance in my life and moreso my witness to my family, my loved ones...How I have to applaud your
confronting us and the problem! I love my Pastor's wife both here & in Minnesota, even more...Though I have never been in your prominent
position...I can relate with your grand daughters (LOL) as a child,
on up...as a teen...as a young adult...as a wife...well, you get it! I thought it was my dad's approval that I was seeking and
found out that it was just that people pleaser in ME with any relationship! But back to you!!!

What a RISK?!!! What courage!!!
You my hero...heroine!!!I'm so glad you are free and liberated
(lol)though the enemy knows where to get us...we'll battle and hold each other up together! OK?

Such wisdom...such words of truth!
Much better for us to focus on PLEASING our Sweet Lord who deserves it so much and allow our Passion for HIM to build us from within to walk in confidence, security, assurance of Jesus and WHO we are in HIM, because of Him.

Lessons learned, light bulb lit...
speak to my heart sweet Susan...
Love ya..big HUGS..and thanks, be blessed as you continue to bless!

Karen said...

You wouldn't think so but it is a vicious cycle getting into the people pleasing business. It takes us away from where we need to be, pleasing God.

Cheryl said...

Hey Susan,

Beautiful...that is what this post is. I think a lot of times we all have the same feelings with being vulnerable and wanting people to like us.

Truly, Jesus is the only one we need to please. If we do this, then everything else will be fine.

Thanks for sharing your heart and thanks for such sweet words you left for me yesterday!

Please pray for me as I continue this job search!

Blessings!
Cheryl

mamas*little*treasures said...

Hi Susan - thanks for stopping by my blog for a visit this morning. I've missed being part of this weekly dose of encouragement and inspiration, and so glad to be settled enough to jump back in. Your story about being a pastor's wife really touched my heart - although I've never been a pastor's wife, I've been "friends" with a few - but I always felt that they couldn't let themselves be real. My heart breaks for young women, as you were, carrying that heavy burden of expectations. I'm so glad you shared that little bit of wisdom for all of us as Christian women, and especially as friends to one another. Have a great week! Nina

Heather@Mommymonk said...

It's so true - people love to know about our struggles, even though we are afraid to share them. Opening ourselves up like that can be dangerous, because people might criticize, but it's worth it.

P.S. I loved your comment about the state of affairs in the church today. That's where I was going with that. Performance can be a trap too!

Amy S. said...

Susan

It was more than OK! What a lesson to be learned. Im so glad you shared this story. Your posts always have a "message" to them...and for that I thank you very much!

Love and Hugs....

lori said...

Would you stop being soooo nice!!;)

Hey I came by today to hear the music....I needed some SHACKLES today!!

love you!!
lori

Peggy said...

Precious Susan...It's the following week of this Tuesday meme
and I wanted you to know I'm still praying...mostly because I don't see you posting on your usual days!

I wanted you to know I have Your Freedom photo with this quote from Kay Arthur as my desktop right now
to remind me and also when I see it I give a shout out & pray for you, your friend Tammy & of course, Nick! I hope hubby is home
and he is the reason your are not posting or maybe you are on a blog fast like me! Thinking of you!
Hoping YOU are well!((HUGS))Peggy