Behind the mask no more

For years I isolated. Not necessarily in physical ways, but in mental and emotional ways. I never believed that who I was, what I could offer anyone, was of any worth. But I wanted to be a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend, and finally a good servant of the Most High God, and I was faced with choices that seemed insurmountable. How could I be safe and still serve with the effectiveness something inside of me yearned to have?
And then the Lord told me it was time to stop hiding behind the walls, to pull off the masks, and trust Him. I even wrote a book that was a catharsis, something to help me wrap my mind, and emotions, around what that all meant. That book will never be printed, will never be read by anyone else. Someday I will hit the delete key on the computer, but not yet. Sometimes I go back and read it, cringe, and see truths I didn’t even recognize as I wrote it. I truly feel like someone else wrote that book.
Call me an extreme introvert. I’d agree with that. To some extent.
Call me an HSP (highly sensitive person). According to a psychologist’s tests, that’s me, too. Some research says it’s very similar to being a highly functioning autistic person.
A therapist said I was something else that I can’t remember because I think I’ve purposefully buried most of that conversation because it scared me.
Still, hiding things? Maybe. But I think that part of me was not what God intended me to be, but what the enemy corrupted. God has taken care of that, so I don’t even try to remember what it was that scared me.  I’ve finally gotten to that point where I really do trust God, do not trust my own handling of life, and have a peace that makes it easy accepting me as me, a daughter of my beloved Father, and have joy wrapped around the peace He has given me. Still, I have to know myself to survive. Especially when odd things like this world-wide pandemic has forced so many inside for isolation.
Again, the Lord has given me a directive. All these years later, he is now saying, to serve him even better, I have to be painfully open. You see, I grew up in a time when people just didn’t talk about stuff like behavior issues, mental illness, or anything similar to that. So, it isn’t easy.
It is too easy to create a person I’d like people who read this blog to see, to even know. I am a writer after all, and creating characters is something I find to be great fun. However, I sincerely work at being open when I write these blogs. But as I was praying, thinking about what to write today, the Lord did that little nudging thing.
“Be brave. Tell them the things that are the part of you that developed you into the person you are today. Trust me.”
So, as I said earlier, there was a before me, and now there is just me. And, besides what I shared above, you will find a list below of things about me you may not have been aware of. Some yes, some no.
  • I love God-each of Him. Father. Son. Holy Spirit.
  • I love my family. Blood-related, related by marriage. Family is a gift from God.
  • I love my friends. Even though there are few really close friends, there are many, many friends that God has blessed me with.
  • I like being alone. I’m one of those folks that find that this period of sheltering in place is not hard to deal with.
  • I like being with people because I love people.  Being with people brings me great pleasure. What I had to learn about that, as an introvert, or HSP, or whatever, is that being with people has to be managed. Small crowds, plenty of space, short term everything, including noises. Loud noises, certain pitches, even in worship which I love, can bring physical reactions. To keep balanced, plenty of alone time and quiet time has to be a major part of my life.  Not doing that for many years almost wrecked me.
  • I’m deliberate. Some may see that as being slow. I think things through. I’ve been told by professionals that I am intelligent, highly so. To me, that only means that I have been judged by a set of standards that I have no interest in being judged by.
  • I have a sense of humor that (because of the way my mind works?) I have to be careful in how much is displayed because it can be misinterpreted. Experience has taught me that. Sometimes in unpleasant ways.
  • The simplicity of how I live my life and the patterns of speech, even the things I do to entertain myself, are choices I have made. I know who I am.
  • I also know who I am capable of becoming without God so I choose not to go to that particular place because it does not honor God.

So, this is a fuller picture of the person who sits down at the computer to write this blog. I can’t say writing it was fun, but I know it was something the Lord asked of me. I am not ashamed of who I am. After all, God had a purpose in creating me to be just as I am. I’m good with that…how could I not be?

Perhaps there is something in what I’ve written that you can identify with. Perhaps there is something that can lead you to your own path of identifying the person God created you to be. It is a lifelong path, with stumbles and falls and times when only God can keep you on the path. But He will. He loves you; hang on to that. The journey is full of joy as well, and the destination is glorious.

God bless you, my friends. – Vicki


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