Girls' Night Surprise
Recently, I was hosting a sweet friend of mine for dinner. My husband was out of town, and I was looking forward to utilizing the time for a relaxing “girls’ night in.” I was planning to make tacos for our dinner together, and I had pre-planned the menu earlier in the week and purchased everything I needed to make my famous (one-hit wonder) tacos.
I had gotten home that evening after a busy day out, and had about an hour left to prep the meal and freshen myself up before she would arrive. I was grabbing all the veggies that I wanted to chop up for the toppings when I began to panic a little on the inside. I couldn’t find the tomato anywhere. I knew that I had bought one. I searched everywhere and eyed the clock in annoyance.
Maybe I can run-up to the store real quick, I bargained. No, I chided myself. I don’t have time. Instead, I will have to go tomato-less for these tacos. Ugh. How embarrassing. This is an essential topping and I really don’t want to serve a meal without a key ingredient.
I was frustrated. Because I didn’t have time to go get one, but I didn’t want to look foolish for not having my life—I mean, this meal—all together.
A Humble Request
The Holy Spirit nudged me to ask for help.
Um, no. I’m not going to text her.
This is embarrassing. I feel stupid.
I don’t want her to think less of me.
And I don’t want to look like I don’t have it all together.
Plus I don’t want to need her help.
But I sighed, died a little on the inside, and grabbed my phone. Swallowing my pride, I texted my friend. I felt ridiculous for asking. Then I felt ridiculous for feeling so embarrassed. And I felt ridiculous for making a big deal of this. I felt ridiculous for not having a tomato!
Much to my surprise, she replied back quickly saying she had plenty of tomatoes! How many should she bring over?
Wow. She has tomatoes to spare?
A Pleasant Surprise
She came over soon after and joyfully gave me two perfectly juicy, summer-ripened tomatoes. I hugged her and thanked her, and she told me that she always buys too many tomatoes and that she needed to get rid of some anyway.
Oh, the irony. The Lord was plainly using this simple incident to show me a few things about myself:
- I fear failure.
- I don’t want anyone to see that I don’t have it all together.
- I’m afraid to look incompetent or unprepared.
- I’m afraid to be seen as less than perfect or reveal that I do not have it all together.
- I don’t want to need anyone else’s help.
- I don’t want to appear to be weak or incapable.
- I am self-reliant and I don’t want to count on anyone else for anything.
- I struggle to invite community into my life, to allow people to see behind the scenes where things are messy and hard and oftentimes ugly.
At the heart of it, I’m afraid of receiving a poor “rotten tomatoes” review from others looking at my life or journeying by my side. I am afraid to fail, to make a fool of myself, to come up short, to make a mistake; I’m afraid of criticism and judgment and the sting of rejection. I struggle with accepting my faults and I certainly wouldn’t want others to find them and point them out.
Pride and fear swim together in these messy thoughts, and I don’t even know where one begins and another ends. But I know that I must come to a place of admitting. Admitting that:
- I need others.
- I make mistakes and I will continue to fail.
- I struggle with perfectionism.
- I have believed and lived for so many years as if my image and reputation are more important than my heart.
- I fear the judgment and criticism of others so much that I will avoid at all costs any circumstance that will expose my failures to others.
- I have been deceived into believing that self-reliance is strength and independence when in fact it is rejection of love, support, and blessings from others.
- I have missed out on years of blessed community for fear of so many things. I have held back sharing my heart and telling my story for fear of judgment. I have resisted opportunities to lead others for fear of making costly mistakes that will open me up to the criticism of those I lead.
But I want to trade these fears for freedom. Though never easy, I am finding that it is indeed simple enough.
Confess, Surrender, Repent, Repeat.
The good news is that Christ offers us forgiveness and a loving relationship with God when we bring to Him all of our shortcomings and fears. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
As we grow in relationship with Christ, the Holy Spirit, who indwells believers at salvation (2 Corinthians 1:22), gracefully reveals to us our weaknesses, our fears, our sins, and our continual need for a Savior. Because of the righteousness we have in Jesus, we can turn to Him in humble surrender, confessing the things in our lives that grieve Him—things like our anger, pride, fear, and worry, our doubt, gossip, lust, and our lack of trust in Him.
According to His Word, our God is faithful to forgive us, and through the process of sanctification, He leads us to pursue holiness as He conforms us into His image (Romans 12:1–2).
Because I have learned that it is ultimately for my good and for His glory, I can now praise God and thank Him for revealing to me my weaknesses and fears. Conviction is a gift from God, and His kindness leads me to repentance (Romans 2:4).
Therefore, it is through His power and by His grace that I see my need to set aside pride and to become more willing to need others, as He has designed. May the fear of others’ “rotten tomatoes” opinions shift—so I realize that often, when invited in, they probably have some tomatoes to spare and share.
A Prayer for Us All:
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
Heavenly Father, I give to you my fears and pride, knowing that You will exchange them for a holy ambition to honor and please You with my heart, attitude, and actions. You deserve my trust. And when I trust You I don’t have to fear. When I seek You first, my pride disappears. Be all that I want. May the opinions of men slowly fade away. And may my eyes be fixed on Jesus- the Perfect One who accepts me wholly as I am.
Your friend, Kristin
Kristin is a Shop Assistant for Well-Watered Women. Meet Kristin and learn a little about her here.