Wonderfully Made… [Dream Again Day 9]

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

God did not create you wonderful, so that you should stay hidden.

I was in fourth grade, and I still remember it like it was yesterday. My eyes tracking the ground. He comes bouncing around, this boy who once shared a mutual crush. Mocking. Laughing. Insulting. Jeering. “You look like a boy. Hahaha!”

I did look a boy — my long brown locks on the hair cutting floor. I wanted to look like my sister, and she was going to the Navy. She cut all of her hair, so I did, too. This kind of childish razzing may seem harmless, but for a young girl already insecure, walking hollow where a daddy’s love should fill, it felt like a crushing, a pounding, — lower and lower. And I retreated into hiding.

Fast forward to 7th grade. Walking down the crowded hallway in clothes I was embarrassed to wear. She was about a foot taller than me. My head was down while I walked swiftly to class, hoping she would just go away — wishing I was invisible. I wasn’t. She didn’t. Mocking. Laughing. Insulting. Jeering. “You look like a geek. You’re such a prep. Hahaha!”

Just being pounded lower and lower, retreating deeper and deeper into hiding. Self-esteem, in the abyss. Self-worth, not much more than the dirt on the bottom of a shoe. And this insecurity only compounded as I got older. It didn’t take me long to figure I could receive positive attention at least for a little while, from boys. And all that sort of attention does, is carve away from whatever sense of value I had left. I allowed these jarrings to identify me. I let other’s negative words and opinions form my own — the ones I had about myself.

In high school, sitting around a table in a group with other girls, and many times, other women as I grew, wishing I was invisible. In my mind, trying to grab hold of some thought or idea I could string into words to say something that would keep me from sounding like a fool. Or should I say anything at all? What if I make a mockery of myself? Should I crack a joke? “Oh, wait. You’re not funny, Michele.” What’s “in” right now? What’s popular that I could tell about? I don’t even know.

And my heartbeats pounding, a thumping and ringing in my ears. And I sit silent, instead, peering down just hoping no one catches eye contact with me.

How about walking into a crowded room, forcing myself to make the steps forward? Commanding myself, “This time be confident. Square your shoulders. Walk with head up. Smile.” And only 10 minutes into it I’m hiding in the bathroom shaking my head at my own self in the mirror, screaming inside to get me out of here, counting the minutes that seem like eternities.

And if I left my hiding place, the next best thing was to find safety in playing with my children. And if I had none of my own there, find someone else’s to hang with.

I’d stick to one safe friend and then become co-dependent and fearful and jealous at the thought of her finding another friend she liked more.

I know all the lines for negative self talk. And I’ve rehearsed them well.

Don’t let them see who you really are.

Don’t let them know how you really feel.

You’re too sensitive.

You’re too dull.

Why did you wear that outfit?

You need to learn how to dress.

You don’t even get their jokes.

And you’re not funny.

Go hide.

So, I hid. Who I really was, went into hiding — deeper and covered and camouflaged until lost.

I still battle voices in my head sometimes, the antipathetic words still trying to convince. I struggle with what I perceive they believe about me. You know, the mirage of they? Them? And the voices. We all have negative voices we must snuff, don’t we? If we believe them, and if we agree with them, we give them the ability to hinder us. But I must not, and you must not. The only antidote to such poison is the truth of the Word of God. And it’ what He has said about us that needs to be where we derive our identity.

You and I, we cannot cower in fear and run an hide if we are to let our lights shine, friends. The devil would love nothing more. We must know who we are and Whose we are and how He created us.


“We should make the commitment to assign genuine value to who we are, based on our God-given worth…The life you’re renovating has far too much God-given potential for you to plant its roots in something so menial. Dig deep and lean into the truth — the truth of who you are and what He’s created you to offer to the world — and then orbit your life around that steadfast knowledge.”
— Priscilla Shirer, The Resolution for Women. 


So how were you created? How were you made?

 

 

FREE Printable: Psalm 139:14

 

Write It Out:What lie have you believed about yourself that someone else told you? What voice in your head still speaks and tries to keep you from believing your life matters?

Believe this truth, instead.

Say it Loud: I am chosen. I am set apart. I am appointed. I am marvelously, magnificently, superbly, gloriously, sublimely, lovingly, delightfully, greatly, fantastically, terrifically, sensationally, incredibly, fabulously, out of this world, awesomely, brilliantly made by GOD. (Psalm 139:14)


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Dream Again Series:


Continue Reading:
 Dream Again Day 10

Read: Dream Again Day 1

Read: Dream Again Day 2

Read: Dream Again Day 3

Read: Dream Again Day 4

Read: Dream Again Day 5

Read: Dream Again Day 6

Read: Dream Again Day 7

Read: Dream Again Day 8

  • Lorna

    Michele ~ I am still catching up. This one caught me by surprise. I gave my testimony to our small Christian school in October (anti-bullying awareness month), I was terribly bullied as a young child. And my point was although the affects of the bullying hadn’t gone away (your description of being in group settings as an adult are right on for me too) and I am still struggling with relationships and friendships, Jesus is my Deliverer. My Redeemer. I’m not alone because HE is my friend. In my relationship with Him, He is graciously, gently teaching me to be in relationship with others. Thank you for bravely sharing your story. You touch my heart ~ always. <3

  • http://www.wynnegraceappears.com Elizabeth Marshall

    Michelle, I hurt where you hurt and I rejoice where you rejoice in the healing and in the transformative parts of your story. Thank you for sharing so much of your inspiring journey. Your story is tender and fragile and filled with hope. Truly redemptive. Look forward to walking out the next chapter with you. Masterfully told, bringing glory with each word to Healer, Comforter, God.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Elizabeth,

      I have missed connecting with you, friend. I hope to spend some time at your place, drinking in deep. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. And for taking the time out of your busy day to comment. You are a gift. You are a light.

