Friday, January 4, 2013

The A List

Most of my live with brief seasons of exception I have felt 'not good enough'.  I still feel that way more than I care to admit.  Over the years I have come to refer to this lack of self worth as not being on "The A List".  When I first began dating my husband, I really wasn't even sure if we were dating....stay with me it will make sense I promise.  You see he was (and still is) a perfect gentleman and so there were not 'obvious' signs of interest and because nothing direct was said and I had very little experience with gentlemen I was left waffling back and forth in a game of  he loves me he loves me not. 
 I was a single mother at the time trying desperately to recover  from a long and ugly divorce and he was a good guy that I knew through work who helped me out with man things like installing shelving and moving heavy things around, you know tools and strength things which I certainly did not excel in.  This is probably when I first openly examined  my inward tendency to A List.  This is the endless loop soundtrack that played in my head continually in those days...."Why would a man like him be interested in someone like you? He's too successful, too attractive, too good, too this, too that for you".  You get the jist. As the tape played on and I found myself growing more interested in him, I became more convinced that there was no way on God's green earth that a man of his "A List" man,  would ever want anything to do with a woman like me.  A woman like me being, a single mom, a failure at marriage, not thin enough, not educated enough, not interesting enough, not pretty enough and most assuredly not good enough in a myriad of endless ways, B List material at best on a good day, but all too likely if the truth be known pretty much just a C List girl with little hope for better.
Time marched on as it has a way of doing and an amazing thing happened, just when I gave up  any shred of  remote possible hope that this great guy could ever consider me worthy as a romantic partner in his life, he got really desperate made his feelings known, and much to my shock and  incredible delight it turned out he had his eye on me after all. 
I was thrilled!!  BUT  I spent the next year secretly thinking that he would come to his senses and this fairy tale I was living would end in an awful mess with me making Cinderella before the ball look like she had been leading a charmed life by comparison.  I thought that maybe he had some 'issues' that had yet to surface and that I was once again being led down the garden path by someone who was less than honorable and not what he appeared to be.  As  more time passed,  I allowed myself to start believing that maybe something good could happen to me after all.  The more I believed and allowed myself to open up to the possibility that maybe, just maybe someone wonderful could love me, the more I felt like the princess in the fairy tale.  I began to feel safe and secure for the FIRST TIME EVER.   Sisters, you would think that this was just where I wanted to be but because it was such foreign ground to me I really spent each day in ….fear.  Yep that four letter word was present in just about every moment.

I had been so beat down in the ten years prior to this relationship that I had a long climb up and out of the pit that I had called home for so long.  I would make a brief appearance out of darkness and into the light and then doubt and fear would grab hold, the endless loop tape that had been briefly silenced would start up again at a deafening volume and I would retreat to the 'safety' of the pit where I was miserable, but it was familiar. 

Obviously this was no way to live long term, but I really didn’t even know at the time that I was living this way because how I was living was so much better than how I had been that I didn’t question much of anything.  I was grateful and holding my breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop as a standard operating procedure on most days. 

Something had to give and it did.  The it arrived in the form of a beautiful diamond ring and a marriage proposal that literally took my breath away.  Ok now I was really panicking!!  He wanted to marry me???  How much longer could this craziness possibly go on before the bottom fell out?  We began to make plans......a destination wedding....really? Wasn’t that something reserved for A Listers?  Oh wow things were completely out of control.  Jamaica...oh my! A simple wedding ceremony barefoot on the beach,  with sand between our toes,  just the two of us and those necessary to make it legal.   The plan moved forward.  The date was set, arrangements made and we were unbelievably happy and excited about the new life that would begin on Jamaica’s  sandy shore.   I bought a lovely long, flowing ivory dress, with beading and sequins that did not come from the clearance rack at K-mart for $24.99 as I had the first time (that was probably some foreshadowing….you think?). 
We flew to Jamaica and exchanged our vows shoeless on the beach and got lost in each other for a few  magical few days before we came home to begin our life together.
All through these months of courtship and plan making My Prince was always supportive, encouraging and worked hard to help me believe that I deserved all the good things that were happening to me.  I wanted to believe him, really I did, but it was a constant uphill battle for me.  I thought so much of him, valued his opinion and trusted him completely (I still do on an even deeper level) and so slowly thoughts of "if he sees something in me, maybe something is there, if he thinks I deserve to be happy, have nice things and be treated well, maybe I do". 
We will celebrate our 8th anniversary next month, this wonderful man has yet to come to his senses and I pray he never does - lol!  Fear could have very easily robbed me of the happiness and personal growth that I have enjoyed since I said "I do" on the beach.  Fear only has the power we give it. 
When you focus on fear it becomes part of the fabric of who you are and controls how you function.  This becomes an entry point for the enemy who is then able to further infiltrate and destroy even more in our lives.  We must stand strong and speak God's truth to the lies by which we have been deceived. 

1 John 4:18   (GW)

 No fear exists where his love is. Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment. The person who lives in fear doesn’t have perfect love.

2 Timothy 1:7   (NKJV)

 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
 Do you A List? Others?  Yourself?  Events?  Things?  Have you had success in breaking free from  A Listing?  Share....Please!!


Lisa Laree said...

Have you read John & Stasi Eldredge's book 'Captivating'? Stasi writes about being 'too much' and 'not enough' at the same really spoke to me about how I saw myself. Too loud, too impulsive, too awkward, not pretty enough, not talented enough, not popular enough...definitely not A list, although I never thought of it that way. And I still struggle (writes a bunch and deletes...needs to be a post on my own blog instead of a miles long comment). I don't know anyone who doesn't, really, on some level. It may be that we won't truly be free until we see ourselves as He sees us...

Leisha said...

I have the book - even have a workbook that goes with it I think - in fact I am working on my reading list for 2013 beyond the few I have in a nearby pile. Captivating just made the list. I love the idea of being too much and not enough at the same time. I agree that we all struggle with this on some level, the key I guess is in acknowledging and then taking the struggle to Him to allow Him to show us what He wants it to look like and what direction it should take. I don't think we need to avoid the struggles completely, because He uses them in so many amazing ways.....staying stuck dancing to the same old familiar song is the danger. I appreciate the input and recommendation friend ;-)

Dottie Bash said...

ML - I love this post. You and I are so much alike in many ways that you speak to my heart. I think you're on the A List and I love you. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Leisha said...

Dottie - who is touching whose heart now? I am blessed by you so much and have been grinning off and on since I saw you and you shared your hap hap happy news with me must come for coffee I need details!! Love you big ole bunches - ML