Friday, November 28, 2014

A Genuine Heart

"When I Was Invisible"
“Someone sat on me ...
... again!"

Do you remember that phrase from a post I did previously?  Well, it seems I’ve been in rewind this week when it comes to dealing with hurt feelings.

For the past two months I’ve been going to physical therapy with hubby.  In the course of time we’ve interacted with the staff exchanging small gifts, ideas, recipes, believing in prayer and basically enjoyed one another’s company.
After all this you would have thought the building relationships were going somewhere.  Last week I realized that they still didn’t know my name, but I didn’t say anything.
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"Ann Right?"
On Monday the opportunity arose for me to come right out and say, “You don’t know my name do you?”  I asked both of the staff members the same question, with a friend of theirs standing by waiting for their response.

You should have seen the one lady’s face; it was like a deer in the headlights totally caught off guard.  The other patients had already gone and my husband was on a treadmill listening to the entire conversation to see where it would go.  He was surprised by what he was hearing. 
A friend of theirs was standing outside the conference room.  One of the nurses told her to stay in the other room while she finished preparing her Christmas gift.  She was privy to this entire conversation.
Immediately they started playing the name guessing game.  When that happened I chimed in, “I’ve been here twenty times. How is it that you don’t know my name?  I must not have made an impact on your life for you not to know it?”
Of course they denied my accusations, but fifteen minutes later they were now finding this to be humorous. 
“Take off your sunglasses?” said one girl. 
“You’ve never seen me without them so that won’t make a difference.” I told her. (They’re prescription.) The questioning continued.
“How many syllables is it?
By the time we left they were calling me Ann. 
My husband said, “They are familiar with ‘how’ you are, but not ‘who’ you are.”  What he meant was that they were used to my actions when I’m there, but they don’t ask questions to get to know me.  To them I’m just a client’s wife.                      

Learn their Name
When the coordinator realized that this wasn’t a good situation, she did try to soften the blow with some kind words.  What bothers me the most has nothing to do with being noticed by others or even being liked.  I wasn’t looking for fame or recognition from them, but want my life to reflect Christ in a genuine way.
To be honest, my emotions did kick in and I started to tear up on the way home.  Why this affected me I don’t know.  It’s not like I didn’t already know this information. I suppose it was the confirmation of it that got to me.
For the rest of the day I was quiet thinking about my “invisibility” these past months with people I have spent time with three times a week. 
One of the first things I have always done with my students that carried over into all areas of life was to learn their names the first week of school.  Usually it only took a day or so, but it was something I knew would help me make a connection to them right from the start. You’d be surprised as to how many teachers never learn their student’s names.
It’s important if we want to make a difference in someone’s life that we learn their name and actually use it when talking to them.  A name is what lets the individual know that your conversation and actions are directed to them.  
Another thing that shows you have compassion and understanding is to use the name the person wishes to be called.
Superficial or Genuine?
When we got home my husband took advantage of the Hug Challenge from last week, only this time it was all about compassion and not just doing the task.  I can verify that it helped.
It’s easy to blow people off and not get involved when we’re busy, but that doesn’t mean it’s right.  This is also a time of year where many are more sensitive and need to connect with someone.
You don’t have to become lifelong friends with those you meet casually, but you can show yourself friendly and genuinely care.
Confronting me one of the ladies asked how I knew she didn’t know my name.  I confessed that my counseling skills were of help, but actually it didn’t take much to figure it out when she stuttered and said, “Why you’re Mrs.…”
My point in all this is that a genuine heart isn’t superficial and doesn’t say things to appease an audience of any size.  In reality, I don’t believe the staff meant to hurt my feelings and I don’t even think they realized they didn’t know my name.  It was just one of those “aha” moments (or should I say uh-oh moments) when it all came together.
Sure my feathers got a bit ruffled, but my concern took me back to the story I shared about “The Pudding Lady.”  Do you remember that?  Certainly I was friendly, but was I coming across as some pathetic person who seemed needy?  Did I think I was merely being humble when remaining quiet?
What was I really doing all these weeks in their presence that was so uneventful that it wasn't worth learning my name? 
Telling Tales ... on myself
Let’s face it, we all want to fit in and feel we are valued.  My focus when going to the cardio rehab with my husband has been his needs, any interaction with the staff comes after that.  There isn’t anything wrong with that thinking or behavior; however something more was happening inside that was brought to my attention.
Their goes the secret.
God put this right back in my lap helping me to recognize that it was my feelings of insecurity, unworthiness and feeling invisible that led the relationship into what it was.
I always make a big deal out of the other person and their gifts, but devalue my own.  That isn’t what God said about me or what He wants me to demonstrate in my behavior.
It may seem like I’m tattling on those ladies, but I’m actually spilling the beans on myself.  Why would anyone remember my name if I never placed any worth on it? How was I regarding God’s feelings toward me? 
Scripture says He knows my name.  He identified me as someone He wants in His life.  So who demonstrated a genuine heart here?  I'm usually a bubbly personality, but I have been reserved there.
Actually, I’m glad this happened.  My thinking was refreshed as to how I want to be treated and how not to take relationships lightly no matter how brief they may be.
In the end, all that really matters is that God knows my name.  The Lord lets me know *who I am to Him and He adorns me with His favor.  He knows if my actions toward others are genuine or superficial. 
Names are important to God. Our names are inscribed on the palms of His hands.  If names mean something to the Lord, they should mean something to us.
“See, I have inscribed you on the palms on My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.” (Isaiah49:16 NKJV)

