Me? An Introvert?!? SHY?!? Insecure?!? Anxious?!? Exhausted!?! Perfectionist!?! Well, yes indeed. I was! Well, I am STILL and Introvert, lol. I love people but I need my space too, especially after Peopling for a while.
When I tell people I am shy by nature, they don't believe me. When I tell them I struggled with insecurity, they don't believe that either, or that I was anxious or could ever have had panic attacks. Welp, it's all true. Healing is a powerful and transforming thing! Do I still have moments, sure...but it's not who I am anymore.
Thing is, people know us by what we show them. What I showed was what I wished I was....
I lived most of my life smiling and hugging. I genuinely love people and always see the good, but at the same time, I was always looking over my shoulder for the "bad guy." The older I got, the more attention I got from men whistling as I walked by or staring. These weren't compliments to me, these were the triggers of attention I didn't want.
When I was younger, I had severe cystic acne and would miss school because of it. When I was younger, I had bladder infections (UTI) and had to lay out on a table for examinations and Cath samples. When I was younger, I also got my finger caught in a door frame and I feared anyone ever holding my hand and noticing it. When I was younger, I witnessed horrible school yard fights and always felt vulnerable. When I was younger...I carried all this till I was older.
I learned how to build a wall to protect myself very early on. I learned how to keep my mouth closed and eyes down and not invite attention or draw attention to myself. This was how I learned to create my own little world of peace behind the wall fear and insecurity had built to protect me.
I lived inside this wall for years and years....like years! God gave me some wonderful friends and mentors, big sisters in the faith, to draw me out from behind that wall so He could do some breaking down of the wall fear had built. When God started to take down the wall, I didn't appreciate it! I felt so vulnerable. It was during this season God showed me His heart and asked me to trust His, to trust HE would be a Shield about me when the enemy threw his fiery darts and pushed in on thorns he could still see. It was NOT easy but it was beautiful.
I lived for so long being what I needed to be, I really didn't know me. It's been a journey of learning who I am and trusting God with my heart. Surrender is hard because it's not apathy, giving up or not caring. It's intentionality. It's humbling. It's trusting what you cannot see which why it takes trust and faith. This is why knowing Your Savior, The Great I Am, is so important. You cannot trust who you don't know. The more you know Him, the more you can trust Him and the more you trust Him, the easier the surrender.
Think about a child in the arms of a stranger vs parent....who can console her when she's scared or hurt? Who does she want to run to to show her favorite new toy or hold hands with to take a walk or go play with? The person who sees our heart, who knows us, who shows us loving care, is where we feel safe to be.
Today, I still have shyness, it's who I am by nature and I do get anxious nervous when my comfort zone issuing expanded and a new level is presented to step into, when it's a new person, place or things in my life but here's the thing...they aren't coming from fear. Fear is liar and his chains have been removed! BUT GOD! He has guarded my heart and mind for a long time now and my surrender and trust run deep. I rely on His leading, His wisdom, His way. So where He leads, I follow. My heart still races on some days, and the butterflies swarm in my chest...not gonna lie!
From hiding to highlighting, I choose to share authentically so others can be set free from fear too and live a life of freedom by faith! We cannot allow fear to keep our eyes down and hide us behind a wall. We were meant to SHINE our Lights and gather together as a city on a hill that others may come and see what The Lord has done, and is doing.
I thought I had to be an extrovert. I thought I had to have titles. I thought I had to be invited/recognized/approved. I thought I had to be perfect. I thought I had to settle for the back row. Come to find out, there's a whole ministry back here and I am here for it! In fact, I am creating it, just as I am as I sit here with my Father and Sweet Savior!
YOU are fearfully and wonderfully made, hemmed in, knitted together, raised up where you are for a purpose given to you, for such a time as this. You don't need validation to be brave and bold in God's Love. With Him, you have all you need for courage, freedom, peace and joy! Do you trust Him? Will you let Him lead you? Will you be courageously YOU and SHINE?!
Let's Do This Sisters! A cord of 3 is not easily broken. He has lifters for you. Ask, Seek and pray for Him to show you who they are. There's a flock, a tribe, of sisters waiting to rally with you! I am one of them!
I invite you to join my online Sister Community! I have asked God to take the reigns over there, so changes are coming and I am so excited for new doors to open!! Eyes, hands and heart OPEN! See ya there, or in here, either way, may the Lord meet you where you are and may you embrace His Heart for you too!!! He's Got You covered.
If today's encouragement hugged your HEART today, let me know in the comments or drop a Hello in the socials!! Feel free to share with a friend who needs a heart hug too!
This is how YOU get to hug my HEART back!
While it could be a whole Encyclopedia, here's a little Guide with things I have
implemented since 2009 to help me live a life of greater Peace and Joy..
Heart Hugs and Blessings,