Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wallflower. . .

Sigh. . .

There is something ironic about me tackling this one on my blog for anyone to see. You might think it is because I feel safe behind my computer screen, but you would be wrong. Each of these posts have been published with sweaty palms and a pounding heart. There is so much in me that really has no desire to bare my soul and my frailties to cyberspace, but here I am anyway. . .

I am the one sitting on the couch in a corner not saying anything. . .
I am the one at the party with my back pressed against the wall. . .
I am the one tucked away reading, "ignoring" those around me. . .
I am the one who is unapproachable and aloof . . .
I am the one just trying to blur into the crowd. . .


I have let that word define me for most of my life. For those of you that know me well, you might not say that about me. When you get to know me, you really can't shut me up. I am bossy and silly and a leader at home and at work, however, in certain social situations. . .aye yei yei!

It was in fact one of these situations that prompted all of this introspection in the first place.

It went something like this. . .
I walk into a room, happy to be there, excited to take part. . .
In walk several people I don't know. . .
I shrink a little. . .
In walk more people I don't know. . .
I am out numbered. . .
I start to observe those who are outgoing and confident. . .
I have nothing to offer. . .
I wither into myself like a morning glory on a hot summer afternoon. . .
I don't say another word all night.

On our way home, I turn to my husband and say, "Why did I do that? What is wrong with me? I literally felt it happen! I felt myself shut down."

As part of my preparation this morning I googled the word, wallflower. . . 
Here is one of the definitions that came up:

Wallflower- someone who chooses to observe, instead of experience life

Oh, dear. . .what have I been missing out on in life? 
I had to sit back for a minute and digest that.
While I was sitting there this verse came to mind.

John 10:10
The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy. 
I have come in order that you might have life- life in all it's fullness.

Have I been allowing myself to live a less full life because I have allowed my confidence to be stolen? What is at the root of this? Is it as simple as these words to myself:

You have nothing to offer in this situation, so sit there and keep your mouth shut. 
Let those who have something to offer take the stage.

Why have I believed this lie for so long?

1 John 3:19-21
This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God.

God is greater than our hearts, and if I am His child and He no longer condemns me, then my heart should not condemn me. I can stand with confidence before Him with my heart at rest.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.

Isaiah 32:17 
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.

Quite a different picture than my shriveled up morning glory, huh? 

I am a tree planted by The Water.
I am quiet and confident.
My roots are strong.
My leaves are green.
I have no fear of heat or drought.
I will not wither.
I will never fail to bear fruit.

Hebrews 10:35-39
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, "In just a little while He who is coming will come and not delay." And "By my righteousness one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in one who shrinks back." But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.

Philippians 1:6
Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

So this confidence that I am promised; I need to cling to it with perseverance, knowing that while I am not perfect, He will continue this work in me until He calls me home.

But where do I find the strength to persevere?

Nehemiah 8:10
The joy of the Lord is your strength.

The Lord has loved me and saved me. He is in me and is working on me and changing me. What joy I have in knowing that! It is that joy that will give me strength. If He is in me and sees me as someone worth working on until completion, then don't I have something to offer, too?

Lord, I am your child. I am worthy. Do not allow the thief to steal my joy (the joy you gave me that is my strength), so that I may live a full life. You are doing a good work within me and I should feel confident before You and others. I have a lot  to offer to this world because You have given me so much by working in me. Let me be rooted in You so that I will not wither and shrink back. I exist to glorify You. Allow me to do that with boldness and confidence. 

Next time I am out of my comfort zone of family, close friends and work I don't have to shrivel up. My desire is to cross out the wallflower that I was and open myself to others. . .bold and. . .


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