Aug 22, 2009

The Sum of All My Fears

I hate flying + I hate being vulnerable + I hate being in new situations without preparation + I hate women = Things you probably didn't know about me. I don't hate all women or any woman in fact, but having deep, emotional connections to women and allowing them to know me on a personal level is a big no-no for me. Like most of you, I've been hurt before. I've been lied to, deceived, and been left holding the bag for women whom I have once loved. And unfortunately, I've doled out my share of lies, deception and fake relationships for appearances sake. And to top if off, I am a bad friend. Too busy, too tired, too (and in any other excuse and I've made it) and I stay at home, safely in my cocoon of not getting hurt.
I grew up being every guys' best friend. I wasn't "hot" enough to date, but I could laugh, give them advice and listen. It's no wonder that I chose a profession where men reign. That's where I connect. It's where I'm at my best. I fit. Take a little aggression, honest flirtation, and no judgement and you have a relationship with a man. Women are harder. Too many emotions, listening (actively), and commitment are involved with girls. And then comes the rejection, the letdown, hurt feelings or complete changes in one person's life which renders the relationship extinct or on terminal hold.
I have had some great girlfriends in my life, but they're what I would call in inactive status. And that is completely my fault.
Through this adoption/blogging process I've met a lot of women who I've come to adore online, but I've never let get too close to me. Until recently.
This past weekend, one of my favorite bloggers and fellow facebook friend, hosted a fundraiser in Cincinnati. Another fellow blogger was flying in from Florida to attend. I happily sent encouraging texts and emails and comments about how much fun they would have. And then they asked me to go. To meet in person, to spend 3 days together, allow them to learn about me, seemed too scary, too big of a commitment. I gave myself a hundred excuses I could use: money, work, schedule, school (i'm not in school at the moment). I could stay safely at home. But God's gentle whisper said "go". I booked the flight, praying we would get a referral and I'd have a REAL excuse not to go. I bought a partially refundable ticket just in case I chickened out at the last minute.
But God kept whispering. And I packed a bag. Satan was waiting, ready to remind me of my terror of flying, he even threw in a panic attack for good measure. Two plane rides later, a hundred tears and a thousand prayers and I was in Cincinnati.
And 3 days later, I emerged a new woman, multiplied by 3 new friends, who have all seen and heard my fears, accepted my fears and have resolved to love me and challenge me through them. And I have resolved that relationships with women are necessary, invited and life-changing in my life. And I am bound to make more of them. A lot more. I will be myself, open, encouraging and I will continue to face all of my fears, even if it means being hurt. I will stop running from God and live with open eyes, loving arms, and a full heart. I started re-reading the Bible tonight. Genesis 1:1 seemed like a great place to start :"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." This weekend I began my own genesis. And as my plane takes off, I AM afraid. Not for what has happened but for what WILL happen, because I know I will be challenged. The sum of all my fears has totaled HOPE. And Hope is always a great place to start.

Let us as women approach our relationships with one another with a different set of glasses on, to stop asking one another "how are you?", without waiting for an answer. May we forgive and forget about bad days, PMS, hurt feelings and indifference and may we be one another's champions, prayer warriors and soul mates. I look forward to connecting with every woman I know more passionately.
I encourage you....what is the sum of your fears? God may just want to redo your math.

9 comments:

Brandi said...

precious, precious, precious friend. I adore you!

Watching God work in your heart this weekend was the highlight for me. You are such a treasure. . to us, to the Kingdom and to the many other women who will not get the JOY of being YOUR friend!

There is absolutely nothing on this earth sweeter than being invited on someone's journey and seeing them to good heart work with Jesus! I love you and am so thankful that you allowed us in.

I can't wait to see what the Lord will do in and through you over the next few months. I am so thankful for your friendship. You are a WarriorGirl if there ever was one.

Love you dearly,
Bran

Amy said...

Dear, sweet Lindsey...

Oh my, girl! I am SO proud of you for this post! You made me cry for the second time in one day when I read it. :) I love that you ended this post talking about HOPE, because you have reason to hope. God wants to use you in the lives of other women and in the process bring healing, wholeness and JOY to you as you put yourself out there, engaging even when it's scary, hard and frustrating. Keep pressing into what He has for you because it IS good and He WILL reward your obedience to Him. Thank you for having a heart that wants to honor and serve the King. I am so privileged to know you and love you, Lindsey...God's warrior girl.

Jman's momma said...

Oh girl! Praise God for such a wonderful weekend. I started off reading about the weekend feeling so jealous - like Why couldn't I be there too? yep, I am kind of selfish...

But then to get to read this is just, just... I just don't have a word. I can just say again, praise God.

~ anne

Megan said...

Lindsey,

Thank you for a wonderful post!! I am so happy that you have come to realize the importance of girlfriends. I always had lots of guy friends as well - it's just so much easier!! With men, there's no drama! Over the years, though I have come to learn that as hard as it can be, it is so worth it! I don't do well with drama and I have a tendency to make things worse sometimes in my efforts to make everyone happy. But women connect on a level that I can only describe as divine. I really think the Lord knew that there are moments in our lives that we need girlfriends. It makes me sad to think of other women going through life without a good girlfriend to call when she's in need of a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a pedicure buddy, or just someone to make you laugh. So, thanks for the great reminder of the importance of friendship and having faith in the Lord. Hugs!!!

Melissa said...

I jumped over here from Brandi's blog and wow! How do I keep bumping into people in blog land who are living my life? :)

I was just thinkingthe other day about how we women can be so mean to each other, actually crying over something a woman IN MY CHURCH did to me back at Christmas time. I know God wants to work on me in this area of building relationships with women, but like you I am afraid. Thanks for sharing, for those of us who feel like we are the only ones who feel this way :)

Christine said...

awesome post. Thank you!

Amy Bottomly said...

oh Lindsey..
This post was so sweet indeed. Brandi told me I needed to get over to your blog and read it. (I have sort of been not reading ANY blogs lately) Anyway, I can tell through this post you have such a precious heart! I would love to be one of your girlfriends! :)

Wish I could say I was going to see you tonight...BUT, as it would just happen to be. There are a few girls that come to the all state wide Queen gatherings (they don't live near us) that have hurt MY feelings and created un necessary drama. :( After the last gathering where I felt passive aggressively bullied with their non verbal actions, I said "NO MORE!" boo. A true bummer because I realize I am letting 2 people ruin my interactions with 50-ish others.

Anyway, thats my story.

I want to KNOW you better! And I think we should. Lunch at noon is trixy for me, except for on Tuesdays and Thursdays when Silas is at MDO. How do you feel about weekend lunches? :)

Brandi said...

Lindsey. . you have 7 comments! 7 comments from women who get it. . who understand that relationships are hard but worth it. I love you sweet friend and am SO proud of you

Bran

Maribeth said...

A little late on this comment, I know, but I must tell you that you are telling my story too... a struggle that I continue to battle. As a mom, it gets even harder as the gender divide becomes greater. I applaud you for taking that leap of faith. Thanks for reminding me that I stepping out on the ledge won't kill me. Keep telling the story.