Friday, October 01, 2010

Not Mine to Own

"Not 'if' you get in, but when.  We're going to say when.  I have a good feeling about this."

Her words were well-meaning, and I was trying to smile graciously, and look like I was thankful for her attempt at encouragement, but inside I was cringing.

In my head, she wasn't encouraging, she was just adding another layer of pressure.  Another standard to meet.

She was referring to the question of whether or not I'll be admitted to the nursing program that I've applied for.  It's a question that remains very much up in the air, and one that rather haunts my days right now.  A lot rides on that question, and it's answer.  A lot of my life remains very much up in the air until an answer comes - likely towards the end of October, but maybe even longer.

I have this performance mentality that is deeply ingrained within me.  This need to meet expectations, and the well meaning words I quoted just didn't help things.

She was trying to offer hope, a positive outlook, encouragement.

What I heard was, "It'll be such a disappointment if you don't get accepted.  Acceptance is the standard by which your worth is measured."

I was thinking about those words last night as I sat on a bus on my way to house church.

About that mentality that wants to minimize expectations, and thus minimize the sense of failure, and of disappointing others.  The mentality that is almost afraid to hope, afraid of what happens if that hope is dashed.

And as I sat on the bus pondering this insane need to meet invisible standards, a whisper echoed through my thoughts.

"That isn't yours to own."


God is doing a lot of crazy things in my life right now.

Changing mindsets and thought patterns.

Showing me things that are unhealthy.

And showing me a perspective that's different.

It's not mine to own.  My well meaning relative didn't know she was adding a layer of pressure to my already smothered in performance expectations, needing to please self.  But even if she'd known, her perspective, her perceptions, her expectations are not mine to own.

I'm responsible for me, and for God.

I'm reminding myself that I put the best effort I had into the courses I took, and that right now I have a choice.

I can wait in fear, or I can wait in hope.

I can fear rejection, or I can hope for admittance.

And I can choose to acknowledge that if I am not accepted, I will be disappointed.  I will ache, and likely cry.  I will probably fight the long standing battle of feeling like a failure.  And then, then I will pick up the pieces and pray some more, and apply for the next session.  And I can remember that the only person whose expectations I'm responsible for are mine.  And that I'm ultimately accountable to Jesus.

And all that other stuff?

The thoughts and expectations of other people - real or perceived?

It's not mine to own.

I might have to be reminded of that over and over and over again.

But it's not mine to own.


tea said...

I can really identify with you. It's great that God is speaking these truths to you. I

Lisa said...

thanks Tea!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,
I was watching 'Fireproof'(don't know if you know that film...)last night, when I heard this song. I like it a lot and thought also of you, while reading the lyrics later...
Here they are:
I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Takeing every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord
John Waller-While I'm waiting

Have a great and relaxing weekend!

Lisa said...

Great lyrics, thanks for sharing Johanna!