Thursday, October 16, 2008

With a Little Apprehension...

My dad got another ride in an ambulance today. Apparently he was so nauseous and dizzy this morning that he nearly passed out several times and he and mom saw 911 as the best option. Understandably, the concern for a heart attack or a stroke is pretty foremost in everyone's minds. As it turns out, his blood pressure was fine, his heart is fine - they think he has some sort of vertigo-causing virus. Just what the poor guy needs. That wasn't the point of this post, but I thought I'd give you the latest. He's back home again, he wasn't admitted - but, was told he should stay close to home for the next few days as the likelihood for another episode is high. I told Dad that he needs to come up with a new strategy for getting attention as this hospital thing is getting old....

Tomorrow John, myself, and the kiddos are all heading to Camp Tadmor for the First Baptist College group's fall retreat. (This college group is known as CCF (Collegiate Christian Fellowship), so from here on out, that is probably how I will refer to it). John and I owe our relationship to our involvement with CCF as well as the pastor, Corey - who led us through the pathways of leadership among that group, and ended up marrying us. Corey has certainly dropped his share of hints over the years of us "coming back", but it is just now that we are both feeling the leading. My experience "mentoring" (if you can call it that) with Lindsay last year was phenomenal - and the guy that John mentored last year (Aaron) is still attending the UofO, so John and him still get together. Most recently, that occurred on the boat with 4 other college guys (and Travis) as they headed out to Dexter Lake last Saturday. When they arrived at the lake, the car thermometer read 39 degrees - those guys are nuts! But, they all had a blast, especially John.

With all that said, however, I still find myself dreading the experience to a small degree. John's so good at first impressions, so much more comfortable in a crowd, eager to stay up late and engage in a game of cards - where I.... well, I'm not. I think I can pull off the "first impressions" thing when I need to, "rise to the occasion", so to say, but that effort drains me, where it ends up invigorating John. I have yet to connect with any of these women - in fact I only know two names - from the night that John and I attended their evening Sunday service two weeks ago. There were over 150 students in attendance - all crowded in to the Trinity House (a former sorority house purchased by the church that now houses women who attend FBC). We brought the kids and sat in the back and I realized that this whole adventure will stretch me. I'm realizing it again tonight.

I laid in bed last night "penning in my head" a whole post - or perhaps series of consecutive posts - about popularity and friendships and my experiences. And, perhaps, my apprehension stems from some of these past happenings. Will these gals who all look so cute and young and skinny see any reason to want to spend time with me? Granted, I have a couple of pretty cute kids in tow (they are my ace in the hole), but still, I am feeling pretty vulnerable.

On Monday, I will be hosting another ladies' "Work Day" gathering. I have a menu already planned and the "Rug Doctor" rented to go, so obviously there's some preparation needed physically, but in terms of emotionally - I'm pumped for the experience. I tried to stretch over the different friendship intercepts in my life to invite quite an assortment of people, and hopefully most will come for at least part of the day. They'll be coming into my (less than perfect) house, eating food I prepare, and I'll play hostess - but there's not a bit of apprehension I have with anyone I'm considering inviting. Even the two new gals I just met from Bible Study. (I hope they show up!). Why the difference? Well, I think it comes down to the pre-established relationships - the connections I've already made. That, and it's in my house so I'm feeling that element of control and consistency.

It's the element of unknown I'm having a problem with. My experiences in high school and college screamed to me over and over that I do not have the appearance or personality to "attract people", at least not initially. I don't make people look twice when they come into my presence, I'm not funny or witty enough to be the life of the party. But, I AM the person people want to go to when they want to recover from partying too much! I'm that "constant, reliable, loyal" person. In fact, it wasn't just one previous boy that told me after finally deciding to date me, "Gosh, Stephanie, you're the kind of girl a guy would want to marry..." I always thought, "Gee, how nice, but what you're really saying is, I didn't really care to notice you to think about dating, but when it comes time to settle down, you might be the ticket." Now, I consider it a compliment, but it's been a bit of an insecurity for me, particularly when "not being social enough/introverted" was the reasoning my ex-fiance gave for not seeing us as compatible. Amazing how hard I tried to disprove him - and coming back to the faking it thing, am capable of doing. But, at my heart, I'd take the one on one times, or comfort of days spent with friends whose relationships run deep, than I would walking into the big group of strangers.

So, there you go. A much longer post than I planned on writing. This is good for me, and hopefully, by the time this weekend is over, from here on out, I'll have a group of women I can hang with and feel comfortable - and hopefully everyone will benefit from. In the meantime, though, I hope I don't lost too much sleep wondering, "What if they don't like me?"....


Anonymous said...

Steph, You are warm, wonderful and caring. You have so much to share. You are way past that Highschool/College girl that was insecure. Stand strong and firm in who you are. Share about your life, listen to theirs. Smile and love on them, they can't help but love you. I truly understand shy and insecure, but rest in the Lord's arms and he will give the strength to do this. John is so much like David, so I truly do relate! But, don't count yourself out on this one. You have wonderful knowledge and wisdom to share, plus those darling children to break the ice. I believe in you and I will be praying for you!!!
Love and blessings, Judi

StephieAnne said...

Thanks Judi. Certainly over the last 15 years I've come to believe that, but this blog is the place where I get to reveal all the little voices that still exist in my head. It was crazy going to that house and seeing that huge crowd and thinking, "here we go again" in terms of fitting in all over again. But, as you know him I can explain further, I can't even credit Corey enough in teaching me so many things about where true strength comes from and tapping in to God-given abilities I didn't know I had. Furthermore, I'm at that point in life, so completely blessed by my husband who demonstrates such unconditional love, kids, and friendships, that even if this were to fail miserably, I think I'd be able to chalk it up as a big message from God that this isn't the avenue I am to pursue - vs. plunging me into a pit of insecurity.

But, all that still leads to that place of discomfort (often where God wants us as it means we'll be stretching and growing) that will come from tonight.... It'd be so much easier to just stay home, watch football and read a book - but, obedience to God's calling often does not equate to cozy - so here we go!

Genny said...

They will like you. And what a wonderful thing to be constant and reliable. That's the best kind of friend! Hope you have a great time on Monday.

Growin' with it! said...

wow stephanie...did this one hit my heart personally. i am such a wall flower/loner and those kinds of situations just make me wanna curl up in a ball and get sick. but i have seen how God has worked thru this in my life. the bottom line for me is always being real. it is amazing how people i never thought would even glance my way end up pouring out their own insecurities in the end.

you have such a way of making people feel comfortable and actually okay with how they included. i never feel intimidated or insecure with you. that is so refreshing.

so all this said. i just know you are going to be delightfully surprised this weekend. i mean, come are one cool mama, who wouldn't wanna get to know you!?

can't wait to hear how FABULOUS it goes this weekend. and with your dad. i hope for a peaceful rest for all of you in this new health issue.

beeeeeeeee said...

I can totally relate as well. I never feel comfortable in a crowd (especially when I don't know many people) and am always so relieved when I can go home and not have to be social.

Stephanie - I don't know you "in person" but I'm sure you are a warm and caring person. Your smile is radiant and I'm sure it reflects your heart.

Someone told me a few years ago when I was just starting to be a Sunday school teacher for middle schoolers: "You don't have to be interesting to attract kids, you just need to be interested." That was great advice for working with kids, but I find it is true for everyone. And while I'm sure you don't need that advice, I just offer it as encouragement to be your beautiful and interested self.

I hope your weekend was terrific!