Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A confession--of sorts.

I tend to not like to express my failures and not so attractive qualities to the world. But I feel like I need to get some things out in the open--although these things aren't necessarily unknown about me. I feel like I must clear up some of the misconceptions about Jilene Carpenter. I hate letting my guard down and letting people know the real me. Because to be honest, I do not have the most pretty heart. It is quite black and to be more honest, hard and uncaring. I've been told that some people view me as someone who could never hurt a fly, and that I'm the kind of person that everyone likes. Wow. Really? I'm so not someone who could never hurt a fly. Heck, I kill flies everyday. In the context of "killing flies"--talking about people and spreading gossip. Okay, I do not like to spread gossip--but I do talk about people. So I'm guilty of gossiping. It's a terrible, hurtful thing that I do on a very consistent basis. How is it that I'm the kind of person that everyone likes? I certainly do not feel that way. If people really knew what goes on in my heart and head, they would run and say I'm the most horrible person on the planet. I've just had a lot of experiences over the past several years--dating back to the 7th grade--this is the earliest time I can remember that would have affected me in a way that would result in my not-so-justified actions. People see the outer shell of me and how I'm such a nice, sweet, caring person. Yes, I try to be. But most of the time the thoughts that flood my mind are judgmental and not edifying. How is it that I can call myself a Christian? Seriously. If you only knew. I just came to a point where the only way to try to make myself feel better about myself was to dirty the image of others. Whether to myself, or in conversations with others. I just came to a place in my life where I was the outcast. No one wanted to talk to me. I was not cool and I didn't wear the right clothes or go to the right school. It was a very hard time in my life.

7th grade into 8th grade were some of the hardest years of my life. I've had some other very difficult times. But when you're in middle school and a teenager--being rejected because you don't wear the right clothes and go to "real" school--it makes it difficult to fit in. Especially when your other friends like you weren't "forced" to go to youth group. This is the place I found great difficulty being. Youth group. I still remember the first night I walked into "Cross". That was what it was called for the 7th and 8th graders at the time. Our Wednesday night meeting time. I walked into what is now considered the old gym[at Calvary]. There were small circles of people all over the gym and I walk over to a group of people who I had been friends with. One of those people was my supposed best friend. But when I came up to the group and said hey--I was not even acknowledged. Okay. Major disappointment. Super rejection. Totally not good for the almost 13 year old that I was then. I did not come from a well to do family. In fact, we were quite poor then--yet we hid it well--or so I thought--I just failed to wear the proper name brand clothes. Then to top it off, I was home-schooled. Two double wammies. Okay and I was not super skinny or attractive. I was a super awkward redheaded girl who was taller than most other people there. At least boys were starting to catch up. But I was definitely an outsider. And it stung. Big time. And my parents wanted me to be involved, so I HAD to go. Not cool. Most nights I came home crying. I finally found some other "outsiders" to hang out with. Then I went back to school in 8th grade. So that helped some with my social circle and social skills. But I have been quite awkward socially since. Although I do try to hide it.

So here is a good place to start tracking back to my beginnings as a mean girl. If I couldn't be in with the "in-crowd" then I would just talk crap about them. But now I see everything stems back to bitterness and yes, I hate to admit, jealousy. Everyone, even if it's just a little bit, wanted or even still wants to be popular. No one wants to be disliked. I know I don't. I still struggle with it, but I'm tending to be a lot better than I once was about caring so much about what people think about me. My dad tells me all the time that I shouldn't care about what people think about me. As long as I'm living the way God wants me to live, there is nothing that they can say about me that would be bad. Does that make sense? I don't know if I made that make sense. Basically there would be no fault in me that they could find if I was striving to live my life for Christ. So here's where I failed. Super failed. Like epic fail. It has been the biggest roller coaster ride ever. I've had some of the highest highs and lowest lows since the 7th grade. I had rededicated my life back in the 9th grade. But since then I've probably experienced more of my lowest lows because I've gotten off track--sometimes majorly off track. I'd lost contact. Lost balance. Lost focus. Recently I've been trying to get back on track. But for some reason it's just not working. I want to. I see people around me that are filled with such joy, but I'm just not moving yet--it all stems back to a great problem I have. I have a huge problem with totally surrender. I want to be independent. I want to do by myself and for myself. I'm selfish. I don't want to admit that I'm weak. I hate people knowing or even thinking that I'm weak. That's why I hate people seeing me cry. I hate admitting that I'm the kind of person that I am. But I'm hoping that it[this confession of sorts] will make me be a much more approachable person. Even though this is a blog post online--I'm hoping that for anyone who may read it--this will make me seem like a more genuine person. They will see that I'm not a perfect person. Yes, I try to mask my faults. Yet, I feel like they are so strong that they break through my mask. There are a lot of things I want to hide from people. Secrets that I don't want known. Although there are a couple that I feel like are becoming more known--it's a silly thing really. I just don't want the whole world--or maybe one person in particular to know. But back to my confession. I guess this whole blurb has to be a whole series of confessions. So to keep you tracking with me--to sum it up--put it into layman's terms--I'm a mean girl. I'm not nice. I talk crap about people because I've been and still am insecure about a lot of things that I have going on within and on the outside of me.

