So it’s Fathers Day. This is always a little hard for me. My dad died when I was 16 and it by far was the most painful day of life.
I found this newspaper clip when I was at home a few weeks ago and there’s so many of them. I was so blessed to have such an amazing man as my father. He was a man of Christ. A man of integrity. A man of honor. He was always so well respected and I appreciate that so much more now than I did as a child because I didn’t understand.
He was always there for me. He traveled so much (seriously I think he had been to every state expect two before he passed) but still managed to make my choir concerts or what not. He was there. That can seem so small but I appreciated it greatly.
I remember when he started getting really sick. It was the hardest thing for me to see. He was the strongest man I knew and to see him just deteriorate in front of me was heart breaking. I remember never staying in the hospital room much because I didn’t want to look at him like that. I just couldn’t do it.
It’s been almost 10 years and I still have days where I just miss him. That I still just want to know why it had to be him and why couldn’t have been some deadbeat dad. But I know I’ll never get those answers. I wish I could ask him questions and seek his advice. I’m in a totally different place in my faith now and I just wish I could just talk to him and ask him things. Like I often wonder what our discussions would be like and what we would agree on or disagree on.
He left a legacy. I’m not just saying that to say it, I’m saying it because it’s true. I know it because I know the impact he made on so many lives. One thing I always hear every time I go home is “as long as you’re living, your dad’s gonna continue to live on.” It’s a huge compliment to me because I strive to be like him. I always have wanted to make him proud and I still do. I wonder often if he’d be proud of me . I know he would but I would give anything to hear it.
It does suck though. He never got to see me graduate from high school or college. He’s not gonna get to walk me down the aisle when I get married. He’s not gonna get to meet his grandchildren. My dad went to Washington DC all the time. We used to joke that he should have just got an apartment there and he said he would take me one day. That never happened and it was so weird going and not being with him. He was a Kentucky Colonel which is a HUGE honor and I’m one too. That’s something we share but I didn’t get to share with him the way I’d like to. I used to fear the day I’d bring a guy home to meet my dad and now I’d give anything to have that chance.
As much as I miss him and get frustrated and angry that I still don’t have him around, I can honestly say that God blessed me with an amazing father. I got to have him for 16 years. Yes I wish it was longer but I’m just thankful because not a lot of people were as lucky as I was.
I Miss you daddy!
I’ve really been overwhelmed the last few days. Honestly the last few months, but definitely the last few days. I’ve become more and more aware of things that I need to change about myself and that’s really hard. Between counseling and the book we’re reading in my small group, I’ve become vary aware of things and just changes that I need to make.
One thing is that I put crazy pressure on myself. Like, I’ve always kinda known I do that to myself but I’m now just realizing how much pressure I put on myself. It’s hella exhausting. I’ve tried for so long to not be a certain way that I’ve lost who I am in the process. The job hunt has really made me realize that I’m super hard on myself and the fact that it’s not going the way I want makes me just feel like a failure. Nothing is happening in my timing and I’ve just realized that I’ve just go to be ’ okay God. I’ll trust you and trust that your timing is perfect.’ That is HARD for me. Beyond hard for me. I want things when I want them and I definitely haven’t gotten them in the time frame to my liking, so now I just have to surrender it.
Another thing that I’ve realized is that no matter how much I try to focus on the positive, I still tend to focus on the negative. I try and just focus on everything that is going right in my life right now and no matter how much I try, I can’t keep that focus. I just can’t do it.
Let’s not even talk about confidence. Well, the lack thereof anyway. That on top of self-doubt is crippling. Trying to act confident sucks. I just wish I was as confident as people perceive me to be. I’m just tired of being insecure.
One of my biggest ares of insecurity is my identity in Christ. And at 26, I’m just now trying to work on this. I didn’t even really think about it until I started working with the junior high girls at my church. When the opportunity to lead presented itself, I freaked. This is something I wanted and I just got hit with insane amounts of self-doubt and fear. ‘I’m not such and such so obviously God can’t use me like he uses them.’ Lie after lie after lie. I’m trying to just be confident in how Christ has made me and believe that he can use me. Last week during our small group for junior high, not only did it go great and I felt calm about it, I got asked by one of the girls if I was leading a group at our youth camp at the end of the month. Like that was the first moment I realized that I don’t have to be like someone else and that I can just be Amber and he’ll use me. Last night, a few more girls asked me if I was leading one and said that I should. So after talking to the junior high pastor (who is beyond encouraging) I’m leading a group at camp. Seriously my first thought was ‘what the hell did I just get myself into?’ and the fear and self-doubt automatically hit but I’m trying to just focus on the relationships I’ll get to build with these girls and just what God is going to do. If they hadn’t suggested it, I would have just gone and been a chaperone. But now I’m a small group leader at camp. Even though I think I’m in way over my head, I’m still excited.
