Our cherry tree this spring 🙂
Here is an update from DaughteroftheKing – the college student (who has been a believer in Christ for about a year) with whom I have been corresponding about her perfectionism , people pleasing and the stress and pressure she puts on herself to try to have extremely high grades and to be the best violinist, etc…
The last few days have been quite a ride!!! Last week I wrote an apology to my grandmother for gossiping about her, and although she didn’t like the form of the apology this somehow opened the doors for a conversation. So we decided to meet. I felt so horrible, mostly because my mother told me that it had been wrong to write her an apology. Her arguments were that my grandmother doesn’t easily forgive and that this will be irreparable damage to our relationship, and that one doesn’t write apologies for gossiping and that I never talked badly about her. But gossip means that you put a person in an unfavorable light, and that certainly was true.
And there was a bible verse which made me do this:
Proverbs 28:13 (NIV)
13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
I really thought that what I was doing was right, but I still felt horrible.
But on the phone the next day, my grandma told me that she is very glad to see some change and initiative on my side, that she had been hoping not to die before this happens. But she told me that she has been very very unhappy with me for years, because I never seem to care. So I was right: there are quite many unmet needs of people around me under the usual friendliness. But to find out was shocking.
It feels like falling down from my selfbuilt mountain of false security.
And she told me that in me there are deeply rooted bad character traits, and she begged me to start working on them before it is too late. She is so right. And she offered me her help in doing so! Isn’t this perfectly selfless love? I mean, I have been hurting her for such a long time and she even offers help to me! So, we agreed to meet. I felt like I was going to a slaughter, really. But I knew that this feeling was probably not coming from God, but from the enemy, who didn’t like it that I left my old comfort-zone which was actually built on an great deal of sin.
When we met at first it was difficult. Whe talked very openly about how she felt and how she had waited for me to come around and that she had expected it to happen much earlier.
She asked me if I was expecting that she would accept my appology.
I said,”No, I just wanted to apologize. ”
She seemed pleased with this answer because she then told me that she accepts it.
Later we talked about many things, about me and how I was doing too much. Although she only sees me a few days every year, she perfectly knew what was going on! That’s amazing, isn’t it? She knew everything. She knew when I was lying, she knew when I was overdoing things, … She said that I have a certain character trait that makes it easy for me to get excited about things. And then my inner motor just works and works and I have to stop it at some point, because doing so much isn’t healthy, and there are more important things.
She said one important thing:
If something is really important to you, you’ll make yourself free time for it.
Yes, she was right, my family life wasn’t very important for me, so I didn’t make myself the time for it.
Matthew 6:21 (NIV)
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
And she said one more interesting thing: I had made a perfect servant out of my mother.
Shocking, isn’t it? But it is so true! Although she is quite strict in general, I can basically do whatever I want. For example: dinner is when I say it is, if I want something she has she’ll give it to me, if I don’t have time to even listen to her that’s ok, if I don’t have the time to do something she’ll do it for me.
And she said that if this wasn’t the case I would never work so much, because I would have to built my life around her needs (or other peoples needs in general) instead of around mine.
And she asked me to do the following things:
- Think before I say anything and check a dozen times whether I’m really honest and this is really what I think.
- Help my mom everyday, first for around 15 minutes, then at least half an hour.
- Do less for school and violin and more breaks. She didn’t have such good grades and she said that my whole problem is due to exreme perfectionism I inherited from my father.
- She asked me to visit her sister who invited me about two years ago(!). I already send her an email.(I didn’t contact her for about 6 months!)
I promised to really try and work on myself and on our relationship.
I also contacted my other grandma and she agreed that it would be better to do less and to help my mom more instead. And she thaught me how to keep my room tidy (I didn’t have the time to tidy up my room :()
So, I can only recommend the following thing to anyone who has problems in her family:
TALK. Be an open book. I had built huge walls of pride and egoism around myself, mostly I think becase I was afraid of living in transparency. That’s really weird and uncomfortable at first, but it is such a blessing! It is a matter of trust as well. I encourage anyone who knows there are relatives who are unhappy with him/her to go and really apologize for anything you can think of that you have done wrong, and then listen to what they have to say. There is abolutely no need for arguing or defending oneself. My family aren’t my enemies, there are on my side to support me and guide me in the right direction.
I will continue to listen to what they have to say about me and my lifestyle, because it is such a treasure of wisdom. Of course, I have to be careful at some point, because none of them are believers in Christ, but they are still my family and they are still good people wanting the best for me 🙂
- I’m planning a big surprise for my mom on Mother’s Day
- I’m also going to send cards to my grandmothers.
- I’ll stop asking my mom to do things for me which I could do myself (if I don’t have the time to buy XY, I will not have it, if I don’t have time to make tea for myself, I won’t drink any).
What do you think of all this? 🙂
I am REALLY proud of you for apologizing to your grandma!!! PRAISE GOD! That takes a LOT of courage and strength to do what you did. And I am proud of you for taking all of that constructive (hopefully) criticism so well. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am proud of your grandmother, too. Sounds like she has some very helpful wisdom to share with you. 🙂 Even if she is not a believer. She clearly knows you and loves you.
Your mother shares responsibility in allowing you to turn her into a “perfect servant” as well, since she is the adult and the parent here. 🙂 But I am glad you are taking responsibility for your end. 🙂
I am SO THRILLED about what God is doing in your life! THIS IS AWESOME!!! So many answers to prayer. 🙂
I wish I could hug your neck!!!!!!!!!!!
Why am I so sad, then?
I am sure you are sad because it is HARD to have to face your sin and mistakes and to see that maybe your priorities need adjusting. That is painful!!!!!
It is painful to accept criticism, even if the criticism is true. It is overwhelming sometimes at first to see our sin when we really believed we were essentially sinless and almost perfect and “right” all the time.
I spent days on my face in tears before God repenting of all of my sin and pride. It took me 6 weeks of repenting and confessing more and more pride every day to get anywhere near the bottom of it. I felt like I needed a spiritual huge dump truck to shovel out all of my sin into every day during that time. It was as if I had an entire mountain of sin that I didn’t even know existed until that day in December 2008. I wanted to run away and go live in a cave and never talk to anyone again because I suddenly realized what a wretched sinner I was and I knew if I opened my mouth – sin was going to come out.
There is definitely a time of mourning over our sin (the Bible speaks of this often – God wants us to see our sin as He does and to mourn over the pain it brings to Him and to others). Then we can confess our sin and He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). Then we turn from the sin and to God and we seek to “produce fruit in our life in keeping with repentance.”
It takes time to allow God to show us all of our sin, to remove it and to begin to learn new ways of thinking and a whole different perspective on life – God’s perspective. We can only absorb so much from God at a time. We can’t “eat an elephant in one day.” We have to take a few bites and digest that and it is a process. It can be confusing at first because you may realize what you were doing wasn’t right – but you haven’t yet learned exactly how to do what is pleasing to God. It will be one step and one day at a time. 🙂
I love your plans. I love your humility and your heart that longs to please God and make things right with your family and others.
Maybe this story really resonates with you, too. You are welcome to comment and we can discuss what is on your heart. 🙂
ALL OF DAUGHTER OF THE KING’S POSTS:
MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL:
I also have a YouTube channel (“April Cassidy”) with about 80 videos on lots of topics. Many are about marriage, some are for single women. Some apply to just about every woman. I have videos about perfectionism, tearing the idols out of our hearts, desiring to live only for Christ, people pleasing, etc… 🙂