Chasing Contentment

Monday, February 21

In this Bible study that I'm doing with Aleece, one of last week's questions stuck with me. The question was:
Honesty works both ways. Why do you think people might be afraid to be honest with us? What can we do to create greater freedom in the Body of Christ?
As I've thought about that question, I've had several people and instances come to mind. I think that, on the whole, I'm very transparent with my life. I am who I am and most people are able to see that all the time. I'm not hiding very much. And my hope is that people know that and are able to feel comfortable sharing with me in an equally honest manner. I want people to feel comfortable with me, at ease around me. I want my home and my family and my presence to be one of comfort and nurturing and safety.

I had one friend - who knew me best when he and I were both older - tell me via IM a very personal confession. He trusted me with the knowledge of something very private. I had another friend - who knew me best when he and I were both in high school and college - share the same type of confession with me, but only after I inquired of him.

The first friend knows me now and trusts who I am. The second recalled me as a child and was leery of my reaction to his confession. I am honored by the trust the first gentleman gave me and reminded by the second gentleman's hesitance that strict beliefs don't usually foster trust.

While I believe it is important to stand true to our beliefs, what good can it serve to have a hard faith that cannot allow for personal failings?

I am so humbled by God's grace, His continuing blessing of forgiveness. I am humbled that God would allow me to be in the position of being someone who people trust. May that be the way people always see me.

[  posted by Chel on Monday, February 21, 2005  ]

Tuesday, February 15

A good friend of mine is doing some soul-searching these days, and she said to me yesterday, "I feel like my life is a big mirror, and I don't like all of the views." I thought that was an interesting, if sad, observation.

There have been times in my life when I took long, hard looks at myself and didn't like all of the things I saw. Those moments have sparked some of the best and most worthwhile changes I've ever made. They produced positive results.

And yet, I've often been guilty of looking into that mirror and disliking the reflection, not realizing that it was a funhouse mirror rather than a true one. It wasn't so much that my soul or my personhood was distorted and flawed but rather that my perception of myself was flawed.

In my life, I've always been defined a bit by the company I've kept. I've always needed strong, Christian women around me to support me and encourage me. It has been in the company of these women that I have flourished most. I find that, for me, the best mirrors I have are the ways in which my life is reflected back to me in those closest to me.

I like to think that the friends I keep, the family I nurture, are the best mirrors of who I am. My soul is poured out into these lives, and thus, they become reflections of me, hopefully good reflections.

I am certainly blessed to have arrived at a point in my life where I am content with who I am, in most of my various incarnations. My goal is to be always striving to be better while still accepting and being comfortable with who I am now.

[  posted by Chel on Tuesday, February 15, 2005  ]