Becoming Heard- An Introvert Heart

Through Jesus I have found my voice.

In high school I was painfully shy. I lacked confidence. I couldn’t take a compliment. I hated who I saw in the mirror. I wished for most everything in my life to look different and I did not love the girl I was. But I was not always this girl.

As a little girl I would sing and dance and go around unafraid of anyone. I was fearless and bold. I even remember holding little Bible studies on the elementary school playground talking about Moses and going over the story of Egypt; unafraid of how “crazy” I could sound. But I didn’t care. I knew I loved Jesus and I was fully the creative fearless little girl I know was designed to be. Even now, looking back, I smile at the fearlessness of my childhood self, free to fly and dream.

And dream I did. I was always in another world in my mind. Sharing stories with my sister at night about a world I had created for myself. Mostly dreams of who our future husband’s were and elaborate tales of how we would meet and fall in love. I would drone on and on late into the evening forcing my poor sister, who shared a room with me, to listen endlessly. If I wasn’t dreaming I was reading. Taken to another world pretending it was me as the main character. If I was not reading I was dancing and singing. Making up my own silly moves and songs to whatever beat was in my heart.

I was always being me.

Then we moved, and that little girl who loved adventure and dreams became scared. I was no longer in my comfort zone of knowing everyone. And now was somewhere I had never known. I remember on my first day of school after the move I said all of one sentence. “I can’t read that because I left my glasses at home.” That’s it. Unwilling to get to know anyone and still a little mad that I had to be new; I sat alone. This started a trend of being alone and quiet. But this was the best thing that could have happened for me.

I took this same quiet tentativeness to middle school and high school. I can tell you I hated high school. I sat by myself often, I would latch on to any friend who would give me time desperate for friendship and would be crushed when I wasn’t cool enough to stay their friend. I went against a lot of norms. I wasn’t popular and cool. I had no style, would not party, drink or do anything crazy. (Which is not a bad thing!) But it felt isolating and lonely. I took this loneliness and isolation and put my identity into it. I became self focused and negative. Most of what came out of my mouth was self belittling and about how everything was terrible. Some I can blame on my teenage hormones, but I know a lot of this had to do with the atmosphere of my heart. If any negative comment was said about me I HELD that phrase as if it was who I was.

You know what I am talking about. You know that comment that swirled around in your mind for hours over and over. You would make adjustments according to that comment. That comment would make you cry, hurt and wish it wasn’t so powerful in your mind.

As I went on from high school into college I carried this with me. But slowly, with different circumstances, I started so slowly grow on this, and a little over a year ago I heard something that finally hit.

You will never be good enough.

This comment raged through my mind after a painful time. Although it may sound counter intuitive coming to this recognition brought me to a place I could finally see that I was missing something HUGE.

Through all of this I forgot to hear who God says I am.

I let these thoughts rule all my heart and head space that I didn’t leave any room for God to speak truth in my life. In recognizing that I wasn’t enough in a circumstance showed me the root of my timid heart. I was putting my identity in everything, but who God says I am, and because of that I wasn’t brave. I wasn’t bold and fearless the way I knew I was called to be. I was tossed to and fro emotionally based on the ever changing opinions of those around me.

God allowed me to come to a place that I was so hurt I realized that my own “enoughness” wasn’t going to be enough to the world. There is always going to be someone that won’t like me, there is always areas I will constantly have to be working on, and that I am not perfect.

But God is.

God says I am more than enough. More than enough that He sent His Son down to die for a girl that was wrapped up in how she would be perceived. That would cry hard when words or actions would come negatively against me. A girl that was so self absorbed in her own lacking. But yet He said I was worth it.

I have felt God call me to share this story for a while now. But I will be honest, though I have been digging deep at the roots of my insecurities and working on putting my identity in Christ over this last year, I am afraid to share this story. To share the vulnerability of who I am and were I am still going. But I realized as I have grown God is growing this unique voice inside of me. I am realize that just like you I have a space that God has called me into to make a difference. I wanted to share some difficulties that God has used in my story to help me find my voice.

I went to a conference with Rebekah Lyons as the speaker, and she said “Freedom frees us to free others.” As I am learning how God has freed me, and has made me who I am I can’t help, but want to shout this voice out into the world to help others hear their worth and their value.

You. You have this special ability to reach those around you. And yes, that looks different for each person, but your story and influence is important. The talents and the passions that God has given you is an avenue to love Him and love others. I want to encourage you to start hearing HIM in your heart. Start shifting your focus from your lacking to your calling. To finding your own voice.

We have a very real enemy that wants to keep you quiet. He wants to keep you from sharing your individual voice that God so masterfully designed in you.

My story is God took this very quiet insecure girl and loved her enough to not let her stay that way. I think because of how extremely passionate I can be He has taken me to the extreme. Where now I have a job where it is impossible to be an introvert, and a platform to share publicly.

I challenge you to start praying about the voice that God has given you. How to beginning rooting down in who God says you are. Taking up the space the lies once held in your mind and saturating it with Truth.

Girl, He gave you this voice; so let others hear it. ❤

With Grace,

Carissa

 

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