Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

I will warn you, I may not be writing as much over the next month or so. Retail is absolutely insane during the holidays. I also doubled up on my classes, so I have twice as much schoolwork (on average, I do one paper or project a week- sometimes more!). So I plan on writing, but maybe not as frequently as I'd prefer. Break starts December 20. I look forward to having two weeks off (with my school schedule, the only break they offer is two weeks in Christmas. Otherwise I'm going all year unless I request a week off). Pray with me that I can get a good schedule going and that I don't feel too overwhelmed.

I have to admit, I'm pretty pleased with the reactions to my last post. I have learned that if you don't judge others, they tend not to judge you.

Jesus says you should love your enemies, but unfortunately you still aren't going to like everybody that comes your way. Some people are overbearing, talk incessantly about topics that bore you to death, they stalk you, etc... God has presented me with an interesting challenge. The last few months I have been settling in a nice comfort zone, but God often wants you to get out of your comfort zone and do things for Him.

Last night, the challenge arose.

I mentioned I am part of a recovery group Monday nights (I also do bible studies that night as well). I get there at 4:30pm to do a practice for worship band, then 5pm is my study. 6pm we have a group dinner, and 7pm we have a large group where the worship band performs. I came down with a nasty headache last night right before supper. I assume it came from the little amounts of sleep from the nights before, and sleeping funny also put a lot of extra tension on my neck. Practice had gone well, but when I get my headaches one of the problems I face when singing is that all the instrumentals/vocals around me get separated and I don't perform as well. I got up on stage and I already felt a little stressed because of this.

Right as we started the first song, I looked out into the audience. And I saw him.

I have known him for many years. In fact, I was probably about five or six when I met him. It was in a kid's group at my aunt's church. There were a variety of kids in the group and he was in it. He is a few years older than me. I remember not liking him very much, for I thought he was a bit abrasive. He was nice enough, it wasn't like he was pushing me around or barking orders at me, but I just didn't know how to handle him. It wasn't too long before I was in foster care and that church became history.

God definitely seems to have a plan. He popped up in my life again the summer before ninth grade. My parents placed me in a summer volunteer group called Summer of Service (better known in my area as SOS). The kids in group varied from six grade through tenth, and every weekday for two weeks we went out in the community and did volunteer work. He was in my group. I remember he was very annoying. He was in tenth grade and he had a crush on one of the seventh grade girls. He would pester her incessantly and the rest of the group (including me) took a severe disliking to his antics. He would take popular songs on the radio and make up these really bizarre lyrics (to the point where it actually ruined a number of songs I had really liked). He was also very overweight, so he got picked on a lot by some of the boys. Once again, the two weeks came and went, and he was out of my life.

His name popped up every now and then in conversation, for he knew my birth family in the area and apparently would mention me to them. Said family would repeat messages for me. This didn't happen very often, but I just ignored them. I really didn't care.

Ok, I have to cut out of the story for a bit of a precursor. I decided about a month ago I really would like to be a leader in the recovery group. A lot of my recovery took place outside of the group so I am catching up on a lot of the principles. I figure this is a good idea because of two reasons: One, if I struggle again, I have additional principles to work with. Two, that way I am familiarized enough with the program so I can be an efficient leader. A lot of the people who attend the support group have chemical dependency, an issue I never really faced. If I become a leader, I intend to help those with codependency, depression, and anxiety. If I am to be a leader, I have to get to know everybody and treat everybody in the group with love and respect.

Cue back to story. A few days ago, I noticed his name on one of my friend's Facebook page (one from recovery group, actually). I glanced at his page, and then went on.

There had to be a reason for that, apparently...

So here I am, on stage with a nasty headache. Anxious because I know my performance will suck. And I see him. I am TOTALLY not prepared for that. When I get headaches, sometimes I do not act as rationally as I would prefer too. I pretty much avoided his gaze (he was looking right at me) and just tried to perform decently. After the first set, I ran back into the sound booth where my boyfriend was. I told him my headache was too bad so I decided to go back to his house and rest for a bit. I told him briefly I ran into somebody I wasn't fond with and that it upset me, but I didn't go into details.

This whole issue is on my mind now. I want to be a good leader, and I realize that as a leader I have to put my frustrations with others aside. I need to promote love and support to everybody, no matter what I do. I can't 'ignore' him or 'avoid' him like I would prefer to do. I have been praying about it.

I can't guarantee he will be back again, as I said, this is the first time I've ever seen him at group. He may have just come to see what the group is. He may never show up again. The thing is, I really need to sit down and think about how I can be a good leader. I can't let prejudice get in my way. I hope to find some bible verses to help me overcome this hurdle.

So, I need some advice. What do I do? [yes, that is a heavy question]. I really don't know. I have a high annoyance tolerance [for Pete's sake, I can be outrageously annoying too. But I try to control it and be serious most of the time]. But when somebody gets under my skin, it really gets to me. How can I get out of my comfort zone and handle anybody like this in a good manner?

Curly-Haired Confession #4- You aren't going to like everybody you meet. However, you should still be considerate and respectful. If they talk to you, listen and offer support. If they do something that interferes with your value system, you need to inform them nicely and do not get involved. Annoyance and harassment are two different issues. If they just annoy you, find a way to deal with it.

Have a nice Tuesday, everybody! :)

Oh and a shout out to the bf: Happy seven month anniversary! I love you lots!!!!


  1. Just blogging around this afternoon, and found your blog. I love reading all the different blogs, they are all so unique and interesting. Thank you for letting me visit.

  2. what do you do with him?
    you take into consideration the fact that at your worst, and maybe even at your best, people may have felt the same about you, and loved you regardless of it. you think about Jesus, and all the obviously undesirable and disliked people he ate with, and prayed with, and loved genuinely despite of themselves. look at how he never let people and what he knew about their past hinder his relationship with him now, and how he does the same for you every day.
    you take all that, and chew on it, and pray about it, and hope in the end you can treat him as much like Jesus would as possible. i have a feeling youll be just fine.

  3. Thank you :) That's exactly what I was thinking too. I'll keep praying on it. I know I have annoyed people in the past, and some of them have given me plenty of second (or third) chances. Maybe a different attitude will present an opportunity I never would have expected!