Most people won’t get you.
Oh, they may like you well and good—-want to be with you, meet you for coffee, sit next to you in church, invite your kids for play dates—-but they won’t understand your dreams. They won’t be moved by your passions. They won’t be enthusiastic about your priorities. Not really.
And that’s fine.
It’s not to say Jesus doesn’t love these people. And it’s not to say YOU shouldn’t love these people. You can and should have all sorts of people in your life who get excited about things that don’t necessarily excite you. You need them. They need you. This is the very essence of the body of Christ. (See 1 Corinthians 12)
But I would advise you be very cautious about sharing your dreams, your passions or your priorities with people who don’t really get you. It can throw you completely off balance.
Several years ago, I was crying on the shoulder of a good friend. I was confiding in her how frustrated I was that my other friend was on the verge of publishing a book, and I was not. My book-publishing friend and I were in the same season of life. We were the exact same age. We had kids the exact same ages. We both approached publishers at the same time. Yet, she was sending out e-mails announcing, “My new book is coming out!” And I was not. I was a mess of confusion and jealousy. So, I turned to my good friend for comfort and encouragement.
This was my good friend’s response to me—-her words of choice to comfort and encourage: “Oh my gosh, Sandy! Who cares? It’s just a BOOK! That’s not what’s important in life!”
She meant well, I know she did. And I totally love her—-even to this day, we are friends. But her reaction confirmed in me one thing: she didn’t get me.
She didn’t get that some of my earliest memories include me, as a little girl, writing poems and giving them to people as gifts.
She didn’t get that as a tween, I’d pick up American Girl magazine, go straight to the “Dear Beauty Editor” section and wonder how I could get one of my letters published.
She didn’t get that whenever I walk into a library or a book store, my heart races with anticipation of one day seeing my books on those shelves.
And because she didn’t get me, my dreams or my passions, she couldn’t understand why in the world something as insignificant as this (a BOOK, of all things!) would bother me enough to make me cry. And because she couldn’t understand why this would bother me, she didn’t know how to encourage me.
Instead, she hurt me. Insulted me, actually.
Her words hung heavy…
Lingered in my mind…
It’s just a book!
Made me question the value of my work…
That’s not what’s important in life.
When I started this blog five years ago, few people in my real life “got it.” At first, they were intrigued, maybe a little excited for me. But after while, some of my family rolled their eyes thinking I simply wanted them to check my website for updates on my life instead of taking the time to call them on the phone. Some were quick to point out that they don’t “waste their time on the internet, reading blogs or whatever.”
Five years later, not much has changed. I have many people in my real life who love me, support me and encourage me—but if I start talking about the hours it takes to write a single post or the frustration I feel over fluctuating blog stats or how much I despise having to juggle multiple social media outlets, they glaze over with a “oh, for the LOVE! Who cares?” look. Roll their eyes with a “what a complete and utter waste of time” look. Sigh heavy with a “get a real ministry and stop playing on the internet” look.
And if fail to guard my heart, all that can make me question the value of what I know God has called me to do. It can make me wonder what the heck I’m thinking when I carve precious hours out of my week to sit down and create, yet, another blog post. It can make me reconsider when I say no to good things so I can isolate myself and write.
And that can throw me completely off balance.
Since then, I’ve learned it’s best to share my biggest dreams, my deepest desires and my purest priorities with only a select few. Otherwise, I’m tempted to question the validity of everything I do.
Precious and few are the people who truly get you. They are an integral component of a well-balanced life.
If you have like-minded people in your life, protect these relationships. If you don’t have like-minded friends, seek them out.
It’s worth it.
When you speak with a like-minded person about your passions, she’s not glazing over in boredom, she’s nodding her head in the middle of your sentences.
When you confide in a like-minded person about your fears, he’s not telling you to close up shop. He’s empathizing with you, remembering all the times he’s feared similar things.
When you share with a like-minded person the struggles with the mundane or tedious tasks of your day, she’s not urging you to move on to things more meaningful. She’s encouraging you to press through to reach your ultimate goals.
The right word at the right time is like precious gold set in silver. Proverbs 25:11 CEV
Her words are life-giving and affirming. You don’t need to defend yourself or explain your motives to her. She gets it, because she feels the exact same way. And her affirmation spurs you on to do the God-ordained, sacred work at hand.
P.S. I feel the need to interject here, while I love to write—and I really pray I get a book published someday—my real passion is not writing. My real passion is sharing with others the way God redeemed me from the pit. It’s teaching others how to hear Him speak. It’s helping people learn how to find balance in the crazy. How to have a real relationship with their Creator. The writing part is just the vehicle God is using right now. With or without the writing…with or without the published book…I’m still pursuing my passion no matter what.
Week Five Focus:
Do you have at least one like-minded, trusted confidant? If you do not, it’s time to seek one out. Pray and ask God to show you people. Think about the kind of person this would be.
- What would she or he love?
- What would she or he value as eternally relevant?
- If you are an entrepreneur, seek out a fellow entrepreneur.
- If you are an adoptive mom, seek out a fellow adoptive mom.
- If you are a single, working woman, seek out a fellow single, working woman.
Call her up and invite her to lunch or coffee. Chat. Throw a few things out there that make your heart skip a beat and see what she says. If she is like-minded, you will know. It won’t take long to figure it out. Take time to nurture and protect that friendship as it grows.
If she’s not like-minded, that’s cool. Cherish that relationship for what it is. But don’t be quick to bear your soul to her.
Keep looking. God will lead you to someone.
For all the posts in the Better Balance in 2013 Series, Click Here
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Thank you. 🙂