  • http://olsonomics.blogspot.ca/2013/01/roses-bible-challenge. Ollie

    Nice – you are a talented encourager miss.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Ollie,

      Only God…

  • http://www.4slphotography.com/ Lisa @ {4}SLP

    ACK! My heart bleeds with yours… I too have been there, am there, will be there. And oh, how I wish we ALL could be nice girls, because I think we are all capable of being mean girls. Like the homeschool mommas who did not notice Kelly (up above) and chat with her. Sometimes I don’t think we mean to be mean, but it happens in our own desire to be accepted. Oh the struggle, but the hope found in, “The only antidote to such poison is the truth of the Word of God. And it’ what He has said about us that needs to be where we derive our identity.” Thank you!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Lisa,

      Thank you for sharing so honestly. Thank you for leaving such encouragement and truth. We journey together in this…

      Blessings 🙂

  • Norma

    Your words are so powerful! A declaration to unite women if all kinda against the craftiness of our enemy. So thrilled to be a part if this journey. ❤

    Norma

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Norma,

      Thank you! It means so very much that you would journey with me! In HIM!

  • http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com Barbie

    Thank you, my friend! Just thank you!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Barbie,

      I love you… <3 One day we will meet.

  • http://www.emilywierenga.com emily wierenga

    well, i am crying. this was so tenderly written. and how i ache for you as a little girl. i love how your heavenly father has filled that void your daddy left, friend. love you.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Emily,

      I sent you an email. I wonder if you received. I am humbled and honored that you had a chance to visit and then comment here. I know you have so many wonderful things happening in your life. God is using you! He is writing His story of redemption in and through you and bringing hope and life and freedom to countless others!

      Bless you as you endeavor for His glory!

  • http://ourstoriesgodsglory.blogspot.com Elise Daly Parker

    I am one of four sisters. I always thought I disappeared amongst their beauty and their outgoing personalities. That was a lie from the pit that kept me down and made me feel worthless. And it stopped me from thinking about who God made me to be. Praise Him. His voice was louder and He convinced me of His unfathomable love for me…and for you!!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Elise,

      His love is amazing! And the devil is a liar! But the truth sets us free. And by grace we walk! Amen 🙂

  • Kelly

    Go find safety in playing with my children….What!! Im not the only one! Just yesterday I was at a homeschooling gymnastics thing with my kids and all these moms were talking and laughing….Im like to myself, say hello….say something… Something… Anything….and I didnt…I went to go watch my kids, they did look cute though lol. I have struggled so much in this walk to make friends. In the world we can be something else,show only what we want others to see but in God, He wants me to be me, I want to be me. I must remember that is enough. Thank you again for your beautiful words,they are food for thought. God Bless

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Kelly,

      Oh, I know this so well. This story has played out in my life countless times! Thank you for sharing with me. God is faithful and His truth liberates us!

      Blessings to you,

      Michele-Lyn

  • http://sarahannrogers.com Sarah

    It takes such courage to not hide, but you’re right, we were created lovingly and carefully by a perfect God. Thank you for this reminder to shine brightly in the skin God put us in.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Sarah,

      Yes, and sometimes, courageously afraid we move forward to shine bright His light! I love that line… the skin God put on us.

  • http://www.marybonner.net/ Mary

    Dear Michele-Lyn, you speak directly to me with these beautiful, searing words…straight to my heart. Thank you for this post and the lovely printable!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Mary,

      I am so glad! It’s God’s truth about us!

  • http://www.youaremygirls.com Jennifer

    Oh, wow, you’ve just put parts of my heart on your page . . . I so understand this, Michele-Lyn, and I praise Him for the journey where He has stood by me, holding my hand through these moments of pain. Thank you for these words of hope and worship. A tremendous blessing for my heart. And your graphic is beautiful! Thank you.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Jennifer,

      Oh, friend. I would never know by meeting you that you have had to endure such things. But with your heart and words, so tender, I know that God has done a great work in you, and is using your life to bring freedom to other! I love and miss you <3

  • http://www.kaseyparr.wordpress.com Kasey Parr

    Michele, Oh, how I can relate to your words. When I look back at my childhood I rememeber the biting, taunting, and wounding words of classmates. Some children can be so unkind–it’s strange really how its not just one child who taunts us but a group of people. As if we were wearing a sign that says “pick on me.” I too was a shy, backward child wanting to hid, be unnoticed–fearful of what others would say or do. Yes, it leads to self-esteem issues, confidence lost and fear. Only our Lord can help us overcome the damage–turning ashes to beauty. Thank you for sharing and pointing us to the only one who truely loves us unconditionally-healer, reedemer,and Lord. I so appreciate your words. Blessings, Kasey
    P.S. My middle name is Michelle only spelled with two “ll’s”

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Kasey,

      Thank you for sharing your story, your pain and your healing. God loves us fierce and His truth liberated and heals.

      Blessings on your journey in Him.