Wednesday, April 29, 2009

THE REAL ME

So I was in a meeting with a good friend (mentor, really) and another friend the other day. My mentor says to me: “Christi, you exude confidence and just appear fully confident in everything, but I think you are covering up for some deep seeded insecurities.” First, I was in shock at how amazingly accurate that statement was. Then I was embarrassed because someone had “found me out”. Not that I ever intended to hide my insecurities- I think it was more of a self-preservation method. I have never actually been super self-confident, so in order to not drown in depression or self pity, when I was about 14 I started wearing this faƧade of confidence and I guess somehow it just carried over into my adult life. I never really took that mask off. I think it’s good, to a point because where I lack confidence, the mask helps me to be able to walk into situations I might not normally go and forces me to match the appearance I am giving off. So in that, I guess it can be a good thing. But the sad thing is, I AM covering up some real insecurities that really need to be addressed in order for me to become the woman God created me to be.

Like many other woman, I suffer with body image issues (which probably accounts for about 45% of my insecurities) and stems from my childhood. Also, like many other people, I have issues with wanting the approval of man and feeling inadequate. That’s probably the greatest amount of my struggles. I know I shouldn’t want that, crave that so much, or even doubt that I am loved, but on so many levels, I do want that and I do doubt that. I was hurt a lot as a kid by “friends” and even, at times, family- taking advantage of me and making fun of me- the real me. So at some point I decided the “real me” was no longer good enough and I decided I would become someone people can like. I tried to be funny, but I’m not as funny as I’d like to be. I tried to be wise (but ha! That’s a gift, not something you can create). I tried to be generous and thoughtful and smart and creative... I tried to be physically perfect, I tried to be all of these things that are just not me (the real me). ON some level, I am little pieces of all of these things but when it all comes down, I don’t even know who I really am, and it bothers me.

I started thinking- how can I be this woman, this teacher that I want to be if I don’t even know who I really am? That would make me a hypocrite and I know for certain that’s not what God created me to be. So over the next few weeks, months... I will be doing some major changing, some major soul searching. I want to find out who I am and why I am here. I want to take off all of my masks and be real for the first time in my adult life.

Is this going to be difficult? Certainly. There is always pain when you grow, but the end result? Growth. Maturity. Development. God wants to use me; He wants to grow me, to lead me- the REAL me, not the me I pretend to be.

SO I’m not sure what I’ll look like when I am done, but I just feel like this has been a long time coming and I would so much rather live a life of obedience than a life of comfort- even if it means not everyone will like me (as if they did now... ha!) And even if it means I am a little more grown up (hello!) And even if it means I am not who I once thought I should be- because I am certain the person God created me to be is a far better person than this person I have been trying to be. I am sure she has a better relationship with her kids and with her husband. I am sure she doesn’t get bothered by gossip about her or by the fact that not everyone likes her. I am sure she knows how to really love people and to be in love with her creator. And I am sure she recognizes where her true beauty lies... not in the opinions of man or in having the perfect body or in the things of this world, but her true beauty comes from God. I am certain she is confident in that and it’s more than enough to erase all of her past... Ya... I’m ready to become that woman. 

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Battle and The Victory

Wow. Can I just say this has been a week!!! (obviously, not referring to the current week since it just started…) I am referring to last week. During the course of the week, I endured some annoying physical pain, sickness, drastic mood swings (part of being a girl) and really, clearly saw God grab ahold of me. It was an emotionally draining week, but an amazingly strong week of growth for me. At the beginning of the week, I was living in my own strength and by Thursday I was completely exhausted and out of my own strength- that’s when I completely surrendered it to God. For the first time that week, I was able to fight off the enemy consciously and courageously. I refused to give in to the attack. I refused to allow the enemy to have control over my mind here at work, at home, and in between, and God had the victory! I LOVE when that happens.

So I know it all sounds really broad and confusing because I am not giving specific detail. I am not giving specific detail because I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary in this case and would do no good at all. But let me just say, my God is faithful, my God is strong. My God loves me and my God saved me! I cannot stop praising Him for answering my prayers- He came to my rescue when I needed Him most and for that, I owe Him my life, my all.

That is where I am right now… I am curious to see what the rest of this week holds… the attacks just keep on coming and I am loving it because every time the enemy tries to move forward on my heart and in my head, I am forced to turn to and rely on God- which, in turn has brought me closer to Him, more dependant upon Him, and is bringing me back where I have wanted to be for so long- at His feet, completely surrendered… what a journey! 