That isn’t even all of it but I think you get why I feel overwhelmed at the moment. It sucks realizing things you need to change about yourself. I remember praying a few months ago about wanting strength because I just felt like I was going to start dealing with a lot of stuff and it was going to suck and be painful but I needed to do it. After a month of like nothing, it all hit at once. So these are things that I’m constantly in prayer about in my life. Even though I feel extremely overwhelmed, I’m excited about the changes that are in the process of being changed.
Last week was just a week of encouragement. I received a lot of it last week and it was so great. I have changed a lot in the last few months and I know it but on the other hand I don’t if that makes sense.
My friend Bekah touched on it in our small group last week and another lady told me as well. She told me that she see Jesus when she sees me now, not the unpleasant person I was before. Wow like as a believer you want to hear that, but part of me was like ‘dude I ain’t been acting Christ like this whole time so I don’t know how you’re seeing that but thanks.’
I have this wall just built up and whenever I hear truth good or bad, or something encouraging I can’t take it. As much as I’d like to I just can’t do it. It’s like it hits a brick wall of rejection. Me rejecting anything that would encourage me.
So we’re reading ‘So Long Insecurity’ in my small group and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thrown the book or wanted to throw it while reading it. I’ve also spewed some colorful language because she’s been so spot on at times.
I read ahead because to be honest I’m terrible when it comes to reading so I try and stay ahead a bit. The chapter I started, which is the longest chapter in the book yet I’m half way through it, made me realize how many people are deal with some of the same things I do. But it has also made me question some things that I’m dealing with and it almost makes me feel like I’ve gone 500 steps back in the healing department because I have all these new questions you know?
And those questions have prompted me to start a different blog just for that issue. I don’t feel comfortable I guess sharing it on this blog much but maybe eventually I will. It’s basically just me venting my frustration while I’m seeking healing in a certain area of my life.
Not really sure what the point of this post is anymore so I’m going to stop typing.
I’ve touched on this a few times on here recently but I just can’t help but continue to be excited about just the women in life. Having girls that are praying for me and encouraging me and won’t judge me when I need to vent and drop major ‘F’ bombs ha. It’s so good.
But they constantly remind me (sometimes intentionally and sometimes not) what I need to fix about myself. They always see the good in me and I for the life of me can’t. I know I need to work on that. My friend Caroline and Ashton both a few times this week have told me all this good stuff they see in me and I was just like ‘umm no.’
Caroline and I were texting back and forth earlier and she told me her goal was to make sure I believe people when they compliment me and point out good things about myself. She’s also challenged me to compliment myself at least once everyday. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but for me it is. I usually don’t have anything good to say about myself and when I do it’s usually me just ‘faking the funk’ so-to-speak. I tend to just let people think I’m way more confident in myself then I really am.
I know what she’s trying to do and I appreciate it and lord knows I want to for once be able to see the good in myself and believe people when they say good things about me and encourage me. I definitely want to see what others see in me. But it’s so hard for me to see the good in myself, so complimenting myself is just hard. Well, honestly complimenting myself is hard. I seriously just made post-its to remind me to do it. One on my my computer desk and one on my bathroom mirror.
Excuse my terrible handwriting
So I went to my small group for the first time last night and I absolutely love it! It’s been something I’ve been needing for years and it’s definitely an answered prayer. And just hearing everyone talk about things they’re going through just reaffirmed that I needed to be there. Some of us are going through different stuff but there are some girls who are going through the same thing as me and it was so encouraging to me. It’s like you can see the dots connect you know?
We’re going through ‘So Long Insecurity’ by Beth Moore and I’m pretty excited about it. I’m pretty sure insecure is written across my forehead in capital letters. It’s definitely something I need to read. Just in the introduction it said ” we’re going to have to let truth scream louder to our souls than the lies that have infected us.” That by itself let me know that I need to read this book.
