We visited a new home group last week. It was filled with friends, laughter, good food, real sweet tea (made by moi) and conversation about having access to the presence of God 24/7. The fixins of a perfect meeting. So there really was no apparent reason I should have left feeling as uneasy as I did. Have you ever felt that you were just. too. much?
I sat on the floor with my back against the wall, willing my mouth to stay shut. This was our first time as a part of this group, and I didn't want to dominate the conversation, or give away too many of my deep thoughts and make myself seem totally unapproachable.
But as the group went on I found that my mouth seemed to open more and more, almost beyond my ability to control it! My arms started moving, hands following along, and I could feel the mercury on my intense-o-meter rising steadily. It happens almost every time. I get hooked on talking about my Savior, and given enough time the dam breaks and I leave feeling like I'm just. too. much.
I have always felt different. A serious, calm, modest, conservative, opinionated, passionate, analytical, introspective, introvert. How's that for a personality assessment? Nothing stays surface level for me, and my ability to over-analyze everything often makes for "spirited" conversation between my husband and I. He's the comic relief of this dynamic duo, the grace of God to an overly serious sinner. But there's more...
On top of my less than spunky personality, I also have two little boys. And not just any little boys, but two of the most rambunctious, stereotypical boys I've ever met. They are snakes and snails and puppy dog tails. They are baseball and dirt and two little squirts. Walk? What's that? Be quiet? Not in their vocabulary. SIT STILL????? They'd rather be dead. They exhaust me, push me to my physical, emotional, and spiritual limits...
And they make me feel even more different.
On top of my personality issues and two little squirts, I have a husband who works shift-work. We get his schedule several months in advance, but the only thing you can be sure of with that schedule is that it will change. They even send us a new schedule two weeks in advance, but it's as solid as gas. Nothing is constant in our lives, it seems, except change. On too many occasions to count, we've made plans only to have to back out because his schedule changed. He serves. And service happens when service is needed, regardless of how it affects everyone else.
And he makes me feel even more different.
Oh, and one more thing...I'm a blogger. Have I mentioned that I feel different?
When you feel that different most of the time, it's easy to walk around in what seems to be a cloud of everyone else's judgement.
But perhaps always worrying about how others perceive you, or wondering what they think of you, is a form of pride.
More care and concern for the opinions of others than the opinion of God? I like to think that I care about the opinion of God. In fact, I know that I want to live in His leading, know Him more, love like He loves, develop a heart like His.
So why does it bother me to be different?
Stay tuned for more this week on the topic of being "just too much." In the meantime, answer this question:
Have you ever had an experience like the one I shared above where you felt that you were just too much? If so, share it with us and watch for the next topic in this series called, "a different kind of pride."