“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.
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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