I retreat to an empty corner of the room for a moment and take a deep breath. Whew. I’m in the middle of a marathon of social events and like a runner pausing on the course I suddenly find I can’t take another step without a drink of quiet. But into the very place I’ve sought for peace come the lies, quick and condemning.
“You don’t really love people.”
“Something is wrong with you.”
“You should be ashamed of yourself.”
These phrases are familiar—I’ve heard them from the time someone first said to me as a little girl, “You’re so quiet” and what I heard was, “You need to be different than you are.”
I imagine you have your own set of lies that sometimes surround you like a pack of barking Chihuahuas. Yours might be different than mine…
“You’re too loud.”
“Why can’t you stop talking?”
“If you cared about people you’d listen more.”
It’s a side effect of being human to have our own set of growling, snapping little lies. When they’re loudest I know I can’t trust my own mind to hear the truth above them. So I’ve made it a habit to reach out to a friend I trust. I walk out of the crowded room and pull out my phone. “SOS” I type and tell her what’s happening, what I’m hearing. She offers encouragement and prays I will know what’s true.
Her prayer is answered later as I read this verse, “We are the clay, and You are our potter; we all are the work of Your hands” (Isaiah 64:8). I have an ah-ha that has simply never occurred to me before. I have been telling myself, “It’s all your fault. You need to fix it.” But the truth is, “Who I am is God’s doing and it’s not a mistake—it’s His making.”
Being an introvert and having a highly sensitive nervous system makes crowds uncomfortable for me at times. But those parts of who I am also enable me to write for hours or to coach one individual with intention and intensity. Maybe your outgoing personality shines in a group or from a stage. In other words, the Potter made us each for specific purposes. If we are a pitcher for pouring then we don’t need to feel shame because we are not a cake stand or soup bowl.
After a few more deep breaths I’m ready to go back into the crowded room. I push open the door. At first the Chihuahuas try to follow but I turn to them and declare, “Stay.” They obey. Because here’s the secret: They only have as much power as we give them.
And here’s what’s true no matter how we may feel or what others may try to tell us: We are all the work of an Artist. We have a purpose. He has a plan. So let’s place ourselves in His hands. Let’s never be ashamed of His work, of who we are. Instead let’s say, “I praise You because You made me in an amazing and wonderful way” (Ps. 139:14 NCV).
Cheering You On,