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Monday, January 18, 2010

The Lunch Table

His Girl, Amber is hosting a safari through Daniel at her blog. Check it out and join the adventure!

Growing up I dreaded lunch. Hated it. Starting in sixth grade I was never sure where I’d be invited to eat lunch. Rejection haunted my thoughts. As soon as the fourth period bell would ring the anxiety would set in and I would wonder if I really had any friends.

The thought that dominated my thoughts from the earliest of ages was that I would pay any price to be popular. Becoming well-liked was my goal. No matter what the cost.

Failures plagued me. In fifth grade I was mortified that I didn’t make the school choir, had to miss class to attend speech therapy and didn’t make cheerleader. In sixth grade I accidentally wore the “wrong” jeans and tennis shoes and seventh grade sealed my doom when I didn’t make yearbook staff.

As I went through high school the list of failures mounted piling reason upon reason that my peers would reject me if I ever quit paying the price. Each year brought its own challenges. Challenges that gently chipped away at my morals and lowered the values I’d been given.

Eventually I sat where I wanted in lunch but the price tag was steep. I didn’t have enough confidence to share the Jesus I loved with the friends that I idolized. Sadly, I worshiped at the feet of the crowd instead of the feet of Jesus. My fragile heart just couldn’t take their rejection.

A move during high school made ugly insecurities once again rear their ugly head as I spent many lunch periods staring at a wall locked inside a bathroom stall. Sad, but true. In those very alone times I remember a new thought began to emerge out of my broken heart. I began to realize that the price may be too high.

College brought some freedom from the roller coaster of seeking acceptance but not much. Even after the semester I fell head over heels in love with Jesus, I would fall apart with criticism or rejection. The search continued.

I’ve tried to find it in a committee, team and uniform

And at a certain lunch table, in a certain group and at a certain address.

I’ve tried to find it wearing certain brand names, driving certain cars and choosing certain friends.

I’ve looked at school, at the gym and at church.

It has alluded me on the job, on my resume and in my mailbox.

Hair color, weight, accolades and associations don’t buy it.

Neither do awards, prizes or titles nor do

Sassy little girls or athletic boys,

Successful businesses, exotic vacations, black tie events and fat checking accounts don’t matter either.

I’ve searched for significance in many places. The only place the longing in my heart has been filled is securely resting in the Lord. This week I’ve pondered Daniel’s choices. Lots. His situation. Lots. Daniel chapter one says that Daniel was a “perfect specimen” invited to live the life of the popular at the king’s palace sitting at the king’s table. Daniel chapter one is also clear that although Daniel lived there, he rejected the king’s lifestyle. He spoke up about what he believed.

As I look back over my life I see how I was in no way ready to make Daniel decisions in junior high. My heart was just not right. But towards the end of high school I began to make small Daniel decisions that grew into larger ones in college. I remember the semester in college when I felt like I had lost everything. Committees, associations and friendships all fell apart. I truly believed all I had at this point was the Lord. I felt like I’d live this way forever.

Slowly those sacrifices began to five way to love. The Lord healed my aches and taught me how to live by his laws. Fast forward to today, I’d give anything to please the Lord every.single.minute. I want to make Daniel decisions each day in an effort to not only love my Lord but to lead, protect and teach my children to please the King and choose His lunch table. No matter what the cost.

Today I know that I have nothing to fear…

Not even sitting alone at the wrong lunch table.

Life, space, zest—that’s God! So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. Psalm 27:1


Tiffani said...

hopping over from Amber's!

I am so excited to be doing this with all of you and like you said, we really have nothing to fear, do we?!

looking forward to week 2!

ps--I saw where you asked about the Daniel button..if you'll right click on the picture from anyone's blog that has it and "save as" to your desktop (just the easiest for retrieval) and then add a picture to your post as usual and pull it off your desktop! (hope that makes sense!)

Sheryl said...

wow, was this good!! amazing how we get so trapped by wanting to please others, wanting to fit in...when THE ONE who created us all is so in love with us.

i am in a desert place right now. i'll be doing the study but not sure that i'll be posting. we'll see.

Chris said...

Wow! That was amazing.

I think God's been working on me my whole life to toughen me up and help me see that finding acceptance with others will never be what really fullfuls me. I'm still such a work in progress. Thanks for the inspiration today! And the reminder on where to keep my focus.

care-in said...

Daniel decisions...I like that!

Melanie said...

Psalm 27 ~ Andrew's psalm. I often read it to him from The Message.
Love you.

Warren Baldwin said...

I can sympathize with much of your journey b/c I have traveled some of it, too. Painful road. But not necessarily a bad one, either. Through some of those low and loneliness times we learned something every kid needs to learn - we can make it without the approval of the group. I know 4 and 50 year olds who still celebrate the local high school football game as if they are 17 or 18 years old. Tailgate, drink, and celebrate (or moan) with the same group of guys/gals who never grew beyond their high school peer acceptance.

Being alone gave us a strength they never found or developed. I think God had something to do with my loneliness. He knew there would be days of that in ministry. Who knew that wondering what table to sit at would one day give me the confidence face other situations of wondering years later. One thing I've learned - hang in there, and God will see us through with growth and security.

Good post. wb

Kathy S. said...

I agree with Warren...we find Jesus in our barreness...wherever that void is.

I see yet ANOTHER benefit from "aging" ;D lol! Some of the things that held us captive have been stripped away...sweet release!

God is good! I have been there too. I will be speaking to middle school girls in a few weeks, and since I have come so far from those old strongholds, it is a bit hard to remember the very things that once haunted my every waking moment. Glory to God!

His Girl said...

wow! I just love that you're in the study 'cause it's getting me all excited!

Daniel Decisions!!!!

Now officially part of my vocabulary!


Denise said...

Wonderful post.

Lisa said...

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart. I like the Daniel Decisions, too. God is all-sufficient, if we let him be.

Oh, and I had to peek around a little too. You have a beautiful love story. I wish everyone could read it...marriage is hard work, there is no getting around that. Those who are willing to put the effort in (the unglamorous, dying to self work) will reap the reward. Thanks for sharing.

Gretchen said...

Your post is especially personal to me right now because I have a 6th grade daughter who is only "allowed" to sit at the "girl" table when there is an opening caused by the absence of another more worthy girl than she. Thank you for your transparency--and the reminder that if there's anything I can do for her, it's pray for her faith in God to grow and that she'd seek His loving touch and His armor against the arrows of not only 6th grade, but every other time where she feels less than.

Beauty from suffering. Isn't God amazing?

Jen said...

Thank you for baring your heart to us, Lisa! I, too, am adding "Daniel decisions" to my vocabulary. I think it will come in handy for me as well as in raising my children. My prayer is that they will be more like Daniel than I ever was at their age. :)
Blessings to you on week 2! See you in Chapter 2!

RosieRed said...

Your post made my eyes well up - I for one need to stop looking for significance in anything/anyone other than God - it's a long slow lesson I'm learning - thanks for reminding me :0)

Anonymous said...

Not sure where to post this but I wanted to ask if anyone has heard of National Clicks?

Can someone help me find it?

Overheard some co-workers talking about it all week but didn't have time to ask so I thought I would post it here to see if someone could help me out.

Seems to be getting alot of buzz right now.