Last weekend, I had the opportunity to help organize and attend a retreat for our post-college/pre-family ministry at my church. It was truly a retreat. Most of the time, people say “retreat” and there is so much stuff jam-packed into the weekend, that you have to come home to relax. I’m definitely at the age where I benefit from digging into things on my own. Being inundated with all sorts of good information isn’t beneficial when I don’t take time to process it.
The theme of the weekend was “Imago Dei” which translates into “Image of God”. How am I a reflection of God? Do I see myself as God sees me? How does God see me? I dug deep and hard in my mind and heart. Shed many tears, and cried out to God. Reflecting on a lot of things.
I have a tendency of worrying about what everyone else thinks of me, but not what God thinks. A couple of days before the retreat, I had coffee with a good friend of mine, and in our conversation, they brought up the point we were both people pleasers. I’ve never wanted to admit that I am. But, when I had a chance to process, I had to truly admit it and own it. I worry that I won’t be accepted, that I’m not doing good job. That I try and reflect the image of those who are around me, and not the image of God. Growing up, I always felt like an outsider in social circles; awkward, lonely, and not having many close friends. This shaped and affected me deeply. And when I would actually develop good friends, I would want to please them. Putting up a front and seeking their approval, because I was afraid that I would lose them.
Being aware and admitting this helps me to move forward. I know it will take time, and as I’m still processing, I pray that God will transform me. Learning why I do the things I do, and learning to reflect God completely. To not worry about what others think, but that the only one who matters is God.