Friday, September 13, 2013

Make the Voices Go Away!

The title of this post probably makes me sound like a crazy person, and lately, I've felt a bit like a crazy person.  More than usual, I mean.  This year has been awesome and has been full of a lot of interesting experiences, but it's also been full of a lot of Spiritual Warfare.  I have mentioned that in other posts, and I'm mentioning it again because I'm still very much dealing with it.  Sometimes I deal better than others.

Satan is a subtle guy.  I've written before about how he likes to deal in half-truths, in things that might have a small basis in reality, but he makes them seem bigger, or he twists and distorts them somehow, or he only tells the part of the story that condemns and not the part that redeems.  Satan is a crafty, subtle guy.  And he's got a lot of tricks.  And I haven't always been on guard as much as I really need to be this year.

His newest attack has been distraction, but not in a way I've really been used to before.  The distraction has been cleverly combined with a lot of his previous attacks--mostly ones that have been attacks on my insecurities.  I have a lot of insecurities.  And Satan has cleverly taken those insecurities and used them to put my attention on things that don't really matter.  The trick in this is that if I'm dealing with things that don't really matter, then I'm robbing myself of time that could be better spent on things that really do matter.  And right now, with all that I've got going on, there's a LOT in my life that really matters.

The other day, I let myself get really upset over some comments from someone who I barely know. It was on Facebook, which was also unwise of me. Basically, I just posted a vague, semi-comical statement about how God's teaching me using "helpful people" who aren't really helpful. But suddenly, I had people attacking me because I won't let people help me and I don't like advice. I did state that I wasn't asking for advice in a follow up comment, but that comment should not have been enough to trigger the ridiculousness that followed. There were many incorrect assumptions, many misplaced accusations, even a few insults, and I was sobbing, crying until my eyes were dry, completely broken down by the end of that night.

I kept wondering if there really was something wrong with me (insecurities), wondering if I was doing something to provoke these attacks (it was the second such Facebook encounter in a week--the first one was even more ridiculous). I was hurt because I felt completely ignored when I had tried to state my case. I just was so sick of everything being blown completely out of proportion, sick of fighting with people who had no clue what was really going on.

And I had to really pray through all that, and I realized my sin wasn't that I'd posted vague stuff on Facebook or been honest about not wanting unasked for advice (though I really do need to learn to word things better--I meant no offense, but can see how it might have looked to others). My sin was that I cared too much about what others thought.

I don't like being misunderstood, but people are going to misunderstand, sometimes even after I've explained things a couple times. And in that particular encounter, it would have been prudent to have just stopped talking to the individual who was arguing with me. I spent an evening fretting, stressing over what she and a few others thought, when I could have been doing so many other worthwhile things.  And I barely know this woman. And even if I did know her, that's no reason to keep stating my case over and over and over. There's a point when ridiculousness becomes too ridiculous. I wasn't wise in finding that point, but I'm grateful I found it eventually.

I did start thinking more about why I feel the need to tell people I don't like unasked for advice. It frustrates me, and I guess I never thought about why. I figured it's like door issues-I know I don't like car doors being opened for me, but I can't tell you why. But if someone doesn't respect my right to dislike it, they're going to hear about it.

But I found there is a reason I don't like unasked for advice--especially on social media, where just about anyone can see and answer. I'm insecure. I also think WAY too much about everything. I also read WAY too much into innocent comments. If I've got a conflict or issue, chances are, I've already thought that thing through to death. The LAST thing I need is a bunch of people, some who don't know me well, most who only see the smallest fraction of the whole situation, throwing opinions in my direction.

Satan has been speaking against me, and he's used a lot of well-meaning people. Voices are everywhere, telling me what I should do. And Truth is getting lost in this sea of voices.

So while I'm planning for my important work commitments that I love, I'm getting several odd job offers that are so much worse paying than what I've already committed to do. And people, people with such good intentions, hear just a fraction of the whole story and give me advice that God must be calling me to quit my jobs.

So while I'm struggling to find time and resources to work on the writing God has given me to do, I'm getting suggestions from SO many well-meaning people that I should use my precious time to try to "write" some puff book that no editor would want and that I would never DREAM of "writing."

So while I'm honestly crying out for people to stop adding to the cacophony of voices that are distracting me, I'm getting concern from well-meaning people that I'm wrong for not soliciting everyone on Facebook for advice.

Oh. It's so very, very frustrating.

Don't get me wrong. Counsel is good, if it is good counsel. But if I want advice, if I want counsel, I'm going to go to someone in person. I'm not going to post a vague status on Facebook and let it be a free-for-all. That's just not at all prudent, especially when what I'm needing isn't a lot of opinions from various sources. I need Truth. And, I'm sorry, but just because an opinion is popular, even among Christians, that doesn't necessarily make it true.

So I'm sorry for letting things get to me.  I'm sorry for not always being gracious.  Other people are dealing with Spiritual attacks and insecurity, too.  And I suspect God really is allowing these attacks to help me learn more about being gracious, about learning when to just let things go, even when I'm misunderstood. I want to be respected, but if I want that too much, it's also sinful.

I'm praying God will continue to work in all of us. These aren't easy times, but He is so good. He's walking us through.  Thanks for reading.

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