Monday, January 26, 2015

Why We Must Get Up Every Morning

in which is a change of my heart, and a change of lifestyle.

I have always thought I was a people-hater. Extreme introvert.  Lady hermit.

I never liked crowds, I'm not a huge fan of parties, large groups make me nervous, and actually, a tad bit panicky. "Oh man, so many people...deep breath...don't make a fool out of yourself. (Inwardly hyperventilates)."

Therefore, I must just hate people altogether, right?

Way, way wrong.

Throughout my entire teenager-hood, I firmly stuck to this belief with uncharacteristic, stone faced stubbornness. I am an introvert, guys. I just don't like people. Go away. I like my own company best. Or a book. A book is good. End. Of. Story.

Except not really.

True, I dislike small talk, pettiness, superficial behavior, flirting, immaturity, and overall fake-ness.

But people. I love people.

I shocked myself when I faced up to this.  Introversion was the screen I hid behind because getting to know people is painful. It is ridden with sin. It often always hurts. Because when I get to know a person, I want to know their ins and outs and struggles and beliefs and dreams. (blame it on the INFJ personality). I want to really know a person.  I need to connect with them on something. I hate small talk, but because I decided that I didn't like other people altogether, that's what I turned to, more frequently than I would like to admit. I was, to quote a friend, "in a mental prison of my own making."

I wrote this last spring, and when I went back a read it recently, it rang so true with what I am realizing now:

"I am so selfish. I don't care enough about other people and I am very unhappy with that fact. I feel very guilty about it.

Most of the time, when I show concern or care for others, it is not out of real, true honest care for them. It is because I want that attention and care directed back to me. As non-sociable as I may seem, I still have that very human desire to be loved, cared about and held dear, precious. To be wanted. And that selfish, sometimes desperate craving pushes its way, slyly, into how I treat others. I have concern for someone, only so they will show concern back. This can be on the shallow levels of having conversations with coworkers about humdrum life, to deeper interactions with my family.'s unconditional. It does not pretend to be all concerned about someones suffering, just so that that concern will be retaliated later.  That's not love. That's not the love that God has for us, that I now wish to have for others.

I want to look at others and instead of thinking:

"I wonder if they like me?"
"I hope they thought I was funny"
"Do they really care?"
"Did I impress them?"
"Do they think I am being stupid?"

I put my mind on a much better path. That one is not going to get me anywhere. I want to find the best in people, and, having as much love as God does, forgive the worst.*

I have the desire to look at another person and enjoy them to the full, their personality quirks, the things that makes them, them. to be amazed at talent, not jealous. To find little habits that are cute or funny. To appreciate anothers sensitivity or intelligence. When I observe another person, I want to remember that they are a fallen, sinful human being, just like me, who struggle with gargantuan human error. Why do I always judge them instead of connecting, with the fact that we are both just terrible people without God?

I 1 Corinthians 14, it says to pursue love. You have to work for it, try for it, pick it up, make it a habit, make a painful continuous effort to love. Instead, we all just want to meet up with all the people that we relate to, decide who we like, usually for selfish reasons, and call it friendship or love.

That is just not what I am going to settle for. With Gods help, I am going to pursue love. And I am not talking about romantic love.

I am saying I want too love people because God loved them, and are worth something to Him. 

He gave some of them great senses of humor; talent simple tingles in others.

 He gave some a naturally sweet and caring demeanor. 

Some have great beauty, some amazing intelligence. 

He made some able to care for others and others, the ability to create pretty mind blowing things.

I want to clap my hands as I watch it all and delight in others. Purely, cleanly, with nothing more behind it than that I really am in awe of so many wonderful ways a person can be unique.

I am going to open up a long shut, sensitive door and be concerned when another is hurting, to feel their pain with them. Because that's what Christ does, and I want to be more like Him.

I want my love to be raw and open, susceptible to hurt** because I care SO MUCH about others. I'll say it again..loving like God. And I think I am finding out how that love works. How much more in-comprehensive Gods love is.

I want to be able to unselfishly stay up all night with a brother or sister who is hurting, not because I feel morally obligated or it will impress others when I complain about it later, but because I want that person to be comforted, to not be lonely. I want to be able to disregard "me time" because there is someone out there who needs a hand and I know with all my heart that God sees them as precious and special, noteworthy and important. I don't want to give it second thought when someone asks me to give of my time and energy. I want menial, simple tasks to be the greatest joy and fulfillment and privilege, because looking good or being popular, impressing others, is not going to fill that void. I pray this is a step closer to woman God wants me to be."

 When I wonder why I bother to get up, to make an effort, to keep  going...I must remember.

