Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dinners, Dread And Stepping Through Walls

Waaay back in The Old Days over at Tom's other job, occasionally they'd invite us all out to restaurants for lovely dinners.

Man, I used to dread those. Even though I knew dreading anything is wrong because dread is a form of fear and fear brings torment (yada, yada, yada). And then the wild thing is that--always--I ended-up enjoying those dinners, having had fun playing wealthy patron while listening to Tom's co-workers and their wives laugh and joke around--politely--I may add. Everyone seemed on their best behavior during those things.

And I'd even catch my new self stepping outside of my old self, so to speak, and relaxing, letting the peace of God within me take over so that I could converse with people and make them feel comfortable. And oh, how God loves it when we come out from behind our self-built walls--and instead--just be who He created us to be, with His spirit shining through like crystal, not blackened by walls.

Come out, come out wherever you are...

So anyway, I'd kick myself the whole drive home at having wasted whole days dreading what ended up being a delightful time.

Well, I mentioned to you on Sunday that we had a fancy-schmancy dinner coming up on Tuesday evening, a dinner with our financial guy (who's an extremely pleasant young man with a lovely wife and three beautiful children--the latter of whom I've seen only by way of the family Christmas card) and another businessman connected to the financial world, plus, four other clients (who ended up being just two, since the others, regrettably, couldn't make it).

Well. All day Sunday and Monday I caught myself dreading that dinner just like the ones from The Old Days, dreading it way more than a dentist visit, even. Good grief. I kept lecturing myself to knock-off the dread and I reminded myself repeatedly of how each fancy dinner from previous times ended up being a Good Thing. And I even would repeat the name of Jesus when that dread would rise up because, for me, that name fixes lots of things going wrong inside my head. Just sayin'.

Then around Monday night it's like I had a breakthrough! I realized that satan's plan is to make me so dread these dinners, to walk into them so uptight, so wanting them to be over before they've even begun--that all that junk would hide the Light within me. And I'd be too nervous to make anyone feel comfortable. And I wouldn't be anywhere near the gracious woman God longs for me to be around others so to represent Him in a kind, loving manner.

Wow. So Tuesday was a better day, way less dread-stuffed, (though there were a few "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus's" whispered). 

And the dinner? The dinner was a delight. Delicious (I had the petite filet mignon... oh my goodness)--and--God helped me speak to others comfortably and to care that the businessman had a hearing problem much like mine, so I spoke louder to him. I saw every person at that table as being deeply loved by God and, within my heart, I prayed that each one would come to know my Greatest Friend--the One who knows me best, but loves me anyway, constantly, and cheers from my corner when I tear down self-imposed walls and run outside of them so to love others as He does.

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."  ... Galataions 2:20

"Love one another..."  ... John 13:34



Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

What a great post, Debra. I loved it when you said, "I saw every person at that table as being deeply loved by God".

In Hungarian people who come to visit are often greeted with the phrase, "Isten Hozott", which means, "God brought you!" When I first learned that I thought it a perfect way to remind me to be not afraid but welcoming to everyone I encountered. You seem to be saying this same message here.

I'm so glad you had a wonderful time Tuesday evening.

Echoes From the Hill said...

This really hit home for me. I do the same thing. I worry about this type of occasion and dread it, and later I wonder why I waste so much time dreading it because it went well. Glad I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Pat said...

Dear Debra...what a wonderful post. I too always dread social events, especially with people I don't really known. When you mention asking God to help you speak so that others would be comfortable, a light went on in my head! It's not about's about others! That's something I know, but need to know "more"!
Hugs my sweet friend!
To Kristi ~ I am Hungarian, but didn't know that phrase. I will forever remember it, thank you!

Anonymous said...

I haven't been here for two days so had two posts to catch up on! An extra treat! Just tonight I will be at a function and am/WAS getting nervous over it....Then I read your post. I have my clothes and everything ready and it is hours now I am going to relax and then later get ready to shine for Him while being out amongst all these people. THANK YOU! :-) Sarah

K.E. said...

I too suffer from this ailment. I wonder if it's a malady of the introvert. Like you said, much time is wasted over the dreading, the thinking up of excuses, and then finally going - and by and large - having a swell old time.
It's getting easier as I get older (heh) to press through or ignore the unease & just let go.

Debra said...

Thanks, Everyone! Your thoughtful insights helped inspire my post today (5/24) and helped me understand some concepts on a deeper level. Thank-you for taking time from your day to tell me your thoughts! Blessings, Debra