But just when I feel like everything is starting to look bright, there’s still a dark cloud looming over my head.
So basically something that I’ve been just thinking about and praying about is discipling and just impacting lives of girls. Never really was something until maybe the end of the year I thought about. Yes we are called to go and make disciples and that was something I wasn’t being obedient or cared to be obedient about. Like I’m still not where I should or need to be how can I lead others you know?
I’ve recently just come to realize that God has allowed me to go through these trials to share with others. I think the fact that I’m trying to deal with things now and to heal is the reason I’m realizing it now. But I know that I’ve gone through this stuff to share with others. Like I said in a post earlier that I’ve decided to help with the junior high students and the desire there was to be able to impact girls lives. Well last night my friend Bekah basically told me about a girl who had recently just went through something traumatic and that I she thought I would be the perfect person for her to talk to because she hasn’t ever had to deal with that before. I got excited and petrified at the same time. Like I wanted this to happen but I didn’t think it was going to happen so soon. Like I’m just scared to actually talk about this stuff. I mean I’m not completely over it myself but I’m in the process you know? How can I help her? Am I ready for this? Just all these feelings have crept in and I just don’t know how to handle it.
I’m praying that I can be someone she can talk to because lord knows I didn’t have that. I want her to know that none of this is her fault. Ultimately I want to just make sure that she stays focused on Christ throughout all of this.
So Saturday I was just in such a terrible mood. I think I was in a crappy mood all week if we want to be honest. But I was just at that point Saturday where I just wanted to give up and I was in just in a state of despair spiritually. All the rejection up this past Saturday was just overwhelming and even when I changed my attitude things still ended up the same and I was just over it. But as much as I wanted to just say ’ okay God I think we need a break. I’ll go my way and you go yours for a while’ I can’t walk away from him. I just can’t do it.
I was just in such a bad place and I called my friend Ashton who is just awesome and she came over. And she just listen to me vent and encouraged me and took me to Barnes and Noble to get some coffee and get out of my apartment for a bit. It wasn’t till afterwards that I realized that she and a few other people are just an answered prayer. I really have been praying that God would just give me some good friendships with Godly women. It’s been rough for me because I don’t get along with girls well at times because lets face it, girls are catty and I ain’t got time for that. It’s been rough during college and even a bit afterwards finding some solid friendships with Godly women who I feel like I can open up to and won’t judge me when I tell them things. But it just hit me that he has started to do that.
Another thing I’m excited about is this small group that I’m going to start going to next week. I haven’t been in a small group in a very long time and it’s something I’ve needed and wanted for a long time. There was one I wanted to do but the pastor who was in charge of it at the time had so many hoops I had to go through to get into it after a while I just didn’t want to do it anymore. They’ve had some different women’s groups at my church but they’re either girls way younger than me or Women who are old enough to be my mom or grandma, so I’m excited to finally be a part of a group where there are women closer to my age.
Also, I’ve decided to start helping out with the junior high students at my church. I’ve been wanting to get involved a bit and after a few weeks or just hanging around I told the jr high pastor that I wanted to help out a bit. I feel like I can be there for some of these girls. I know that there wasn’t a lot that could relate to when I was that age and I just don’t want those girls to feel like they don’t have anyone that can relate.
One thing I’ve wrestled with and still do is that hey I’m not like that girl so does that make me less of a Godly woman? I have some friends who are just awesome and we’re just totally different and I struggled with my identity for a while. Am I suppose to be that way? I’m not that soft spoken, I’m blunt at times, does that make me less of a godly woman? No it doesn’t and I’ve finally come to that conclusion but it still is a struggle of mine. But taking this step I feel in away helps me realize that God can still use me even though I’m not like such and such. That I need to not compare myself and just be comfortable in my identity in Christ.
Lastly, I have also just decided that I do not want to believe these lies that I’ve been just feeding into for so long. I no longer want to believe that I’m not good enough, that I’m undeserving of Christ’s love, that I’m the exception to his promises. I don’t want to believe those lies any longer. I just refuse to hear how good God is and believe the lies that he’s not to me. That he’s not good to me and that where I am right now is because he’s not good and he doesn’t love me. I just can’t believe those lies anymore.
Yay long posts.