Hello friends..I read the first day of the study again last night, and have once again caught myself thinking about how I have used my tongue to deceive, say half-truths, and exaggerate circumstances in my life.
Having been waiting to start this study, I had skimmed through the book a few times in the last month or so. One really glaring thing I find myself saying frequently is the word “LOVE.” “Oh, I LOVE that/those/this: dress..movie..shoes..house..whatever…” Do I really LOVE it? Mostly not. Possibly 100% not. But I am finding this exaggeration especially hard to break. I am wondering why I don’t use the word “LIKE” instead. Just off the top of my head, I can think of a few other descriptive words: adore, admire..but then again, we as Christians must keep in mind that we are not to “covet” another’s possessions. It is a fine line we walk there.
While delving into the first days study, the realization that I embellish my own stories to make them more interesting to the listener has me thinking about my motives for doing that. Before I unexpectedly retired (medically) from Nursing, these deceitful actions would not have entered my mind. After all, Nursing is full of exciting, interesting situations every shift. The medical field is an amazing world, full of surprises on a daily basis. But, since retiring in 2009, I have been struggling to find my niche, my purpose, in this big world. I have not yet found my way, as it seems as soon as I am physically well enough to start to volunteer, another physical ailment flares up. The years are passing by, but I seem stuck in the same rut. So, when I listen to people talk about their accomplishments, co-workers and interesting lives, my insecurities about my unused talents, strengths and educational accomplishments never measure up to other people’s, who are actively working. This, combined with the feelings that I am not as smart, funny, unique or special as I see my friends and family, leads me to exaggerate my daily activities. What a mess! It sounds like I am having a midlife crisis, that began years ago, and is still going strong. I feel inadequate, so I deceitfully exaggerate my life to feel more “equal(?)” to my friends and family.
WHOA: Do I really want to burn in hell for that? Is not life, spent ETERNALLY with JESUS worth more than a few “PRIDE FILLED” misleading sentences?
The worst consequence is that I recently found out a relative who I have always confided in told me point blank, she didn’t believe me about an incident that happened to me while I was a child because she has heard me embellish or exaggerate about other stories. This is not anything I would ever embellish. I am horribly embarrassed about it, and have rarely spoken about it except to my Therapist. This admission, by someone I deeply care about, broke my heart. I actually started having P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) night terrors the night she told me she “really did not believe it happened the way I said it did.”
(Night terrors are a severe form of night-mares, but differ in that they are life like re-enactments of the actual trauma the person has lived through.)
This is what has been happening to me for the last few months. concerning the incident beginning the night she told me of her disbelief. I cried for days, and have had to go back and ask her what else she does not believe. As it turns out, she feels most everything I say is suspect to be a “half-truth.” I can not tell you how I felt after hearing that. The realization that everything I voice to this friend is taken with automatic suspicion makes me sick to my stomach. I have even wondered if it is worth continuing this relationship at all.
Well, after bringing this burden to the LORD, I realize that I have to treat this with the utmost sincerity and humbleness..much like I approached my repentance to Jesus. I have to admit that I feel my everyday life is not important/funny/interesting enough by its self, so I embellish to make it more interesting. This is tough. I do not know how she will act. I am scared to lose this friend, but also feel a sort of excitement that I might gain a measure of respect from her.
So, while I am ready to have this conversation with her, she is not ready to have it with me. Another lesson I am learning. Sometimes we are ready to “right wrongs,” but the people we have wronged may not feel receptive to spending time with us, listen to us, or even to give us another chance at all.
This relationship is not one I would ever be comfortable losing, as she is a blood relative, so there is virtually no chance of permanent avoidance in the future.
So, I ask you for prayer. For our Lord and Savior open a line of communication, and sincere repentance (me) and forgiveness (her). I thank you in advance.
God Bless, and I will keep you posted on the events arising from prayer.