Family Friday #14 What Other People Think

April 12, 2024 0 By Mirm

Recently I sent out new address cards and then I began hearing from people who I haven’t heard from in awhile. It is so fun to catch up in real time rather than on social media. It is also interesting to be reminded of shared history and even be told stories about something that we did together that I had forgotten. Even better are the reminisces of people who are gone from my life or from this life.

When I was growing up I was described as a fairly compliant child. I know I was given more adjectives and descriptor words but I suppose that would depend on who you were asking about who I was. Some of the ways I was described were okay but some were hurtful and mean and I carried them with me for a long time wondering if they were true of me or not. Words are powerful. They are life changing. Maybe that is partly why Jesus is the Word.

Anyway, I can remember what others thought of me, especially when that was not how I saw myself. I am not talking about the “people pleasing”, “kiss up” way that people act when they are worried about what others think. (Although I have had issues with that too). I am just reflecting on the ways we are defined and how those definitions can become a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. It is important to not let others define you, forcing you to live according to their expectations.

Defining who I am and what is important to me has changed over the years but it is based on so many things including physical characteristics, family, personality, friendships and relationships, beliefs, geography, interests, roles and skills. Most important than how I am defined is how I want to be remembered. It is one thing to have people describe me, but it is another to be remembered that way forever!

When I move from one place to another, or from one season of life to another I have noticed that new relationships see me differently, and I have the opportunity to be redefined, or at least new layers of description added to who I am.

Let me give an example. As a kid, I was a bossy first born, I was stingy and sometimes mean. I was also smart, sneaky and like most people, I longed to belong and be loved. I cannot ever remember having a very positive confidence in myself. I am so glad that I am not that same person anymore. While I have the same physical characteristics and family definitions, some of the description has changed as I have grown up and grown wiser.  Every human being is unique. That’s a fact. But it’s also more than just a fact, it’s also an opportunity. May I continue to become  like the person I want to be remembered!

Here are some words to describe and define how I want to be known: God’s. short. punny. kind. encourager. friend. wife. mother, thoughtful. creative. problem solver. smart. independent. responsible. openminded. patient. listener.

I may delete this post – not sure where I was headed with my thoughts – I am tired.