I’m not exactly what you call, shy. Really? The girl who writes about her entire life and puts it out for the world to see…shy? Never…
Even at ten years old, when my fellow classmates were asked to describe me in a class exercise I got a lot of “can get whatever she wants” and “is nice” but shy was definitely not an adjective to describe me.
Then why, when it comes to certain aspects of my life, particularly when it relates being interested in someone it is that exact word I’ve used of late to describe how I feel or why I’m not more obvious or direct with what I may feel towards someone. When asked why I don’t just come out and be direct with someone about how I feel, I often justify away by saying “that’s not how I was raised” or “girls do not pursue” and while these things are true for me, I think that it’s more than that.
It’s fear. It’s fear that it won’t work out.
It’s a huge risk to say “Hey, look at me. Choose me.”
Although I use the example of romance, this is true in so many situations, when applying for a new job, when thinking about starting your own company. Putting yourself out there and being vulnerable takes courage. When you ask someone to choose you, in whatever situation it’s scary. Fundamentally, when there’s ever a moment in your life where you don’t know what’s next and you simply need to take a giant leap (or maybe even a small step) it is far too easy to be ruled by fear.
I’ve learned that unfortunately it’s often because of past experiences we are filled with fear in future situations. Rejection, humiliation or even allowing the wrong people to speak into your life can set us on a path of destruction and fear that God never meant for us to be on. Sometimes it’s just even a situation or circumstance that was completely out of your control, and now you can’t shake the memory.
For me, it was a good relationship gone bad, where I was told that everything that made him want to be with me originally, was everything he detested and couldn’t handle in the end. I was too much. It made me fear being myself completely and showing someone my heart.
It paralysed me and eventually I got through it. I’m so not proud of that time in my life, but thankfully God uses all things for good and from it I learned a few things…
1. God created us not with a spirit of fear but that of a sound mind.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. -2 Timothy 1:7
Yes, there’ll be moments when you can feel fear, but it doesn’t mean we don’t have the power to change our thoughts and not allow it to rule us.
2. When it comes to my life I only ever want what God wants for me. Whether it’s a relationship, a job or a friendship…a move to a new country *cough Sweden cough*
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. -Jeremiah 29:11
He has plans for you…He has plans for me. Ultimately, whatever my life looks like all I want to do is glorify God and show His love to the world. Why would you want to live a life that wasn’t meant to be yours? Why would you want to chase anything situation, be it a man or a position in a company that wasn’t totally completely enamoured by you? It takes too much energy to be in a place where the fit isn’t right.
2. He created me (and you) uniquely and the world (and probably a certain someone) needs that person.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. -Psalm 139
Whatever it is, a relationship or a job or a part in a play. Our gifts, talents and personality were created for a purpose on purpose. We cannot let fear dictate our steps. We were made in His image. You are wonderful! Of course we all have things to work on, I mean, life is a journey, but you are amazing, learn to love yourself.
3. God wants us to live our lives in Him and through His strength, not our own.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. -Phil 4:13
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. -Isaiah 40:29
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. -Psalm 119:28
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -2 Corinthians 12:9-10
We’re not doing this life alone. God is always with you, in all situations, stop, breathe and take it to him…He will give you everything you need to do life well.
So, what I’ve been practicing and that which I am still learning to do in all situations (control issues much?) is to keep my heart and my mind focused on Him. I know that the plan for my life is good and if my heart is set on the right path then I don’t have to be afraid to show the real me…
Right now, for me, after I turn in my thesis the world is a blank slate and I know that…the BEST is yet to come.