I must remember that there are over six billion people out there right now, every single one of them in need of love and need of God. They need care and a friendly smile, they need light and encouragement and help. How on earth could I get bored with life and wonder what the point is?

If I look beyond my own little world, which, granted, has plenty of ups and downs and frustrations and struggles, I will see that those struggles don't have to consume me.

I must pull past those struggles and pains, show others that I am a flailing mess too, take their hand, and say, "lets get through this together, the way God created it to be. I will fall, I will sin, I will forget about you, but I will stand back up, confess that I did it wrong, and remember you again."

 And again and again and again.

There are over six billion people. There are over six billion ways to share this love and strength and struggle.

Pick a few methods. Pick a few people. Stick to them. Pick more, the older you get, never get bored.

1 Cor 13. Matthew 22:38-39: This is my manifesto. 

I will never run out of reasons to get up. Or reasons to give up, either.

*I know there are several issues connected with this, such as correcting a brother...that loving him is to chastise him. That we cannot look over a fellow believers sin, because that would not be true love. That is another subject that I must tackle for myself, but one thing at a time. Remember the waterfall?

**This is not to say that I just trust anyone, tell them everything. Sin is rampant, and I must be careful. But I must not hate people...I must hate the sin.


  1. Oh, Jillian! I needed to hear this! It is very convicting. I have been thinking about this lately and you put it into words so well! I am an outgoing person, and people often tell me they are encouraged by my smiles and thoughtful words, which is very good to hear, certainly, and helps me keep going even when I don't feel like it (because there are moments when I feel like being done with people, and niceness, and pleasantries, and my patience is nearly at an end. Thankfully it passes.) However, I have to ask myself: am I nice to people because I genuinely love them and God, or is it because it makes ME happy? Do I REALLY care so much about them to take the time to talk with and encourage them, or is it merely because I feel some emotional need met by giving them a few minutes, or even hours, of my time? I mean, it is a good thing to be made happy by serving, and I think God designed it that way, that, when seeking to bless others, we often go away feeling that WE were the ones bleseed. Yet, I have to ask myself what my real motives are? I like to think I am doing something out of true love and concern for others, but am I cheerful and "selfless" simply because it suits my personal disposition and temperament to be so? Would I be so willing if it wasn't part of my personality? Do I actually listen, even when it isn't all that interesting, or am I just waiting until I can impart some "precious words of my own wisdom", listening to them only so that I can say something in return? Am I thoughtful even when it hurts and doesn't really make me feel all that happy? Am I caring and gracious toward the people who won't like me in return? I'm glad when selflessness does make me happy, but I just question how selfless I'm really being if my main reason for doing it is to make ME feel good. So much to think about - questions that no one but I, with the Holy Spirit's aid, can answer.
    I like your last post, too. I completely identify with what you said. I felt like, "that's me!" Thank you for starting this blog. Everything you've posted so far has been encouraging for me to read. You have a way with words, dear friend, and reading what you post does my heart good and reminds me that I am not alone in this fight (which, I know theoretically, but practical reminders are ever helpful.) :D Blessings! - Becca Lee

  2. I thought I had said just what I wanted to, but I realized that it needed an addendum. I wasn't trying to say that the Christian life is dreary or that loving people the way God wants us to is misery. : ) I wasn't saying that if I have genuine love I will lose all pleasure in life. The Christian life is FULL of joy, and loving people with Christ's love, though often hard, is so rewarding! We often ARE blessed by blessing others. So, anyhow, 'just wanted to clear that up. I most definitely was NOT saying that I think I need to spend my days making myself miserable and that doing so is true love for God and others. I should be filled with joy and contentment. Okay. Sorry. I'll stop rambling now. : ) - Becca Lee

    1. Becca Lee...So glad to hear that you were encouraged by this! I was hoping someone else would need it too, and that is why I shared it.
      I understand what you are saying...I question my own motives all the time.
      Why am I doing this? Do I really have Christs love for this person?
      Sometimes it feels like a curse to have the ability to to question our own motives, and be smart enough to wonder about things and put them through logic...and then wondering if we really are all that smart BECAUSE we think we may be intelligent. If that made any sense. It feels like, when I question my own motives, I am thinking in circles and cannot get anywhere. Like you said, Lord help us!

      Anyway, I appreciate your take on it. That has been a huge part of my own struggle. And again, like you said, we need to know that other people are struggling with this. We need to get through this together.

    2. It made perfect sense to me, Jillian! I mean, I go through that whole circle all the time. How thankful I am for God's written, unchanging word, that is there as a steadfast anchor even when my own thinking is not so clear! - Becca Lee