The Not-So-Fluffy Happy People

Thursday, April 4, 2019


Not long ago, I rediscovered this post I wrote over the summer. I never published it because I wasn't sure if this message was just something the Lord was having me process in my quiet time, or if it was to be shared. I'm certain I'm not the only one with this perspective, and wanted to put this on the blog in hopes of encouraging others whom God has shaped similarly not to lose heart--knowing that He is so purposeful in each aspect of His design, and that He continually sanctify us for His glory.

I recently sat down at a coffee shop with a sweet friend from high school and got to have “that conversation.” We have similar personalities in some ways; we both love people, want others to be encouraged, smile a lot, and probably seem like we’re happy day and night.

But I’ve gotten the impression over the years that people think I’m fake, childish, a flatterer, or maybe just fluff.

My friend had experienced it too...

It’s never fun to be stereotyped. Just because I want to encourage you does not mean I think you’re perfect or don’t need Jesus. Just because I smile more than I wear a straight face does not mean I have it all together and never experience suffering. Just because I look happy does not mean I never go through difficulty or don’t have much of a life story.

The assumptions that can be directed to those of us whom God given a special desire to show mercy and encourage others are bizarre. So because I tried to encourage you, I’m ingenuine, looking for attention, and lack depth?

That’s a lot of assumptions, don’t you think!

Not everyone is quick to be verbally critical, but it is odd how many unspoken times there are when people let you know that you don’t fit their mold, and you need to change.

I’m sorry, but peer pressure is not a good enough reason, in my mind, to stop sharing love with those around me.

I’m still trying to figure out how to show love to those who hate being loved; it’s those who would prefer criticism to kindness that always leave me with questions. How can I care for them well without making them feel uncomfortable? What exactly did I do to push them away? (Gotta love the nonverbal “wow you’re one of those” treatment....)

I do not encourage other people for a hobby; you would not believe the number of people who take thought-out, (hopefully) uplifting words to not be anything of value. “No, I’m not actually as nice as that.” Ok. Well I never said you were perfect; I just wanted to remind you that you have value to the King of kings and Lord of lords, and that He is transforming you by His grace.

Bubbly.

That one word so often used as a compliment reminds me of these conversations. “Cassidy is just such a bubbly person.” Ahh, that’s interesting. When I hear bubbly, I’m reminded of the time at missions school that I was told I was a flatterer after I attempted to uplift a staff member. Maybe there’s not much there; if only encouragements are spoken, then obviously there has to be something wrong with me. I’m probably a fluffy, depthless, simple-minded, unwise, undiscerning little girl who really needs to go through some trials in life so I can be more refined and get rid of this horrid tendency, right?

Well, I actually went to school right after one of the worst years of my life, full of suffering and pain. Does that make it better? Am I allowed to speak into others lives now since I’ve experienced a season when I felt entirely unable to smile or rejoice and felt that there was no hope except to keep running to Jesus and begging for an extra measure of strength?

Did you know that sometimes when you see me smiling on the outside, there’s a battle on the inside with these exact memories? Maybe it’s more biblical or something to just ignore people and go about my own business? That doesn’t sound right, but it’s the impression I’m left with time and time again.

I’m tempted to take the words “flatterer, ingenuine, depthless, fluffy” to heart sometimes. Did you know it would be a lot easier not to look for the work Jesus is doing in your life? People don’t like to be told that they are important and wanted, at times.

Amid desiring to change this incredibly angry, mean, critical, unhappy world, my greatest surprise is always the other believers who act awkward or standoffish when I try to care abut them.

Is this exhibit 428b of, “you’re just a kid, so how could you know anything?” Or is it something else? I couldn’t actually be “real,” right?

Well, to set the record straight, I genuinely care about you! Not for personal gain, not to make you like me, not because you have it all together, not as a conversation-filler, not to bring attention to myself, not to make you feel odd, but because YOUR LIFE MATTERS to Jesus.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life // John 3:16

It’s this reality that changed the heart of an uncomfortable, introverted middle schooler who could barely even make eye contact with people she did not know. It’s always been naturally easier for me to avoid people. Despite what people think, no, I did not walk out of the womb with a smile on my face. I was a critical, insecure, self-focused, sad little lady apart from Jesus.

As Jesus drew me closer to Himself, I realized that the people He had most used in my life were those who were willing to be vulnerable and speak words of care and encouragement with younger Cassidy who probably didn’t look like her day had just been made by their kindness--even though it was a thousand small acts of like this of care from others in the body of Christ, and knowing His Word that opened my eyes to the reality that it’s a lie to believe that I’m worthless. And if Jesus will graciously open my eyes to this truth, then by His grace I’m going to go share that with others. The saved and unsaved. Both of whom are deeply wanted and desired by our God, who is our only Hope in a world of deadness.

The enemy will keep trying to instill lies, and by the grace of God, I will continue to be defiant to the enemy’s deceptive works.

You are so valuable to our God that He went to the Cross for you! He is so worthy of our lives, and yet when we rebelled completely, He did not stop pursuing our hearts. Can you believe that? He would transform the life of even a pessimistic, sin-enslaved, “my life will never amount to anything” Cassidy, to be one made new for His glory.

It’s this truth that serves as a deep reminder; I cannot hide the candle. If Jesus is Lord of my soul, then it must show. We have the Light of Life; will we share Him with those around us? Will we remind those around us that Jesus is present, worthy, and loves them greatly?

I don’t want to look back someday and realize I listened to all my critics more than I allowed His Word to refine me and His Spirit to lead me.

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