Last night I [intended] to drop Teighlor off at an event going on at Gateway for girls 7th-12th grade - Pretty In Pink - and then head home. [On a whim], after seeing the way the lobby was specially decorated, I double-parked the car and decided to quickly go in and check out the sanctuary. [By chance] I ran into Brittney who [randomly] suggested that I stay for the evening. After all, there were just as many moms hanging out as there were girls attending. With worship already started, I thought, "why not stay for worship?" I always love me some time to soak up God's presence through song.
Well, that time of worship turned into staying the for entire event, and after re-parking my car, I came to discover that all of that [randomness] was not random at all ... God had something specific to speak into my heart.
After worship, a guest speaker and a break for re-fueling on sugar, the 2nd half of the night consisted of a panel discussion with nine women on stage, ranging in age from 22 to 46. They had topics they were discussing from questions sent in by girls prior to the event. Most of the talk revolved around dating, boys, friendship, and purity; but one thing that was said by the matriarch of the group felt like it was thrown in just for me.
As Peer Pressure was being discussed, Penny Spurling threw out a zinger (for me, anyway). She said something to the effect of, "Girls, just let me tell you now, peer pressure never goes away. So you need to decide now where you're going to stand on this subject. I'm 46 and still dealing with peer pressure but on a different level. Adult peer pressure revolves around "Do I drive the right car?", "Do I live in a big enough home?", "Am i dressed in the right fashions, bought from the right store?", "Is my home decorated in the right standard?", etc. There is pressure to live up to other people's standards. It's my job to decide what to do with that. I can live under the constant strain of that pressure or I can rely on who I am in Christ and rest in that." [And maybe she didn't say every word I've written here, but God expanded her words and their meaning in my heart, as He so often does when He speaks supernaturally.]
As those words were coming out of her mouth, it seemed as if they were illuminated with the light of truth; and God began to show me the ways in which I've allowed myself to fall under the weight of peer pressure. I won't go into them here because the details of past experiences aren't the point of this blog. What is important - and what Holy Spirit pierced my heart with - is the truth that I have a choice and the choice is all mine. I can allow pressure to keep me from attending events or believing that I belong, or I can rest in WHO I am in Christ, confident that who overcomes all the whats.
This is not to say that the pressure to conform will never rear its ugly head again; quite the contrary, it will always be knocking at my door. But I now have a revelation of heart-piercing truth to fall back on. This truth may be a "DUH" moment for others, but I've found that what may appear to be "DUH" moments for others are always the most revelatory and change-inspiring moments for me. DUH means simplicity to me, and God always has a way of taking the way people like to complicate His truth and making it simple for me. It's not that God is simple to me ... far from it. I just know that God doesn't desire His truth to be complicated. If it was, we'd be left trying to figure it out. So He simplifies it and leaves us no room to fully understand the revelation He unpacks for our hearts.
"Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]." Romans 12:2