2018 was a whirlwind. There were highs and there were lows. Below is a short list of some of the stand out moments.
1. I celebrated two of my closest friends delivering baby boys.
2. We got our wild child Ella to her first birthday with no major injuries.
3. Gracie Jo entered the pee-wee barrel race on my mare Kirby and I got to trot her through the pattern.
4. Jeff had a great year career wise and has truly found his dream job.
5. My little sister got engaged.
6. I learned the art of not giving a crap.
“Wait a minute,” you say, “one of these is not like the other.” That last one seems a little off. Well yes, number 6 is an interesting way to describe a highlight of a Christian woman’s year, but what if I said that is probably the most important discovery I made this year? What if I told you “not giving a crap” is putting it mildly, that there were a couple other stronger expressions I thought about using? Before you think I’ve fallen off my rocker, or drank a little too much of the cool-aid, let me explain myself.
I owe this revelation to my pal Rachel Hollis. Maybe I’m reaching a little far calling her my “pal,” as I’ve never met her, but considering the time I’ve spent reading her book and listening to her podcast she qualifies as a personal bestie. Rachel Hollis wrote a book called “Girl Wash Your Face.” If you are reading this right now and have a dream or a calling on your life that you haven’t had the courage to follow, stop reading my blog and go get this book. It is a life changer. For the purpose of this post we are only going to be discussing one of the many life changing subjects to be found in Rachel’s book:
“Other People’s Opinions of You are None of Your Business”
Read it again and let that sink in.
This phrase has become a mantra for little people pleasing Tatum. After reading this chapter I took a step back and really evaluated some things in my life. I realized that not only was I letting other peoples opinions of me be “my business,” I was letting them dictate my life. It was shocking. Literally up until a few months ago, I was changing who I was dependent on every situation I was in. If I was around a certain set of friends I was a meek church mouse that didn’t pipe up very often in conversation. Around another set of people I was the outgoing decision maker, because that made them feel more comfortable. I cussed in conversation with some folks, but wouldn’t dare say a swear word with others. I was really into football in one circle, but more into business conversations with another. I watered myself down to not be too “extra” in some crowds and ramped my personality up in other. I was not ME. I was a shape shifter. I made myself whatever I thought would please the people I was with most. It was exhausting.
I honestly had no idea who the real me even was. This sounds like the “real slim shady” song I know, but it was time for the real Tatum Berry to please stand up!
What was I doing? God created me exactly the way he intended, with every gift and talent I would need to fulfill His calling on my life. Why was I choosing to cover myself up? Why did I think it was more important to be the version of me that made others feel comforted, instead of the true me that God so perfectly crafted? I really am baffled. I’m only a few months out of this never ending charades game I used to play. Do you know how I feel?
FREE! I can rest in the fact that I am good enough just as I am. I don’t have to change one single thing about myself in my natural state. I can speak when I want to speak. I don’t have to speak when I don’t. My personality is enough, my interests and passions are enough, my opinions are enough, I am smart enough, I’m funny enough. I am FREE to be Me.
God created us to please Him, not people. Here are a few references from scripture on this subject.
Galatians 1:10 – Am I now trying to win the approval of men? Or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 2:4 – On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.
Proverbs 29:25 – Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
My prayer for you is that you realize who you are is just what you are supposed to be. Don’t waste one more minute trying to change yourself. Be the core you; the you that is natural and easy. The God of the universe took the time to make you that way, and the way that you are is just right. If this post meant something to you please comment and let me know. I can’t wait to hear about the joy you feel when you find the freedom of breaking free from caring about what other people think.