I’m not a popular person in my family. Not well liked at all. I used to think I was ostracized because I spoke up for myself, which opened the family to scrutiny.
Now I know it is because I spoke up for myself. I acted on faith and actively freed myself from bondage.
When I was fifteen, an aunt told me that she resented me. Up to recently, I’d always thought she resented my youth, innocence and opportunities.
However, I now realize she resented my voice, my strength, my truth, my faith. Even when I didn’t understand the power of any of those characteristics, I exhibited and used them effectively. She resented my ability to stop others from hurting me. She resented the fact that I lived as if I had a right to live. I was true to my conscience, my beliefs and to myself.
A short while ago, I received a phone call from another aunt. She checks up on me occassionally, mostly to keep me appraised of family drama. I had just gotten into bed and answered with a drowsy, “Hello”. She apologized for waking me. I told her I hadn’t yet fallen asleep. She then launched into the latest furor: a relative was lying on me. They were besmirching my name and my testimony. She wanted me to go shut them up.
My lids began to descend. “I know the truth,” I told her. “They know the truth. God knows the truth. It doesn’t matter what they say.” On that last word, I fell asleep. I don’t know how long she was talking, before I heard, “Shawnda! Are you sleep…? Good night, baby, I love you.”
I repeated the sentiment, hung up, rolled over and went into a deeper sleep.
Had her call only consisted of words of love, the effect on my equilibrium would have been the same. I wasn’t moved. I didn’t get excited, anxious or offended.
As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.
Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” ~ Mark 4:35-40
I rest in a truth that gives me peace.
During the recent call with my aunt, I realized (consciously), for the first time, that what people think and say doesn’t matter at all – to my peace, to my right standing with God, to my faith, to my love walk. What matters is my integrity to my word, faith and belief. Am I being as true as I know to be? How am I acting out what I believe? How am I praising God with my lifestyle? How am I honoring Him with my life? That’s all that truly matters.