This is my story. This is my song.
As a little girl I always wanted to hold her attention, but it seemed for naught. Daddy worked long hours too, and ventured frequently on business trips. Mommy was doting on the more demanding of her two children and so I slid to the shadows. The babysitter told me I was too old for a comfort item and sent me to a corner. My feeling of isolation increased. In defense, I became addicted to approval, doing anything to appease my peers, my mentors.
Approval addiction took and takes its toll through the years. I compromised/compromise convictions just so others would/will like me. It was and is weary. In the past, I dealt with feeling inadequate in the lens of another that I began to deprive myself. I would binge and purge, all as a way to gain the control I felt I had lost along the way. Still sensing insufficiency and the hot, searing pain of peer sneers, I took blades to my flesh that I might physically feel the mockery I sensed. I kept imprisoning myself as I ventured further into this dungeon. I neglected my voice, amplified the opinions of others, lost myself, and in that loneliness, emptied my bowels and tried to carve out the person seemingly disliked. In order to indulge this control, I waxed on smiles and peels of laughter. Few knew or know the disparaging history.
I hated my body, my thoughts, my existence.
It seems trite, but then I found God.
I didn’t have to perform. I didn’t have to fix myself pretty. He welcomed my mess, to lay down my burdens and take up his yoke. I delved into belief. Now ten years a Christian, I find myself slowly surrendering. I realized that I gained true control when I relented it to a bigger Lord than this world. I emptied myself, but not physically anymore, that I might be filled with the Spirit, to guide me in truth and in love.
Even in church I practiced/practice appeasement. Then in the weariness I bowed/continue to bow once again at the cross. I remembered/remember he gave up his life so I could lose mine in his and truly find breath to keep pressing on. Ever so slowly I’m finding my voice. I’m tuning out the judgements of others, recognizing my limitations to their expectations, and choosing to beat the drum God has meant me and only me to play. I’ll let others down, but it won’t be the end. No, I’m finding myself in letting go of my reins. I’m seeking to serve a gracious Savior, out of gratitude rather than serving man and inept qualifications for a loving demand.
I’m breaking free of the labels, understanding that navigation is futile if not done by the direction of a still small voice. That whisper inclines me to pursue the passions he placed in me.
As long as I’m seeking his honor rather than self-aggrandizement, I’ll live out this call, this path, unapologetically.
*Watch To Write Love on Her Arms. I watched it this weekend with a friend. I’d heard the story before. I’d researched the organization. I have a heart and TWLOHA tattooed on me.
Raise awareness. You are not alone in your fight. Keep pressing on and find that you have beautiful contributions to the world, even when you forget that you do. I’ll be here to remind you of your importance. Please do the same for me. May we speak out against the darkness and find light in confession, admittance, and most importantly community.
P.S. I take responsibility for my actions. My parents are loving and did/are doing the best they know how with their worldviews and tools. The sitter had her own history that influenced damaging decisions. Peers had/have their own insecurities. Each of us is just trying to sigh, to breathe the best we are able to in the thick clouds of past mistakes, impressions, and genetics. I, in no way, blame them (my parents, sitter, peers) for choices I made/am making. I could have chosen/choose other options. Thankfully, I have a God who continued/continues to pursue me in spite of my rebellion. He loved/loves me too much to let me go. (The same goes for you, if only you are open and listen.)