One of my “words” for 2013 is BOLD. I yearn to shake off the fear of failure and rejection so that I can do big, bold things for God. In order to do bold things, I realize that I have to make some changes as to the kind of person I am.
In No More Perfect Moms, Jill Savage talks about being a “there you are” person instead of a “here I am” person. “There you are” people enter a room, see someone they don’t know, and initiate a friendship. This is NOT me. I am much more of the “here I am” type: I sit and wait for people to come to me, talk to me, be my friend. It isn’t that I am a snob, or that I don’t want to talk. I really, really want to talk! I want to hang out, go shopping, see a movie, have coffee. The problem is that I am terrified. I don’t want to be rejected. That’s why it would be so much better if a “there you are” person would just start a conversation with me! We’d be fast friends, I’m sure. But that doesn’t require me to be very bold, does it? Nope, the burden of boldness is on the other person.
As I read Jill’s book, the chapter on friendship really jumped out at me, especially in light of my aspirations to be bolder. If I am a prisoner to my fear of rejection and failure, I’ll keep waiting to be approached and never reach out. If I wait for a “there you are” person to engage me, I will never develop new friendships. Therefore, in order to have a fuller life with a bigger gospel reach, I MUST stop being afraid of rejection and actually become the “there you are” person.
That’s so much easier said than done. Last week, I posted that I wanted to host a Super Bowl party. I have yet to act on that intent. I’m so afraid I’ll invite people and they’ll have somewhere more fun they’d rather go. I’d like to start a small study/accountability group for moms, but I’m afraid that I’ll sit at Starbucks waiting for them to show only to find out that they’d rather do something….anything…else than grow closer to me. So many fears to overcome! How can I move past them?
Jill gives some practical advice in this chapter (well, in the whole book) that I plan to take. She offers the advice to be confident. I love this quote from page 117: “Insecurity says we aren’t worth someone’s time and energy, but confidence says we are valuable and have something to offer to a friendship. Confidence comes from defining ourselves as God sees us: forgiven, loved, valuable, and filled with hope and promise.” God has uniquely gifted each of us. By refusing to step out of my comfort zone and reach out to a new friend, I’m hiding my gifts. What if I have something of value to offer that mom I see every Sunday at church? What if the girl I work with who seems so together is lonely and looking for a friend, too? If I don’t act as a “there you are” person, I’ll never know, and another opportunity to make a cherished friend will be lost.
I vow to pursue confidence in my relationships. I will reach out to at least one person this week and be a “there you are” kind of girl. I will stretch myself, and trust that others will see me as the loved and valuable child of God He made me to be. I will be bold.