If I had to describe my younger self in one word, it would be shy. I hid in the shadows and made every effort not to be seen or heard. With the exception of my family I was absolutely socially awkward, and maybe to this day I still am to a certain degree. I can remember being afraid to read aloud in class or to get up to pass out papers when the teacher instructed me to do so. Memories of being teased have not been forgotten now even as an adult. It made me feel inadequate and not good enough. I didn’t know at the time that words spoken to me as a child would greatly influence my view of myself, my choice in who I gave my heart to, and my inability to live up to my purpose in years to come.
I spent so many years doubting my abilities and my potential because I let people’s words get to me. Somehow the words of other imperfect people overshadowed how God’s word defined me. I was so uncomfortable in my own skin that I forgot to live for most of my life. I was merely existing and almost floating through life’s experiences. It wasn’t until I planted my feet in God’s word that I was able to take a look around me and come to understand who God is and how he sees me.
My twenties were characterized by dysfunctional relationships and giving myself away in ways that left me broken and feeling unworthy of God’s love. It is a season of my life when I was most lost. I sought to find comfort in others who were unable to fill those gaps in my life that only God’s love could fill. The deeper I fell into my own selfish desires, the less I could hear the voice of God. Looking back on the choices I made, I can tell you that it is only by God’s grace that my heart is healed from past hurts and disappointment.
To be filled with God is a feeling I now desperately desire every single day of my life. My imperfections are enough to make me run towards a perfect God who can never and will never hurt me, use me, or leave me to wipe my own tears. I understand as a woman of God that my purpose far exceeds any mistake or set back I have experienced in my life. My mission is to encourage others through the art of writing. I ran from it for such a long time because I was afraid of rejection and judgment. By the grace of God, I want to tell as many women as possible that peace and redemption are on the other side of fear and self -doubt.
When we allow God to shape our view of ourselves, it is not only freeing but also up lifting. I live for beautiful reminders of God and who I am because of his grace, mercy, and love. While I didn’t always seek opportunities to sit in his presence, I do so now because I understand the power of influence. The world we live in has the power to dictate our value in the worst way. That was my reality, but no more.
God is so good and I guess you can say I’m making up for lost time. Life has taught me that we don’t have to do life by ourselves. It is only through God that we can be our very best. It is only by his presence that we can thrive in the midst of trouble. He is all that we need in this life and for that I am grateful.