I started doing this thing where I put draft titles for posts to do later on…this was one of them, be unoffendable. But for the life of me I cannot remember why I wanted to talk about it…coincidentally this week just became about offences and insecurities.
Before I go on…it was my oldest daughter birthday. The last 9 years are truly a blur in my own eyes. I cannot tell anyone how I went from a deeply depressed hungover 19 year old girl who’s just found out she’s pregnant to being a financially stable and independent, successful career in law and relatively okay mother. It can only be God. Truly!!!
Be unoffendable, I can’t remember where I heard this from but it obviously stuck with me. I spent a lot of my late teens and early adulthood seeking approval of any kind from anyone who smiles at me. Not only was I offendable but I believed I offended people a lot more than I probably did in reality. There were moments where I believed my mere existence was an offence of some sort.
Sad thing about it was offence to me always meant rejection.
The reality of that was, I would spend many days wrapped up in guilt and shame over what I had supposedly done or was done to me and how offensive it was to me or the other person involved. Days spent going through scenarios in my head and what I could have done better and said instead of what I did.
It just sucked the life out of me. I couldn’t function or do much else.
My first real attempt at quitting alcohol came as a result of this very thing. A drunken night that led to me not having capacity to do uni work or go to work simply because of guilt and shame.
Fast forward almost 2 years later, this week in one of my Court matters I dealt with a deliberately intimidating Counsel. And I say deliberate because as days went by it proved to be a tactic on his part. The whole encounter left me feeling weak and out of place. Doubt started flooding in, guilt would start to overpower me and I just felt that I don’t belong there. Imposter syndrome!!
I’m loving how my life is manifesting all the things that God has been trying to tell me all along.
I say this because, as I sit here and reflect to what transpired I remembered something that happened about 4 or 5 years ago. I used to listen quite a lot to this sermon, along the lines of what to do when you don’t know what to do there was 3 points to it;
- Look out – listen and pay attention to warnings and signs you are given. God speaks to us, we just need to listen
- Look up – turn to God when you in trouble, big or small,
- Look around – God always sends us help and way out of any situations or trouble we find ourself in.
What was the manifestation
- Whilst I was still in the mud battling my thoughts and feelings of insecurity doubt and shame. There was a thought that kept appearing, it was simply that this is a learning experience, it sucks and doesn’t feel good but I learned a valuable lesson from it.
- As hard as it was I prayed and turned to God, more notably, he put a song in my heart – The Battle is the lord’s by Yolanda Adams. The song starts with a line that says ” What are you trying to say Yolanda? Look forget about all that other junk this battle ain’t yours, its the lord’s
think about it, and then start shouting help me…” I listened to that song all day just to help me stop obsessing over the incident. I realised I can’t tell myself to forget it, the battle in my mind is bigger than me.
- Those two worked well, I felt better and I carried on, but I was set completely free from that only after another barrister approached me in Court the next day and all he said was ” By the way I think you did well despite that badgering”
I can’t even explained in a human logic why all this helped but, the experience was completely wiped off my mind my heart and my spirit.
Be unoffendable– whilst I appreciate the sentiments of this, I’m learning more and more that trying to do things, to change things on my own never really works, at least for me.
I’m learning more and more that I need to surrender to God. I need to trust in him and it’s his strength that I need to rely on. The reality of it is if it’s me, my heart and my desires I’m following a lot will weigh me down. But when my heart, my mind and my spirit are focussed on God, there’s not a lot that is of this world that will weigh me down.
The reality of the situation is, though it seems to not have much to do with God or faith. If I hadn’t trusted in him to speak to me, I would have been drowned by the negative thoughts of worthlessness and incompetence. If wouldn’t have though to listen to that song, in addition to the toxic thoughts I would have been so hard on myself for not having the courage or confidence to let it go and get over it. And lastly that comment, would have seemed like just pity and I would have written it off.
And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty
I can do all things through God which strengthens me
In my journey of trusting God, it’s becoming more and more easier to live knowing that when I’m weak, then he is strong. And that he will never leave me nor forsake me.