It’s a really difficult thing for me.
For most of my life I haven’t felt accepted. Not in my passions, desires, wants, hopes, dreams, independence, or skills. I’m incredibly insecure, and I can’t remember a time that I was not. Which honestly is quite exhausting.
Why would being insecure be exhausting? Because if you’ve ever met an insecure person who isn’t able to hide the way they are feeling, you begin to be exhausted by their lack of confidence. Thus, I’ve been faking confidence since I was little because I never wanted to inconvenience someone because of my feelings. Also, the anxiety of being found out that you’re not really the confident woman you present yourself as is terrifying, and also exhausting…I’ve pretty much been stuffing my feelings deep down inside of me for as long as I can remember. Sure, I’ve been angry (I grew up with 3 brothers, how could I not?) and of course I’ve been sad, frustrated, and heartbroken. However, the deepest level of my emotions I push down—I don’t let people see me be weak. Ever.
When I studied in England the summer of 2014 I was angry with God. An anger that had been brewing for nearly 8 months. When I was expected to participate in conversations regarding the Lord, I knew I would have to fake it, just like I have most of my life. I remember thinking that there was no way I could allow any of the 7 other ministry students know how angry I was with God, because that just wouldn’t be “Christian.” A few days into our trip, one of the other students went off on everyone in the group—he called everyone out on their shit. And I immediately came alongside of him and together we conveyed just how broken and hurt we were, and how angry with God we were. It sparked something in the group—vulnerability.
For the rest of the month I spent in England, I fought what the Lord was trying to do, but ultimately He won. He revealed one word to me. He spoke it over my life. He bore it into my bones because He called me WORTHWHILE.
Of course, when He called me this I had no idea what it meant, so naturally I looked up the definition: Worthwhile – “sufficiently valuable, or important, to be worth one’s time, effort, or interest.”
Honestly, up until that moment, I’m not sure anyone had ever told me I was valuable or important. And I certainly can’t ever remember feeling worth someone’s time, effort, or interest!
All I can remember feeling is that of burdening or embarrassing people.
But of course, because I am insecure, after having a huge realization like that dumped right into my lap, I filed it away because it felt too close to emotions I wasn’t yet ready to deal with. My plan was to forget about it, and come back to it another day…
A few days ago I was texting one of my friends/co-workers to schedule him for an upcoming program. I’ve known this guy for nearly 5 years, so naturally our text turns into sarcastic jibes with one another. When I told my friend “I try” in response to his “perfect” and his retort was “doesn’t look like it!” of course I replied with “OUCH!” Now, to his credit he told me “you make it look effortless” but this is where our sarcastic conversation turned deep.
My friend said this after I responded to him with “nice save”—“just cause you took it wrong does not mean it was originally in need of saving, people only have the ability to compliment or insult you if you believe them.” Of course, I responded with “or I’m just an incredibly insecure person…and sarcasm isn’t interpreted well via text message.” His next text hit the bulls-eye of my heart: “We just need to make sure we don’t make it too easy for people to kick us. Arrogance is no better, but we can not offer ourselves to be hurt just because of minor communication error, we have too much at stake to drive ourselves manic over interpretation.”
He was right, of course. We DO have too much at stake to be driven crazy over our interpretation of what someone meant. Also, I shouldn’t be offering myself as a target all the time because I am insecure…this is when the Lord started reminding me of that word he spoke over me.
“You are worthwhile.” It’s something people from England have been reminding me of since we crossed back over the pond. For nearly a year I’ve been hearing it, I’ve had signs/paintings be made saying exactly that—hell, I even hung them up on my wall and see them every day. However, I’ve been ignoring the truth of that word because I am too insecure to trust people.
My inability to accept myself, for all of my flaws, passions, talents, joys, and desires has been THE reason I have felt stuck in the same rut for nearly a year.
People keep on speaking into my life, they keep on reminding me that I am worthwhile, but I keep on ignoring them because I am afraid. Afraid to put down my guard and let someone close enough to destroy my fragile heart. Because of my trust issues, with both others and myself, I have slowly been withering away.
Today, I saw this tweet from Elora Nicole and truly it hit me hard. In a good way. The caption in the photo says “Be unequivocally you” and if we’re being honest (which I am) I’m not entirely sure how to do that. But Elora writes this about her photo, “This is what I want you to know: you can be you — every square inch and every wild dream. In fact, it’s what we need. We need people who are comfortable telling and living THEIR story and not comparing notes with other people.”
When I read that, I couldn’t take a deep breathe for a full minute because I was so overwhelmed with the truth in that statement. The Lord started whispering to my heart, “Hannah, the world needs you. It needs your story, your passions, your dreams, every single part of you. Stop denying people from experiencing you.”
And that’s when I actually got it. The world needs me, not someone who tries to please everyone else. The world needs me, even if I am a little insecure. The world needs me, exactly as I am, with all my failings, brokenness, and pain because after all that is part of what makes me, me.
Something else, the world needs YOU.
So, together can we try and stop shoving down our emotions and actually allow ourselves to feel? Can we start believing that we are worthwhile because our Father calls us His? Let’s start kicking our insecurities in the ass because we shouldn’t be so damn exhausted from pretending all the time. Today let’s start accepting ourselves. Today let’s be unequivocally us…and tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives!