Sunday, January 15, 2012

a little bit of fear

I've had this post rattling around in my brain for quite some time now.
And it had even started stringing itself together a little, during the course of this week. 
Because there was some freedom.
Let me explain.
But before I do, know that I haven't even scratched out these thoughts in my journal, and those sentences that had been strung together a little in my head, I was pretending to be unaware of.
I am going to get a tiny bit personal, open up a teeny weeny bit, and go a bit deeper than I have here, at least in a while.
And for some of you who don't share my Faith, or even those who do, I may get a little cringe, or a roll of the eyes, or an I don't even know what because I'm not thinking about you... I am not, for a moment, thinking about who may be reading, or what that who may be thinking. 
I'm forgetting about you for a little bit, lovely reader, whom I so appreciate even sitting there.
Not going to think about the possible audience, not even going to think too much about me; and just so you know, I'm sitting here, not thinking, in the dark ;)

I have been struggling, really struggling over the last few years with confidence.
I would put it down to my personality type - just plain shyness. 
But it wasn't shyness to that extreme... There is shy, but then there is just plain scared.
I didn't share my struggle with anyone, maybe a little with my husband, when I really felt down, or felt like I needed extra encouragement. 
I've had symptoms of depression, and anxiety, but I knew I wasn't depressed

I constantly second-guessed myself, worried what people would think if I happened to say something, analyse conversations I had with people until I felt like just an idiot about something I'd said, or done, or laughed at. 

But it was all something I just lived with. 
I lived by the phrase "fake it till you make it" or, in Christian circles "faith it till you make it". 
I tried to rely on God, I repeated scripture like the verse in 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God has not given me the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind", which helped get me through momentarily... but nothing really shifted.
I was so stuck, so helpless... and I, for the last few years have just felt pathetic.
And it was worse in church.
I mean, what is so hard about introducing myself to someone? 
What is so hard about taking a few steps and saying hi to someone I know, and making conversation?
It sounds ridiculous, but I would literally feel sick at the thought some days.
I would hide behind the busyness of juggling my three kidlets after Sunday church services, so that I wouldn't see that person who could have really done with a 'hello'.
And the times I did step out? My feet would be like anchors, my smile wavering, and my conversation like the big dork that I felt I was.
I wasn't though. I faked it pretty well, according to my husband, and one friend I shared a little with during the week. It was well hidden. 
The facade painted a lovely shade of happy yellow.

I may have been faking it well, but anxiety sucks. 
And to be quite honest, I was fed up, stuck and wanted to throw my hands up and give up. Give up on people, and retreat from ministry all together. All I was hearing was my head telling me I just wasn't cut out for this, maybe I should just stick to administration and leave the leading and pastoring to someone else. The ones with charisma.
You know those ones? My husband is one of them. They make friends with the guy at the counter of the hardware store. They have no problem talking freely about anything and everything, and never second-guess themselves. They make people feel comfortable, and they are usually funny. Oh how I so wanted to be one of those!

And, last Sunday, as I prayed to God about my dilemma pretty openly;
"I'm just going to talk to my Pastor, God. I'm sure she will understand. I'm just not cut out for this. I love them, I love people, I love the relationships that I've managed to make with those gorgeous girls, but I am just not a leader. 
I'm really tired of this fear, and self-doubt, and insecurity. 
I'm trying to live above it, but honestly, it would be a whole lot easier without any responsibility or pressure. Okay?"
I'd pretty much decided in my head. I'd call her on Monday.
And then, I don't know how I got from this place in my head, to my knees at the altar.
In between the talk to at God, and the knees situation, I was prayed for.

Now, I've always believed that God, my God is able. But in my head, and heart, He is usually a lot more able for someone else. And probably a lot more willing for them too, not so much me.
But this time it was me. 

And it's inexplicable I know. And some people don't like inexplicable. They like facts and truth.
My facts and truth are intertwined with the inexplicable.
The fact is that the fear is gone.
The truth is, I have not felt such freedom in the longest time.
The inexplicable - the why, or how, the Who.

All I know is this:
It's been a week.
This week has been the first time I have felt like I was free, to just be me.
God did it. I'm thankful.

PS - I am not re-reading. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe not. 
It's personal and it's fresh.
I'm still not thinking about my audience... okay, maybe I am now a little bit.
But you guys still love me, right? ;) x



  1. Be YOU.
    You is good.
    I like you.
    HE is good!

  2. You are beautiful! I loved the honesty and vulnerability in this post. I can guarantee you just reached out to many others that feel the same way as you but don't have the strength to put it out there like you did. You rock for putting it out there. I am so happy you have felt so free this week. God is GREAT!

  3. Honestly this is a good post. Im one of those people, like your husband, but my husband not o much. and this post has helped me to see what it must be like for him and my friends who arent so extrverte. I am glad of what God has done for you, freedom is his gift and I really hope that you find your groove this year. free to be you. xxx

  4. I love this post, and how willing you are to be transparent with things you struggled with! I'm so glad you were able to overcome that, and I know that God will use you in great and marvelous ways. Here's to new beginnings; living life fearlessly!

  5. Goosebumps big time reading this post Em. From someone who has only met you a few times, none of this was at all obvious!! But I am so so happy for you that God has brought freedom..........I too have experienced a breakthrough this week, and it was after I just decided to be honest with God and be you. He meets us when we open up, if only we were courageous more often!!!! Love your honesty. Love that you are experiencing freedom!!

  6. Oh Em.


    you reached straight in my heart and gave it a massive squeeze.

  7. love this post and it's beauty and honesty. what a blessing you are xxx

  8. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this Em. I am so happy that you are free to be YOU...because you are amazing just the way you are xo

  9. I absolutely love this post. What a testament to your faith and perseverence! I clicked 'follow' on your delightful blog after reading your gorgeous poem below your picture! And I'm so glad I did!
    I LOVE the part of Proverbs 31 where it says she 'laughs at the days to come' - isn't it great that with God on our side we can laugh at what is to come. Fully reliant on his goodness and grace. God bless, I look forward to reading more of your blog. Please come visit at Just For Daisy. PS. I'm doing the vintage FQ swap at Green Tea and Red Nails. PPS. I LOVE W.A! :) We've visited a few times!

  10. Great post. I love when heaven intervenes and how that change happens that cannot be explained but is more real than any therapy or self-talk. Whoop!


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