I try to justify my actions. But I know in my heart, there is no thing that has ever happened to me that can justify the meanness that I have shown directly or indirectly. I just like to pretend like because I've had a few people--and those who I thought were close to me--treat me in a way that I did not like. I have been rejected. I have been put down. I've been made fun of. My family has been put down--my dad being the top of that list. Let me tell you, if you ever put down any member of my family--immediate or distant--you will not be on my good list. Family is one of the most important things to me, and when you say something negative about them, I take it personally. Especially when it comes to my dad. I love him very much and when something that he has done[or not done] is taken in a negative light and he is put down for it--that does not go over well with me. I've had major seeds of bitterness grown in my heart because of things that have happened to me. And why has it been that the major rejections I have had have come from some of the closest of my friends? I've talked about certain situations that have happened in the past so much that I now see the cause of the great bitterness I have towards some people in my life. I have had great hurts, and I've not been able to let them go. Just call it the grudge of all grudges. Although, I would never do anything to physically harm anyone--although there has been great temptation--and I have had to hold my hand back from not hurting someone--in a situation where they would have been defenseless--but I used self-control--and thank goodness I did. That's another thing, I've got a lot of issues with anger and rage. I don't tend to take it out on anything, so it gets bottled up. It tends to give me a lot of grief. It's all because of me. I can't get over the stupid crap that has happened. But when those things happened it wasn't stupid crap--it was hurtful and made me feel terrible. I wanted to run away to a place where no one could hurt me. For a few years I was sort of trapped in a bad situation that I could not get out of. And I never said anything. I took all the insults and never spat anything back. Another good thing--my tendency to just stand by and take it. I wish I could better stand up for myself. But I see now--in a more mature way--that it's not always best to be so quick to react. So my personality of being quiet and the peace-keeper--don't step on any one's toes and put up with all the crap might have saved me from saying or doing some very hurtful things. But I just turned around and used my malicious tongue and talked crap about people--in the "safety" of it being behind their backs. I was unjustified every time. But like I've already said. I was bitter and unforgiving. Now I'm at a place where I don't know if I should let the past remain the past or confess to people and ask for forgiveness. But I've not forgiven them yet for their past faults--so maybe I shouldn't go to them. I guess I've already answered my own question. It's just now time for me to begin the process of working through my past hurts, letting them go, and forgiving those who have wronged me. How many times have I recited the Lord's Prayer or heard sermons on forgiveness or read verses that talk about not slandering others?

So there it is. For whoever may read this. I said it was a confession of sorts. I did not give specific examples or name names. That would not be right. It would probably open a can of worms that I wouldn't want opened. But I want people to know that I'm not all that some people crack me up to be. I want to be. I mean, I want people to like me. I want people to want to be my friends and want to be around me because I'm nice and a genuine person. This blog post is my attempt at being real. Hopefully I can learn from my past mistakes and begin moving on. It's not something I can do on my own. I need God's help and accountability from others. I just hope you can accept me for who I am. A broken, hurt, bitter person who truly does want to not be so broken, hurt or bitter anymore. I want to have my pieces mended by my Creator, the hurts healed and the bitterness gone. It's time I grow up--and start striving to be the woman that God wants me to be. That does not include slandering others or drinking the poison of bitterness. I'm just human, but so are all the people who have hurt me. So how can I blame them? I'm certainly not perfect and neither are they--so really they can't help it--I mean we can--but we[for the most part] don't try to help it. We react with our flesh. Self control is not used because it feels better to hurl insults and bring others down to make ourselves feel better about ourselves.

So, here is my confession. Take it or leave it. I hope it has helped you see me in a more real light. I'm just human. I'm not going to pretend I'm perfect or have it all together. I'm just a little girl who's afraid of rejection who has used past hurts as justification for the bitterness she still feels and has not yet totally surrendered her life in the way she should, but she's going to attempt to grow up into a woman who can look past the past and forgive the way God forgave her. Even though she did not deserve it. Praise God for His grace. His mercy. His love. His forgiveness. His healing. His promises. His power. His sovereignty.

How deep the Father's love for us.
How vast beyond all measure.
That He should give His only Son.
To make a wretch His treasure.

Monday, June 14, 2010

june 2010

Time is still flying by. The moments pass in the blink of an eye. I have no idea where the last year has gone. I'm so amazed at this fact. I graduated over a year ago from college. Weird. So not much has changed. I've had a lot on my mind that I've wanted to blog...I just never get around to it. A lot has happened in the past several months that has affected me greatly. The loss of my great-grandmother started the sequence of life-changing events. It's been a very hard loss to endure. I have an unsettled feeling about it. No closure. Because I'm not completely sure where she is. I wish I was 100% sure. And I feel slightly responsible for it. I had almost 23 years on this earth with her to ask the questions that I needed to ask. I just took her grumblings at other family members attempts to "save" her as her "yes" answer to the question--are you a believer? She took great offense to their attempts because she felt like she was saved. I just wish I knew her heart. I wish I could say for sure. It hurts my heart. It's one of the things that I feel so deeply about right now. I feel like I need to be more effective in my efforts to share the Gospel. Well enough about my failures right now. Life is hard. It really is. I need more time to really write about everything that has gone on. There's more to share. But I'll go to bed and hopefully write again soon. Until then...don't let the ones you love go another day without hearing the truth of the Gospel and without hearing about how much you love and care about them. I've learned how precious life is, but more on that another time.