I remember the day vividly, my weakest moment, a few years ago... My daughter came inside, excitedly wanting me to come outside, to see her do a cart wheel, with the girls from next door and I just started crying. I had been hiding in my house for months, overcome by people anxiety and I just couldn't go outside with her.
I'm naturally a pretty out-going, happy person. Maybe it was a perfect storm of grieving for my mom and being consumed with what people thought about me, but I just couldn't stand the constant worry about what I should say, how I should act and why I'm just not good enough, so I hid. It was just too painful to be around people.
I didn't realize at the moment that I had erected an altar in my life, on which I would sacrifice, to the god of people worship. What people thought about me was all that mattered and like the fire on the altar, I was consumed. My dearest friends became enemies, the slightest comment perceived as a piercing jab. I was easily hurt and completely insecure. Not enough likes on a fb post would send me over the edge and prove repeatedly that I was unworthy. Unworthy and unloved and invisible and fearful.
All that changed one day when I was challenged to read Ephesians chapter 1 for a whole week... that was 3 years ago and the treasure I found there I'm still unpacking today. In Ephesians chapter 1, I saw a completely different picture of me...
Take a look at what I found there:
"For HE chose us in Him, BEFORE the foundation of the world, to be HOLY and BLAMELESS in LOVE before Him... He adopted us as sons (AND daughters) through Jesus Christ for HIMSELF, according to the GOOD PLEASURE of HIS WILL, to the praise of his glorious grace that He LAVISHED on us in the Beloved ONE." Eph 1:4-6
If you know me very well right now, you know I'm standing up, raising my voice!!!!
IF there really is a God in heaven and if this BOOK is really HIS WORD to me... IF the Maker and Creator and King of the universe LOVES me and accepts me at His table, as His child FOR no other reason than HE WANTED ME... Who am I to deny what he says by believing what other people say about me (not that anybody was even thinking of me in the first place), BUT it doesn't matter what anybody thinks about me, IF the King of Heaven loves me and chose me for His own.
Who am I to say what He says isn't true? Who is there in this world that can decide my worth and value, IF HE has already bought me at a great price? Who am I to tell myself I can't do what He says I can?
Little by little my thirsty soul began to drink in the truth of God's word and especially the words in my very favorite chapter Ephesians 1, and like a plant that was just about to die, I started to perk up again. Ephesians chapter 1 was Miracle grow to my soul. My people worship began to fade away. All the sudden, I didn't care what people thought about me anymore, because He loved me too much to keep listening to that noise. He flipped the script.
Today, I spent hours preparing a Bible study to bring to my lady friends at church... My heart laid bare for them to examine, critique and hopefully enjoy... but it doesn't matter what they think really, because His love has made me brave enough, to follow Him into waters that are too deep for me. I've taken my first step in the journey and I'm walking with Him, in spite of my fear.
"The Lord said to Joshua, 'Haven't I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD YOUR GOD WILL GO WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO." Joshua 1:9
You make me brave. I want to go with YOU!