Tuesday, November 17, 2009

He Loves Me: Does She Like Me?

UPDATE: I will be guest hosting the Yes to God Tuesdays online Bible studies as my sweet friend, Lelia, is unable at this time. I have participated in all but one of her studies over the last 18 months.

We've all done the pull-the-daisy petals: he likes me, he likes me not. We expect that to work. And, if it ends on he like me not, well there are do-overs. We do it over hoping for the opposite. As women don't we also do this with females? Am I the only one who wonders if a woman likes me and values my friendship? I've often felt my friendships were lopsided. That is, that I put more value, desire, and energy into the friendship than the other person.

Take a guess at the title of chapter seven in Becoming More. That's right..."She Likes Me, She Likes Me Not". Lysa shared her childhood dreams of pappagallo flats and madras shorts, changing her name to Buffy, and grosgrain hair ribbons. It all boiled down to "I just wanted to be accepted. By someone."

I wouldn't go back to grade school or high school for anything. Too much drama of not feeling accepted, girl "fights", and wanting to fit in.

When Lysa blogged on this topic, she received numerous comments from ladies feeling this way as an adult. Many women thought they were alone in their feelings, insecurities, and wanting to be accepted and liked. We are not alone! Women are creatures specifically created for relationships, female relationships, and girl friends.

I had not thought of this but Lysa says maybe we can never be totally rid of our insecurities. "If they press us to draw closer to God, the only secure thing, then healthy doses of insecurities might not be so bad." Though, those insecurities that distract and paralyze need to be addressed.
Lysa shares that to make peace with our feelings of inadequacy, we "must operate in God's love and operate with God's love."

*Operating IN God's Love*

"Operating in God's love means understanding how His love can redefine my natural thought processes." How? With God's Word. Meditating and soaking in His Word will transform our thoughts to align with His truth about us...depleting satan's lies. "I have retrained my brain so God's truths interrupt my negative thought patterns."

"Stop looking to others for validation." Does that hit others in the heart like it does me? I look to my supervisors to validate my value as an employee. I look to my readers to validate my ability to write. I look to my friends to validate my 'likeability'. I need to veer to God's Word in front of the negative thoughts to cut them off before they start. Kind of like cutting people off when I drive. Just joking!!

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken. Isaiah 4:10

"This comforting reality helps me to not shy away from hard things but to press into God's strength and operate with more courage."

Though we may not be accepted, nor liked, nor validated, we never escape the unfailing love of the Almighty One. A 10.0 earthquake won't shake His love for us.

Infallible. Stable. Reliable. Able despite us, what we do or don't do.

Meditation. Repetition. Of God's word, His thoughts, His truth.
"Until the truth seeps in and I can leave the petal-pulling behind."

*Operating WITH God's Love*

"Operating with God's love allows me to rest in a security beyond myself. It's okay that I'm insecure if it prompts me to rely on God more fully." God can show us the way to use our insecurities for our advantage. How? Insecurities can create sensitivity and discernment in us for others with insecurities. Through a hug, an encouraging word, a comment (ON THIS BLOG...wink wink), an email, or a card (remember those from way back in the postal days?)

Robert McGee, from The Search for Significance, says: "Loneliness is one of the most dangerous and widespread problems in America...Ninety-two percent of Christians attending a recent Bible conference admitted...feelings of loneliness were a major problem...sense of despair at feeling unloved...fear of being unwanted or unaccepted."

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35

Allow God to use our insecurities and prompt us to love others more. "Really think about the simplicity of simply loving others and yet the absolute profound impact that it could make." Profound impact.

"One of satan's greatest tools to hold us back from telling the world about Christ is to get us to put our sense of security in the wrong place."

Look for the good. Judge less. Overlook rude actions. Be sensitive to those overlooked.

Insecurity is "a gift that should lead me to operate in God's love and with God's love."

Maybe we all need to join Lysa in replacing The Official Preppy Handbook with The Official Holy Bible.

I know that petal pushers (capris) are in style but let's not be petal pullers. Let's not focus on whether he or she likes us but that the Almighty One loves us.

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Letting God Rid Me of Petal-Pulling,

© Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Picture is of the Ohio River.
To see more pictures visit my FB page.


Tracy said...

Oh wow, did this step all over my toes! I had never really stopped to think about how much many of my thought processes (as they relate to friends) hadn't changed since my childhood. Always having been a pleaser, and always wanting everyone to like me, in so many ways, I'm still that way. It does bother me if I feel someone doesn't like me...even now! So often I take my eyes off the one whose opinion matters most. I can tell this message is going to be rambling about my head for some time...(with good reason). Thank you, thank you!

Love & blessings,

Liz said...

