Finding my, “Root.”

I met with a friend of mine recently who I had not seen in about 10 years. We met for the purposes of talking business. He is a pastor. I am a planter. We are considering partnering.

Business.

What the conversation turn out to be…has changed my life.

Let me back the story up a bit. I am a people pleasure. Actually, I worship people’s opinions, ideals, thoughts….etc. Almost every decision I make has been bathed in an internal dialogue that includes the projected consideration of other people’s views.

I have made many decisions in my lifetime that were based more on pleasing the people around me than they were about what I truly believed, felt, wanted…etc.

Needless to say…..

I have a problem.

Sitting down with my friend, we began to discuss the ends and outs of planting a church. I sought wisdom and knowledge from his 6 years of planting. During our conversation, I expressed that one of my concerns with planting is that I am so driven to please people that it makes decision making very hard. A lot of times, it’s exhausting.

My friend then spent the next hour changing my life.

He asked me to consider when I began people pleasing. He asked me to consider why I worry so much about people’s views. He asked me if I had ever asked God to search my innermost being to reveal the, “root,” of this issue.

I said I hadn’t…….who wants to do that!

My friend gave me counsel that I should consider it but to do it when I was alone and had time to let God truly speak to me.

I did……….

it hurt…….

DEEPLY……

I cried…….

but I found healing as well.

What was the, “root,” you may ask?

I’ll tell you.

I wet the bed until I was about 12 years old.

I have carried a small fear of wetting the bed almost my whole life.

Apparently, I was born with a weak bladder. I also am a deep sleeper, which does not help. I can remember wearing a, “pee pee,” alarm on my underwear that was supposed to wake me up when I began….you get the picture.

It didn’t help. The battery died before I woke up.

This led to many uncomfortable nights when I would visit friends. One in particular happened on a church camping trip.

As always, or so it seemed, I wet the bed.

I awoke to the laughter and jeering of not only other guys but also the adult leader.

I can still see their faces and hear the putrid noise coming from their mouths. I felt trapped. I felt alone.

So, I receded inside my mind where it was safe.

Sad story right…..it gets better.

Fast forward to when I joined the big kids in Youth Group.

First night there…after the service. A group of seniors, if memory holds true, brought up that fateful night of bed wetting.

They laughed, a harmless, “welcome to youth ministry,” right of passage, even the youth minister joined in the fun.

So there I was, barely getting into middle school. Standing behind a Five Iron Frenzy poster, being laughed at once again for having a weak bladder.

It was at that moment I began hiding in shadows.

It was at that moment I began to do everything I could to make people like me.

I learned that the best solution to being made fun of was to hide or beat them to the punch. This began a life long strategy of self deprecation. If I made fun of myself, other people would lose their ammo.

When I cut myself, I control the depth of the blade.

As these memories came flooding back, I physically hurt. It was as if I was reliving them all over again.

The only difference, this time, I gave it all away.

I surrender my pain, my hurt and my shame, all back to my Savior.

I allowed God to search me and then to heal me. I sat in my living room for awhile.

I prayed,

I sang,

I confessed,

I received,

I changed.

It’s been a few weeks since I met with my friend. Daily, I am learning what it means to honor God more than humanity. Will I slip up and people please again? Sure I will, but at least for now I have been set from the root of the problem that was buried so deep.

I do not have to live in the shadows any more……I can live in the light.

To my friend…..

I say…

Thank You.

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