Exposed.

I feel torn apart, with all my wounds raw and exposed. And being exposed, being extra sensitive to words and very easily hurt. Words have been said that deeply wounded me, that brought about such pain I found myself sobbing in the bathroom mirror, repeating through broken-up words “that hurt my feelings.” I felt defeated and broken; worthless and insignificant. It is crazy how easily words can pierce through me, leaving big, open holes in my heart and result in me desperately finding anything to quickly fix the bruises. This was a little over a week ago.. Yep, that’s how real we are getting tonight.

I am more than positive that at some point in your own life you have also found yourself wounded by words. I know I have dealt with more than my fair share. But these words a few nights ago left me a click away from deleting this entire blog. With all my wounds so raw and exposed, I was not ready for this verbal attack. It caught me off guard, blindsided me and I was not prepared to handle the emotions that flooded out after. I have spent these last few months pouring as much of myself out onto others as possible that I convinced myself it didn’t hurt, the words. People always remind me that I am strong, I am tough, I can handle anything. I am a shoulder to lean on in times of trouble because I am sturdy; unshaken. But maybe this compiling of emotion off in the side of my mind was a bad idea because they all came flooding out of my eyes in utter despair and sadness. The two people I trust called me and I hung up on them because I was in so much anguish. All my insecurities came flooding to the forefront of my thoughts and the sobbing could not be stopped.  “You never do anything right,” they screamed, “you will never be enough”, “you are worthless and uncared for”, “what happened to you? You used to be so much better than this. You should just give up.” I lay alone in the dark for hours, silently weeping as I could feel all the tiny holes merge to create one big canyon of emptiness and insecurity. I woke up the next morning at the wee hour of 4am to get ready for my shift, with a fat headache and even fatter eyelids. I tried my best to piece together exactly what was going on in my head throughout my entire shift. And I concluded that it would be safest for me to return to my old way of handling things; closing off. This would mean, of course, the immediate deletion of this blog site. I wrestled. And wrestled. And ended up spiraling into insecurities that had absolutely nothing to do with the original wound. I laid in my bed for an entire twenty-four hours, not speaking to anyone about this, and not sure where to start on “making myself feel better.”

The following morning, I woke up, with still no resolution. I felt unsettled, unhappy, and stressed. I decided to turn it around and ask what it is I need to be doing. So, I asked God what steps do I need to take to get where I am going? Where are you leading me? What will I get to do with my life? How can I prepare for that? I decided the reason I was feeling all these insecurities so strongly was because I wasn’t doing enough. Other people are getting degrees, working great jobs helping others and making a difference in the world, using their gifts and talents, becoming well known and well respected in different aspects, following their dreams and becoming successful and achieving greatness. I decided (as I always seem to conclude) that I, too, needed to do something great. I wrote in my journal:

“I am here with all these ideas in my head of things I would like to do with my life; wonderful successes and achievements that will help shield me from the hurtful feeling of insecurity, worthlessness, and rejection. I think if I could just get some fancy degrees, and a meaningful career making a difference in the world THEN I could feel secure. If I could start up my dream coffee shop business, or maintain a successful blog, or write and publish books, or become a well-known author, musician, artist THEN I could be more confident; the ‘woman I was created to be.’”

I wrote this all down, and then picked up my book to continue reading. The quote I read goes:

“It’s not about you becoming anything. Your soul was made to simply be with Me. And the more you are with me, the more you will stop fearing what the world might take from you. With Me you are free to be you. The real you. The you honesty called at the beginning of this journey. The you whose core is in alignment with My truth. The you who doesn’t fear imperfections or rejections because grace has covered those in the loveliest of ways.”

Immediately there was a stirring in my heart. The next entry in my journal went something like this…

Lord,

May I remember who I am in you. May I live a life secure in you, confident that with you I can do all things and confident that I am an imperfect human. Let me embrace the discomfort of life and always remember that I am a work in progress. Lord, I trust you. With every hope for my future and with every desire of my heart, I trust you, Lord. I trust you, because you have a perfect plan with flawless timing already mapped out. I don’t need to figure it out. I just need to stay close to you. Each day you will show me what steps to take. You will guide me toward your best. As long as I pursue You and am obedient to You, I know I am right on track. And even when I misstep, your grace leads me back the minute I turn to you. Forgive me for doubting you. Forgive me for running ahead of you and sometimes lagging behind you. I’m putting a stake in the ground today, proclaiming the truth that in You I am fully known, and I am fully loved. You know me like no other. You love me like no other. And that combination assures me that you know what I need and when I need it. You already stand in my future and see the very best route for me. The path of provision and protection is perfectly designed by my God, in whom I trust. (part of this is from my book but the words resounded too well in my soul).

My insecurity has no place in my security in the Lord. When I am that easily wounded, it becomes my warning sign that I am not living confidently in truth. Words are so powerful. I love words, I love the written language, and I even have a deep joy in the physical act of writing. I am so highly built up with words of affirmation and so easily torn down by words of criticism and malice. Knowing this about myself, and knowing the enemy never tries new tactics when the old ones work so well, it is important that I saturate my mind with the Word of truth. It is important that I never stop writing myself. If the enemy uses such strong forces of insecurity to attack my writings, it must mean I am writing something good.

 Here I am, broken and imperfect but loved by a God in whom my confidence and trust rests. It is almost humorous how easily I am swayed from that reality. But I guess that is a good reminder of how utterly dependent I am on Him who is unwavering. Insecurity will still haunt me, I have scars upon scars of built up hurt and rejection that will not so easily be overcome, but I am ready to start the journey. “Instead of running from the pain, we embrace it as necessary. We must feel the pain to heal the pain. If we never allow ourselves to feel it, we won’t acknowledge it’s there.” I can feel the pain, alright. Healing really is a process, and careless words can so easily dig up an area in your heart you thought you pruned already. It may feel like I am back at square one, but at least I am still starting. God is so lovingly working on my heart, gently reminding me at times of the truth, and other times smacking me in the head with a large stick but one way or the other, the point gets across.

“Pain is the gift that motivates us to fight with brave tenacity and fierce determination knowing there’s healing on the other side.”

I am growing to be the “woman I was created to be” and she is confident and secure. Just not in the achievements of this world. No, she is confident and secure in the Lord because He knows her and loves her like no other and calls to her softly to build her up and encourage her to stay the course. So here I am, God, writing and posting on this blog. I am going to continue to pursue what it is You placed on my heart regardless of the thoughts and words of others. I will push through the insecurity to remember my true identity. And I can have this confidence with the 91st Psalm in the forefront of my mind.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler

and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his pinions,

and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

You will not fear the terror of the night

nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,

nor the destruction that wastes at noonday

…Because you have made the Lord your

dwelling place-the Most High,

who is my refuge- no evil shall be allowed to befall you,

no plague come near your tent

…‘Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;

I will protect him, because he knows my name.

When he calls to me, I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble;

I will rescue him and honor him.

With long life I will satisfy him

and show him my salvation.’”

NOTE: quotes and excerpts from “Uninvited” by Lysa Terkeurst. Find my review of her book under the Good Reads section.

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