I’ve noticed that every season in my life, God teaches me something new about myself. This season, which has been quite a long one, he has revealed something to me that has been… life changing. I remember last year at this time, recognizing these odd feelings. Anger, jealousy, intimidation, fear, all balled up into one bubble that made my stomach churn constantly. It was hard to deal with then, because it did not have a name yet. It wasn’t recognized. It was sly and deceitful. It creeped into me and began taking up space in all of my emotions. It wasn’t until midway through the fall season that it came alive and I knew… something is not right here. It showed itself to me by using my job as the culprit. At least that is how it started. I fell into a mild depression, thinking about all of the ways I had failed to be successful in life. I took a leap of faith when I decided to become a teacher, and that ugly ball of filth growing inside me was disguising my leap of faith as nothing short of a big, stupid mistake. I remember one weekend being so down that I just pitched a fit. Just like a child, kicking and screaming. That was when I recognized it. This is not me, I had to tell myself. This is something bigger, stronger, and very dangerous. I slowly rose from the floor and began trying to take my life back. The ball began to shrink, but by no means was it determined to go anywhere. It was there to stay as long as I would allow it. I still had not named it, I was scared of it. I pretended it was not there and tried to move on. The more I did this, the more it began to transform. Anxiety grew within me. Maybe that’s all these feelings were to begin with… anxiety. Maybe I have an anxiety problem? About a month ago, I found out it’s real name. Turns out anxiety is just it’s nickname. I finally came face to face with….. Insecurity. Wow, what a breakthrough this was for me. Bam! Just like that, it was in front of me. All this time I had no idea. God pretty much plopped a book in my lap that centered around, what’dya know, dealing with insecurities. That is when I realized I was insecure. Insecure in my job, in my friendships, and around new people. The book was really amazing. It held my hand while I walked through it and comforted me the whole way. It helped me realize that I was trying to be perfect. I have never been much of a perfectionist. I was always pretty average… still am. Yet, I was trying so hard to be something I’m not. I was allowing other people’s opinions of me to take precedence over my opinion of me. I was making them the gods of my life instead of allowing God to be God. How powerful those realizations were for me. Usually when I have these kinds of breakthroughs, I feel like a new person. This time, I just feel like me again, and damn it feels good!!
I’m allowing life to be messy. I’m going to have a little bit more fun. I’m going to stand up for what I believe in, no matter the cost. I’m going to love, love, love. I’m going to be a bit more understanding and empathetic. I’m going to feel and breathe. I’m going to dig my hands into the soil. I’m going to draw and paint and create new things. Ahhh… Bring on the mess!
She is clothed with strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come.