I want to ask you a question:
What kind of person are you?
Now I know you've been asked that question before. So have I. But I want to know what kind of person you REALLY are. Not who others say you are. Not who you used to be or who you've always been told you are.
What I really want you to ponder is, what kind of person does your heart of hearts say you are??
What things do you love, though you may not always, or even ever, do them? What things would you like to do, but fear or under-confidence holds you back? What personality traits do you have that you seldom let show? When someone gives you a compliment, a totally unexpected compliment, how does it make you feel? Does it surprise you? Do you carefully fold it up and put it in your heart-box, to take it out later and pour over it with amazement and joy?
I'm talking about the true you.
I believe the Lord is whispering to my soul to ponder these questions myself lately. Especially as my heart is hurting and I'm wondering why it won't go away.....I've been thinking about myself lately and all of those things that I hide in my heart, things that I ask myself, just like the questions I've posed above. In this post I'll tackle those questions in part, leaving the others for other posts, to come soon.
I've been able to answer some of those questions, after much contemplation, and much arguing amongst myselves!!
First off, I've always thought I was shy, painfully so. Some of the few memories I have of my childhood always show me, hiding in a corner, never able to utter a single word through the lump of nervousness in my throat. I never had gobs of friends, and I only ever talked to my mom and my two best friends. I was always a major wall flower, never endowed with any self confidence or self esteem. I was always terribly unsure of myself, everywhere I went and in every situation. These things have repeated themselves over and over in my mind, becoming who I thought I was. Truthfully, they've haunted me and dogged me for a lifetime.
I know, to look at me now, you wouldn't believe it! I talk enough for two me's! But that is the way it was.
When I was 13, right after I had become a Christian, I attempted to sing my first solo at church. I knew all of the 50 or so people there that day, no big deal.......yet, when I got up there and the music started, I opened up my mouth.....and a sick, breathless squeak came out! I choked up and couldn't do it. I was so painfully awkward and unsure of myself.
Now, fast forward a number of years later. I love to talk. I have dear, bosom friends whom I cannot live without. More often than not there's no doubt as to what's on my mind.......if you're a good friend and I feel comfortable and sure with you. I guess the blogosphere is so different, I mean, you don't have all those faces staring at you, waiting on you to say something or tear you apart if you say the wrong thing, so it's so much easier to talk about what's on my heart.
These days, I just feel comfortable. I feel comfortable with who I am, for the most part. I find that, the closer I get to 35, the more I know myself, the true me, and the more I am casting off who I really am NOT. Oh, I still feel slightly, momentarily paralyzed in a group of people I don't know, but I find that it's okay for me to just be quiet and take everything in, without trying to be someone I'm not. That's one of the beautiful things that I'm realizing about being past the angst of my twenties and early thirties. I can just sit back and, well.....absorb, read the situation and the people, without feeling like I need to join in.
In my mid 30's, I am learning that I don't have to be like my husband, who is the exact opposite of me. He's the life of the party. He's not uncomfortable or threatened by any situation he finds himself in. He is confident and is a trusted and wise man. That said, I used to feel so, so......small because I perceived that I never could or would be like him. What I know now is that God made me a certain way, and it wasn't like my husband, otherwise we wouldn't fit so well together, like two halves of a shell, or a hand in a glove.
And that's okay with me now. I find lately that, with God's leading and strength, I am......becoming. I'm someone new. I feel okay going into a foreign situation. I feel like I measure up now. I feel like I can handle an unexpected compliment now without dying of embarrassment. I never got compliments as a child. But lately, on my blog, I've run across gals who stick my name in with words like "inspirational" or "encouraging". Wow. It's really humbling and overwhelming to hear things like that, especially if you've grown up feeling like a nobody.
Those words can be heavy burdens to try and live up to. But the thing is, I've been praying, every day, that I would shine forth the faithfulness of God. That when others look at me, they would see Him in me. That when I walk by someone, that the fragrance of Christ would permeate wherever I go. I don't know if that's what happens, but if God wants me to be an encourager, He will give me the words to say. If He wants me to be an inspiration, it's His inspiration, not mine.
So you see, I'm becoming a different person these days. I'm no longer painfully shy. I'm no longer awkward. Those lies are being struck down, with the help of the Sword of the Spirit. I'm being transformed, by the rigorous renewing of my mind. I'm able to speak up now. I'm able to say what I think God is speaking to me in a concise manner without saying, "oh, never mind, I can't think of the words", or "you wouldn't be interested."
I want to encourage you all who read my blog to ask yourselves the questions I've been asking myself lately. And don't leave it at that, go deeper, pray for the courage to delve deeply into your heart of hearts and take out old things that you've not looked at in a long time. Take those things out and examine them, and let go of the old. You will be making room for a new you. You are no longer under condemnation, and neither am I! You and I are new creations.......we are becoming!