I'm pretty tired of living a life on the surface, always pretending to be someone I'm not. I've spent my entire life living on the surface and more than that I lived my entire life begging to be accepted by other people. I remember a couple instances from my childhood. In my church I was one of the only kids that came from a single parent household. My mom did such an amazing job giving my brother and I the best life she could. I'm proud of my mom and I'm proud of how I was raised. But, I never felt fully accepted by my peers at church. I was in constant competition with the other girls. The other girls weren't competing, but I was. I wanted to be like them, to have a mom and a dad like them, to dress like them and have nice things like them. In my quest to be like them I worked really hard to learn as many memory verses as the other top girls in Sunday school. I would memorize and recite, but didn't truly learn what the memory verses were telling me. I did it to get the sticker or whatever the reward was. I did it for acceptance from my peers, not to truly learn the word of God, thus getting to know God, Himself. The other story is quite similar, in that it's another story of me wanting acceptance. This time, the setting is the public school I attended. My peers at school noticed I was different. I didn't say bad words, I was a good kid, always listened to and followed directions. One day out on the field I was surrounded by a group of my friends and they decided to point out that I didn't swear. So, they dared me. All of them. Now, maybe this doesn't seem to be that big of a deal, but I desperately wanted to be accepted so after a few minutes of prodding and persisting, I said my first swear word. It felt so weird to say. Unnatural. Anyway, I'm sure most kids and adults crave for the acceptance of others. But, as a child of God, the only acceptance I should have needed or wanted should have been God's acceptance and I already had that. I had that when He sent His son to die for me. The meaning behind that goes deeper when you have your own children. Could I send my own child to die, even if it is for the salvation of the all the people of the world? It would be tough, but I'm not God. I won't ever have to be faced with that decision.
The sad part about both those stories, is those were just the beginning of my need, my desire to find acceptance. I've been desperate for acceptance since my childhood and it has lead me to some very unhealthy choices. So, as this new year begins my focus will be on embracing God's love for my life, accepting myself and loving myself. This is where the social sabbatical comes in. I want only to nurture and strengthen my relationship with Jesus and my relationship with my daughter. I want to eat healthy, remain active, read, have quiet time daily. I don't have a lot of expectations. Just commitment to what is right in front of me.