I met with a new friend for lunch yesterday.
Since we moved 18 months ago (after living in the same place for 30+ years) to a different state, making new friends has become a hobby of mine.
Over a black bean burger and sweet potato fries, the one-hour lunch stretched to two. She was delightful. Honest and witty, but deep. I like that combination!
There was a time I would have zipped in — if I made it at all — and zipped out, because making new friends was hard for me. It makes me sad now, how I allowed insecurity to keep me from doing anything that might feel less than 100% guaranteed safe.
Insecurity is a not-so-great companion for far too many of us, especially if you grew up and things were messy. You learn early that saying nothing is better than opening your mouth and saying the wrong thing. You learn to keep your head down and just get the job done.
You have no idea that you bring value to relationships, to a job, to people, to your family.
In Tuesday’s P31 Encouragement for Today, I told you that there is a brand new me!
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away. 2 Corinthians 5:17
God healed my heart a long time ago and the person He always knew lived inside of me emerged. There were times I was surprised at the new me, because that new me showed up in unexpected ways.
This is one of them.
I used to see the fear of getting close to someone. Now all I see is a potential new friend.
I used to see (or hear) the words that might not come out like I thought they should. Now I laugh at myself when that happens, because it happens to everyone.
I used to see her talents or how she was pretty great at something. Now I realize that we all have strengths, and they don’t look alike. How cool is that?
What I don’t see. . . anymore.
Living free becomes a part of our identity as that insecurity gives way for security in Him.
What don’t you see — anymore?
Seriously, only 11 more days until The Mended Heart Bible study begins. How exciting is that!
I can’t wait to meet you there. It’s a study you can do with friends. You can sign up for one of the online groups. You can do it in your home, just you and God.
Will you tell one person about this study? Invite them to go through it with you. Let them know that God is going to surprise them with the work that only He can do in you and me.
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Much like you, God has been faithful to peel away my insecurities layer by layer, until the real Bev was found. I wore a lot of masks because of that insecurity. I remember clothes shopping with a group of “friends” as a teenager and I would never comment on an item of clothing, like “Oh I really like this top, it’s cute,” because I thought the others would secretly laugh at me (or worse laugh out loud) if they thought it was hideous. Now, I really don’t care if others think it’s hideous…I am comfortable in my own skin and I realize I’m going to like some things and have some opinions that others may not have…that’s all part of what makes me, me. What a sense of freedom when the message ” I am fearfully and wonderfully made” finally sinks in! Thanks for sharing. Many of us are or have been in the same boat.
Isn’t it funny how that plays out? I was with a friend recently and she showed me a pair of comfy stylish shoes. “Do you think someone will laugh at me if I buy these?” she asked.
“Do you care if they do?” I replied.
“Not really,” she said. She plunked them in her basket.
You stop dressing for others. You stop worrying about how you look for others. You don’t buy in to the theory that “women dress for women” and you start dressing in ways that feel uniquely you. <3
Just one small area where this “new” shows up.
I could so relate to this post, Suzie. Little by litle, God is setting me free from those old insecurities. Last weekend I made food for 35 people for my son’s graduation party: lasagne, hummus, salad, and cake. The cake was a disaster. Before I would have seen ONLY how that cake flopped and I’d feel embarrassed in front of everybody. Now I see how everything else was pretty good, and we all had a great time.
Can’t wait for #TheMendedHeart study!
That’s one of those little things I’m talking about. You know that a failed cake is not the end of the world. It’s just a failed recipe and that happens every day to women and men all over the world. You can laugh about it and see it as a future funny memory you’ll laugh about together for a long time!
Suzie, your words are always such an encouragement and challenge. I too recently made a major move. New friendships, new church, new school, new life, new everything…but God is pulling me outside of the comforts of what I “know” and leading me to some amazing new places personally. I sat with a new friend over tea just yesterday. She was deep and funny too…I loved this post and totally get it.
This was a pretty convicting read for this bridge burner. I always panic when I have to “do lunch” with someone, but then I’m always glad afterwards that I took the risk. You’ve reminded me of how important it is to connect with people one on one. Blessings on your day!
Michelle, you have so much to offer another woman as a potential friend. She has so much to offer you. Not every connection is a heart connection, but in the mix lies the diamonds that are.
I met a diamond yesterday. I love that!
What do I not see anymore?… Well, much of it is ugly, things I’m not sure you’d want to hear. The lies I believed were truly horrific. I honestly thought myself evil – no that is not an exaggeration – because of the sin that I believed I brought out in others. All based on a violation that happened to me when I was only five years old. Writing these words here bring me both sadness and joy. Sadness for all of the years where I suffered over such a blatant lie, and joy for the freedom that I am finding in Christ.
Blessings sweet friend,
Let’s choose joy. You have taken that ugly chapter where you were hurt and you are are helping others friend freedom, Kamea. That’s worthy of celebration for who you are, the new you, and the God who took the hard places and redeemed them. I’m so proud of who you are and what you do.
Suzie, what a blessing to read this. I had to stop for a moment and concentrate in what I was reading. Powerful words and a testimony of healing and transformation that blesses me today. Waiting for the bible study to start… I know it will bring to me healing in God’s presence. Blessings. Also, thanks for hosting #livefree!
