Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Letter to Someone I Know

Dear Friend,

You are my friend.

You make me sad.

Every time you talk about yourself, it's wrong.

When you talk about your looks, you mock. You can catalog - and will, if asked - each detail of imperfection in your body. You can't give a compliment to someone else without bringing your body into the equation. Their hair is exactly what you always wanted. It must be so much easier for them to find clothes that fit than it is for you.

When you talk about your brains, you laugh sarcastically. You can't talk about a computer without explaining that you aren't a techy. You can't talk about your hobbies without explaining that you aren't an expert. When someone asks for advice you backpedal out of the conversation as fast as you can.

When you talk about your talents, you awkwardly insist, as fast as you can get the words out, that you have none.

Can't you see? Can't you hear?

So it's all about you, is it?

Beneath the shy laugh, the weak smile, the altered tone of denial, it's so easy for others to catch it:

You are proud. You are suffering. You are wounded. You have seen yourself as what you wish you were, and you guess how others see you. The difference between the two tears you apart. You cannot bear that the difference should be there.

And so you go through life apologizing. Comparing. Trying to show how sorry you are that you aren't what you want to be. Making sure everyone knows that you are aware of how short you fall.

And, that, friend, is exactly what you are. Aware. Self aware. So self-aware.

I feel your pain. I hear the grief in your voice. But it is pride masquerading as pain, and I wouldn't be a friend if I didn't tell you that. Because I've been there too. And it hurts. I know.

But pride is pride. Pride is sin!

Let me whisper to you, with the voice of experience and the heartthrobs of well-wishing;

Let it go
.

Let the truth be what it is, and put yourself outside of the truth.

We all know how wrong it is to be constantly telling people you're wonderful. It's equally wrong to be constantly telling people you're awful.

Just let it go.

If you are ugly, so be it - God has a purpose for you no one else can match. If you are gorgeous, so be it. You have a purpose and use for your looks that you would do well to find, that you might not waste what you've been given. If you are brainy - use them!

Just be who you are. Reality is not what you imagine you could be, nor what you imagine others see you as. Reality is what is.

Be content. For He Himself has said that He will never leave you.

If He's given you gifts, don't pass the buck.

If He hasn't given you the gifts you want....

...get over it!

Please.

Get over it.

You've got other things.

Promise.

Enjoy those.

Look at Him. At what He has given you.

And enjoy those gifts. Accept them. Admit them. Bask in them. Be verbally grateful for them.

'Cause I see them. Others see them. We'd love to know you see them.

It would make things so much easier on everyone.

Sincerely,
Your friend

5 comments:

Melanie said...

This came very timely!!
I've been dealing with that exact thing, well, probably all my years as a teenager, but particularly this week. :-) I lie to myself so much, focusing on every bad thing about myself that I could possibly come up with, whether it's real or not.... and the Lord is teaching me to take my focus off the bad and onto the good, and to rejoice in Him and the gifts He's given me. To dwell on what is "lovely". Thanks so much for this post, Amber! <3 <3

Alethea Jordan said...

Hey, you. This was a letter I needed to hear. Thank you. =) But I'm curious why you wanted to post it on your blog. It seems kind of like a personal letter rather than something you would want to share with the whole world. And I think the last sentence jumped out at me as trying desperately to help someone else be less self-centered while being being self-centered as well. Hey, I don't mean this as an offense at all! Please, write me. If you want to talk about what's up, I'm here. If not, that's okay, too. But I'm praying for you. And hey, I wouldn't actually mind discussing it myself. Obviously not over comments here, though. =) I love and miss you, Amber Sue. ='''(

Hannah said...

Hi, Amber,

Someone recently sent me the following excerpt and I thought it edifying and applicable to what you wrote.

From "The Pursuit of God" by A. W. Tozer, from the chapter “The Gaze of the Soul.”

“Faith is the least self-regarding of the virtues. It is by its very nature scarcely conscious of its own existence. Like the eye which sees everything in front of it and never sees itself, faith is occupied with the object upon which it rests and pays no attention to itself at all. While we are looking at God, we do not see ourselves. Blessed riddance! The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect One. While he looks at Christ the very things he has so long been trying to do will be getting done within him. It will be God working in him to will and to do. Faith is not in itself a meritorious act. The merit is in the One toward whom it is directed. Faith is a redirecting of our sight, the getting out of the focus of our own vision and getting God into focus. Sin has twisted our vision inward and made it self-regarding. Unbelief has put self where God should be and is perilously close to the sin of Lucifer who said, ‘I will set my throne above the throne of God.’ Faith looks out instead of in, and the whole life falls into line.”

May we be humbly looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith!

P.S. See you Friday/Saturday?

Amber said...

Hannah,
Thanks for the quote! I especially love what Tozer said about the eye; it sees everything in front of itself and never sees itself. That's a beautiful illustration, and I never thought of it before. Thanks for sharing! And yes, Lord, willing, I'm looking forward to seeing you on Saturday. :)

Alethea; My dear friend, you are right. That last part of my post was birthed by (1)The desire to come up with a punchy ending to a letter that seemed to keep rattling on, and (2)An outlet for my frustration. I admit it. I guess I use my blog as a place to vent when I'm frustrated ...simply because I feel so at home with my readers. But believe me when I say that my frustration stems from a genuine love for the people who I see suffering with this particular....fault, I guess I must call it. And because I've struggled with it so much myself, sometimes I lose patience with them. *Sigh* such is the sinfulness of my own heart.

I love you too, Girl. I'll write soon!

Melanie, I love your reference to that command to "think on whatever is lovely." Good reminder!

ConstitutionGirl said...

Thank you, Amber! :)