We are moving into a season that is usually very busy where people will come and go in and out of our lives.  There is a reason God is placing these individuals before us, so we need to take the time to know them.  Let them know your love for Christ is genuine by demonstrating it.  Learn their names; it identifies and sets them apart from someone else.
He Knows My Name
God knows my name.
He knows yours too!
We’ve come eleven months in this journey together and I’ve learned so much about myself in my relationship with the Lord.  My life has struggles just like the next guy, but the favor He has shown me isn’t ordinary.  It’s genuinely extraordinary.
God calls me chosen … forgiven … beloved … cherished … treasured … His forever and He does it by name.  Whoever you are I can tell you this, God knows your name and He genuinely cares for you and everything about you matters to Him.
This Week’s Challenge:
Sharing A Genuine Heart
Sometimes it’s not easy to get to know someone, especially if it’s just for a brief time.  We’re going to try anyway, because it makes a difference to the Lord.
As we begin this week we’re going to do three things.
1 – Begin calling people by their name and genuinely show that you care for them.  If you are on the phone with someone you don’t know, write down their name in the beginning of the conversation.  When you hang up thank them for their services by calling them by their name.  It will make them feel valued.
2 – Grasp the concept that God wants you in His life. He knows your name because He loves and cares for you.  He specifically wrote your name down because His heart is genuine toward you.  People will take notice of you if you take notice of what God sees in you. 

“But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob.

And He who formed you, O Israel:

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by your name;

You are Mine.’ (Isaiah 43:1 NKJV)

Now put your name in where the blank is:

“But now, this the LORD says, who created me, ______.

And He who formed me, _______:

“Fear not, for He has redeemed me ______;

He has called me  _______ by my name;

I ______ am His.’ (Isaiah 43:1 NKJV)

3 – Sing “He Knows My Name” aloud so that you hear what God has said about His feelings toward you.  Believe what the Bible says. You are genuinely in God’s heart.
God’s aware of your pain and sees your tears, but you’re going to be fine.  How do I know?
... because He knows your name!

Until next time, a genuine heart finds favor with God.

“I know you by name.

See, it’s right on my hand.”

– Jesus Christ

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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Bible Gateway
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Image:  Rewind  Deer  Learn Names  Hug Challenge  Spill the Beans  He Knows My Name
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