Tayrina from TGAWrites
Taryina, I can’t wait to begin either. Thank you for that. It’s encouraging. Let’s pray that God draws in thousands of women who long for the same thing. <3
I’m ready for the Bible study, Suzie. This will be my second time to read The Mended Heart, but I believe it’s one of those messages we need to live by, not read just once:) Many blessings and prayers that God will work through you and this study to heal hearts. God is awesome!
Thanks, Kristine! 11 more days to go!
Oh my goodness Suzie you are speaking to my heart and my insecurities. I’m sure many a women feel the same way and will receive such a blessing through this study. Can’t wait!!!!
Kim, it’s what I love the best — watching God bring forth the new in a woman who is so tired of the old. It’s why I’m praying for thousands to join us in this study. It’s why I’m asking God for a specific, out of this world number of women. Not for a number’s sake, but for her sake. Every single one of those women who feel this way who don’t want to anymore.
“I used to see the fear of getting close to someone. Now all I see is a potential new friend.” Oh Suzie! You made me feel SO at home the first moment I was ever at a SheSpeaks, I can’t even imagine your old you. All I’ve seen is the Mended Heart God has repeaters in you. That sets ME free. To be what He would have me be. And how many others see the model for freedom in your words.
Jesus sets us free. You show it’s possible. Then you walk with us, holding out hands and hearts the whole way,? through the heart work to help His Word do its work. The Mended Heart. Cannot wait to get started on the Bible Study with you, my sweet, precious friend.
Yesterday I told my new friend, “I used to be shy,” and she said, “Seriously?”
I love that response. Because it confirms what I know, which is the old me is such a part of the past that she’s not recognized anymore.
He makes ALL things new. Thank you, God, for that beautiful promise.
Love this Suzie! I lived for so long in the manner you describe. I learned as you say, “to keep your head down and just get the job done.” It is so freeing to recognize that I don’t have those thoughts, those fears any longer. I can be with another and simply enjoy them, and enjoy myself, too!
That’s the cool part when you suddenly realize, “Hey, I do’t feel that way anymore.” It’s not an immediate process but a discovering process, layer by layer. <3
Making new friends as a hobby…what a fun way to word it! 🙂 Your outlook is “half-full”, especially in light of your upbringing, Suzie. It truly leaves me in awe of the healing power of Christ. This post is threaded with the aroma and fragrance of Jesus, is strong and sweet. It was a joy to greeted by it this morning, and I do hope your basketful of friends overflows for His glory.
Friends have become a beautiful part of this new move. More than any other place I’ve ever lived, I have friends that are in my life, around my table. Just last night women and I gathered to study God’s word, eat together, and after we just lingered to talk. It’s a sweet new season. I miss my old friends but I’m so grateful for this new, deep season of friendships.
Suzie- Thanks for this! I struggled for a long time to be selfless in relationship- only pursuing in order to get something. Now, I’m practicing giving- and it helps to enter into relationships with this mindset. It also take so much pressure off for some reason. It helps with my insecurities, also, to remind myself that I have something to offer others. Loved your words here. Thank you.
I used to be afraid of letting anybody see the real me at all. Now, with the help of God, I’m sharing the gifts He gave specifically to me to expand His kingdom. I’m amazed that He found me special enough at all to speak on holy things. That’s the lie…that we’re never good enough. Now let’s walk in freedom! Thank you Suzanne!!
Meg, that’s when the layers fall off. I know I talk a lot about layers, but that’s how I see healing. One layer falls and we understand that we have gifts. Another layer falls off and we dare to use them for His purposes. Another layer falls off and we see the lie that kept us from freedom way too long, and then we can’t help but tell others. I love what you had to say!
What a wonderful post, Suzi! So real – man, can I relate! I’ve been all about testing the waters for years. I’m still fearful, but learning to stretch my arms a bit wider. The thing I don’t see anymore is a desire to fantasize about the life I don’t have. I used to be a bit of a dreamer – very discontent with my circumstances. God woke me up loud and clear and changed my heart and mind. I’ve been renewed, and I don’t ever want to look back. Praise God, for His enabling power!
And thanks, as usual, for the great link up!
Ruthie, that’s powerful! I love what you “can’t see anymore!”
Great post! Thanks for sharing it with us all Suzie. The Lord has worked on some huge insecurities of mine over the last several years. I always held people at arms length as it was easier to avoid getting hurt that way. God is tearing down those walls one brick at a time.
I read over your post several times, yet when I wrote my piece, I used “what I couldn’t see” rather than “what I don’t see.” I didn’t even realize it! I guess I am taking a bit of artistic license. Great exercise, Suzanne!
Enjoyed this novel perspective! Praise God that He has made us a new creation and transformed and renewed our mind! Thanks for hosting and for the great post! God bless.
I mask all sorts of insecurities under the guise of independence! But after something like 15 moves and several deoymenta you start to learn the importance of opening up and ring vulnerable. You learn how to discern who is safe very quickly in those circumstances. God is safe no matter what, so I’m constantly learning to rely on Him more than anyone or anything else!
This couldn’t have come at a better time, I have just moved and we have changed churches. My husband and I are recently reconciled…so much going on and have felt insecure at my new church. Still have hurt/healing to do from my last church and my restored marriage. God is using me to be the strong one right now.