For most of my life I have lived hiding behind the various hats I wear. I have struggled with self-esteem issues and depression for the greater part of my 43 years. One of my earliest memories involves the feeling of shame for something I did wrong.
I did well in school as a child and the teacher thought that she would bring it to everyone’s attention. The result was name-calling and bullying in the schoolyard. I learned to build walls.
I turned into the class clown and hid behind my sense of humour. That worked well until my family moved and I was the new kid at a school that already had a comedian. My humour was not well received, and I found myself struggling to find a new identity that would gain the approval of my peers.
We moved a lot due to my father’s job, and in every new place I started a new persona. I was the clown, everyone’s best friend, the girl that all the boys wanted to know, everyone’s drinking buddy, the one that would do your homework if you liked her. Name a personality and I have probably molded myself to fit into it at one time or another.
I was putting my worth into the hands of others. Any attention I was receiving turned out to be a dangerous drug for an impressionable young woman. The highs that I experienced would keep me going through the day, but the moment that I was alone with my own mind, I would begin to torture myself for all of the acting that I had been doing.
I spent many a long, sleepless night finding new ways to put myself down… for not being good enough to be accepted, for being a coward and not ‘just being myself’, for not even knowing who I really was.
It was during these times that I started thinking that this world did not need someone like me.
If you asked me then, I would not be able to tell you why I didn’t carry through with the solution to that problem. Now, I couldn’t be more certain that it was God (who I had been ignoring) who was keeping His daughter safe on the journey He had placed her.
I had spent so much time looking for my value in others, that I could not see my own Heavenly Father beside me, waiting for me to turn my eyes towards His light so that He could wrap His arms around me and share the plans that He had for me.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
I remember watching the World Series with my dad where a fan in the audience held a piece of Bristol board with JOHN 3:16 written on it:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16 NIV
It was this verse that started me on a journey to wellness and healing with God, the only One that I never needed to seek approval from. I had it already. He loves ME so much that he sent his son to save me. Me! Broken, busted, doesn’t-know-how-to-act-because-she-doesn’t-even-know-herself me!
God loves me exactly the way I am. Even though I spent most of my life ignoring Him, he waited for me to fix my eyes in the right direction.
I cannot tell you that the journey has gotten easier because I finally stepped back on the path that God laid out for me. I can tell you that through all of my working and waiting on God, He is giving me the tools that I need to grow and continue to become the well woman that He intended me to be.
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