Great thoughts, Paula! As you know from our conversations, this is a topic that I have wrestled with in the past years. It has been God's desire that I look to Him first...for validation, to fill the loneliness, and when I wasn't learning that lesson well, He arranged it so that I would be forced to. Painful? Yes. But the lesson has been worth every bit of the dependence that I have had to place on Him. I can only now develop relationships that truly honor Him. I know that not everyone will like me (or vice versa) and that is (mostly) okay. His sovereignty includes even whether I am likable or not to another female. If not, then I bet that the friendship is not in His plan for my life...and if so, then He has it all worked out already. And for those times when I feel that I don't really have any friends (yes, sometimes I still feel that way), I remember that feelings change, so do friendships, but God never does. And I start to pray. All I can do is be the best friend I know how to be and let God take care of the rest.
Encouraging thoughts from you this post, Paula.
Friends? YES!
love you!

godamongus said...

God bless you; and, keep up the great work and writing! Please check out my blog-site because I want to hear your opinion about my latest Topic #13-"They would not have crucified the Lord of glory." Be sure to read all the preceding topics, as well, in order to gain the complete picture.

Runner Mom said...

This was a great post!! And...I need to be reading that book! I just love Lysa T.! She hits the nail on the head! And, that's what we need to hear.

Thanks for your sweet comments about my pics. I just love doing it! We're going to Tenn. next week for Thanksgiving, and I will be scoping out more barns and pretties!!

Love ya!

Sharon said...

Thank you so much Paula for taking this over for Lelia. I sent you an e-mail regarding something I wanted to do for her. I hope you got it.

I can relate to this in so many ways too. I am 55 yrs. old and still find it hard not to pull those petals. I so want to get to a place where as long as I know I'm pleasing my Lord God, and that He loves me...that will be more than enough.

Thank you for your insight and encouragement!

Ang baylis said...

I'd love to tell you that I can't relate, but unfortunately (actually, you taught me that a little insecurity is actually healthy) I can totally relate!

For the record: I like you!

This is such a real issue with so many of us and it is comforting to know I'm not alone! Why is that so easy to forget? Thanks for this post!
Angie xoxo

andi said...

Hey friend!!!! So glad to stop by today! Feeling better, not 100%, but getting there! I hope you have a great weekend!!!

Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith said...

For a long time, I was always a people pleaser, thinking that this would help people to "like" me, only to be, often, seriously hurt in the process, by those I thought really liked me, but would then talk about me behind my back or to me and a few times, tell me that they never really were my friend.

Oh the flashbacks to rejection in high school.

As I grew and mature in my walk with Our Heavenly Father, I began to learn more and more that, first and foremost, He loves us all; He is who He says He is and feels how He says He is.

I learn too, empathy, discernment and compassion of not only how I treated others, but also how others felt.

We all want to feel validated and wanted and that we "have somewhere to belong" and yes, something to this day, I tend to struggle with and other days, He uses to connect with me.

Lol, I think Liz said it better than I did when she said,I can only now develop relationships that truly honor Him. I know that not everyone will like me (or vice versa) and that is (mostly) okay. His sovereignty includes even whether I am likable or not to another female. If not, then I bet that the friendship is not in His plan for my life...and if so, then He has it all worked out already. And for those times when I feel that I don't really have any friends (yes, sometimes I still feel that way), I remember that feelings change, so do friendships, but God never does.

It's rare that we have in our earth bound lives, those true friendships that we all long for, but men is fickle and relationships can change, but our relationship with our Heavenly Father never can and when that is solid, first and foremost, everything else falls into place.

Thank you too for hosting this and prayers to Lelia as well.

Paula (SweetPea) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joyfulsister said...

Hi Paula,
((Hugz sistah))). Wow what a post!!
Truth be told, and how we as women can so relate. I don't know if it's age or wisdom,but I don't go there anymore, you know she likes me she likes me not lol.

Hugz Lorie

valerie said...

Thanks Paula!
Great post!
It's good to know that most women feel the same way in regards to this subject. I have always been a pleaser too. I try to get along with everyone and if someone acts funny towards me I tend to think immediately "what did I do to make them not like me? or, why are they acting weird to me?" Isn't that crazy? I've come a long way. I'm much more secure not because of my relationship with God.
But, I do have a friend from way back that I probably have the most fun memories with and as grown-ups she seems to want nothing to do with me. I recently left a birthday gift for her and never heard a word of thanks or anything. If she and her husband ever invite us to an event they're having her husband tells my husband. I guess I feel left out. She's nice enough when we are together, but I guess I just can't get over the not knowing and wondering why she can't just call me or even text me.
I wrote Liz and told her that her comment blessed me. I loved the part where she wrote "All I know to do is be the best friend I know how to be and let God take care of the rest."
He is my best friend and He knows me like no other. I am choosing to leave this in His hands and if this friend chooses to not desire a friendship, it isn't in God's best interest for my life and I need to accept that.
Thanks again Paula. You did a great job!

valerie said...

In my comment I meant to say "I'm more secure because of my relationship with God." I had the word "not" in there. oooops. :) Guess I need to proof before sending.

Anonymous said...

Wow.. I just stumbled upon your blog it's awesome! I absolutely LOVED your post today. It is so true! Women NEED other women. God has given friends to us to love & encourage. We keep looking to Christ as our strength & hold our friends dear for the extra encouragement! ~Kristina

Erin said...