this isn’t about me

I’ve never been a great multi-tasker. When I am deep in a project, like today when my head is completely immersed in James 5:7-9, the phone rings and it’s some salesman from a publishing company wanting my business, I get a little irritated.

I’d prefer to just hole up, ignore the world, and finish my single task, thank you very much.

My, my. How very selfish of me.

The funny thing is, of all the behaviors that makes me most sick to my stomach, it’s selfishness. But of course, the nausea only comes when I see it in others. When I’m being selfish, it’s justified. I’m right and they are just plain wrong. Do it my way, I demand. I’m the one who’s hurting, I martyr. (Is that a verb? Nope? Too bad. I’m making it one.)  I’m the one who needs, I whine. I’m the one struggling and try to figure things out, I lament.

I’m the one who needs you to be this, do this, handle this, right now.

I was thinking about all my selfishness tonight (after pretty much thinking about it all day. Ahem.) I noticed that I have this friend who is always apologizing to me. Sometimes for the weirdest things. But they apologize frequently. Sometimes it’s because they didn’t do something they said they would do, or there was some kind of unmet expectation. Whatever the reason, I started thinking about why they apologized so much. Was it because I had such unfair expectations of them that they feel like they are always failing me? (Ouch.)

That’s really only a question they can answer. But it still got me thinking. Yes, there are times when they need to apologize. But even so, why am I focusing on what they are doing wrong so much? What about what I am doing wrong?

I’m being a lousy friend.

I’m so wrapped up in myself and what I am going through, that I just sit and wait for everyone else to check in on me. Instead of checking in on them.  And when they don’t, I feel sorry for myself. I vow to write them off and never speak to them again. (Okay… I might be exaggerating a little. But you get the idea.)

I’m pretty ashamed of myself right now.

Tonight while I was reading, I had NEEDTOBREATHE’s newest record on repeat, and these lyrics from the song Wasteland hit me particularly hard.

There was a greatness I thought for awhile
But somehow it changed
Some kind of blindness I used to protect me
From all of my stains
Yeah I wish this was vertigo
But it just feels like I’m falling slow

I was blind to my sin and the scales were starting to fall away from my eyes. Needless to say, the grieving began. I will spare you the details. They aren’t pretty. (I really need to invest in some good waterproof mascara.)

Ok. I get it. The 2×4 has officially smacked me and the welt on my head is pretty swollen. Pardon me while I stop thinking about myself for a while. It will be a nice change of pace.

3 Comments on “this isn’t about me

  1. Oh, Stephanie- I would never think you are a selfish person. NEVER. Don't give up your quest to be known.- for you have proven to know better than to stop there. Please take my words as a message to myself and society in general. And DON't stop sharing your journey! I'm hanging on your every word and am grateful that your message brings me past my own self. Love you!


  2. The beauty of what you wrote wasn't in that I felt it was directed to me. I know I'm not quite that bad… But that doesn't mean my own navel gazing wasn't somehow stunting my growth. There was much truth in your post, specifically that our quest to be authentic is not the end of the story. Just as Jesus loves us just as we are but loves us too much to leave us there, I was allowing my own selfishness to stunt my sanctification. I won't stop sharing my quest to be known, I promise you that. But I am also going through a lot of other things in my life (outside of this process) that have been very painful, too. Things I can't share about in public on a blog. These things have consumed me so much that I think about what others aren't doing for me. A lot. This isn't ok. Your words about authenticity not being the end of the story reminded me that my pain is not the end of the story. And that I wasn't allowing God to use my pain to grow me.


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