Spaces + Places
It’s evidently clear when God places me in a space,
Where that conversation or connection was made for His purpose.
But, He pushes towards places I’d rather run from.
And those are the spaces and places in which I learn most about myself.
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The lights were non existent, and the sound of 75+ voices singing and talking rattled my ears. Hands and eyes were raised to an unseen but undoubtedly present God, and the strum of a guitar pushed me towards an impulse to flee. Surrounded by strangers mostly, I struggled to keep my mind from wandering towards those rejection thoughts. Was I dressed well? Did I answer that question authentically? Shoot, I already forgot her name, but her eye lashes were out of this world. I’ll busy myself with this tea and pretend I’m totally comfortable around you people….
God, why did you bring me here? I can already feel my chest constricting and my stomach bile is close to making its guest appearance. My anxiety is raging. But I want to stay in this space and place with these amazing people. I know You brought me here for a reason, please give my heart space to make room for Your love - intercede with my fears of rejection.
Lysa TerKeurst says it best,
“Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me.”
My fear of rejection robs the shiny qualities of my personality. Specifically when I’m in a new environment meeting new people. Perfect timing, right? It’s a double edged sword, because I worry about how people will receive me, and then I shut down and my discomfort is obvious, and then I worry about that too. So, I’ll just stand in the corner with my body pressed as close to my husband’s as possible and hope nobody comes close to my anxiety bubble. Just stay away - I’ll only disappoint you.
Here’s the truth, you cannot expect people to receive you well and fully if you yourself are unavailable to make an honest appearance.
The next time you go to a new space and place that is foreign to you, practice with me bringing the fullness of God, not the fullness of our fears. Let’s pull our attention away from ourselves and focus on the people being presented to us. I’m positive some of the these people are just as nervous and vulnerable as we are. If just for a moment we could stop dwelling on how uncomfortable we are, and focus on others? Make someone smile, compliment her gorgeous eyelashes instead of just starring like a creeper, ask her how she came to know about this amazing place. God didn't call us to this place to hide in a corner and wait for the fears to melt. He called us to push us out of the comfort zone that we’ve been using as an excuse.
This change in confidence will take time and practice. We’ll probably still catch ourselves hiding in the corner and staring instead of talking. We’ll be patient with ourselves. If the fears continue we’ll remember this most important truth:
God’s love and acceptance of you is stronger at this exact moment in time than any human person has ever loved you on this earth. And it will always be.
I know it’s cliche to say, “You shouldn't care what people think”, but come on, Darling, we all do. We all care too much. And instead of beating ourselves up about this weakness, let’s turn our attention to Him, He’s waiting for you to feel His love and approval of you. Go share that shiny truth with others, in all the spaces and places.
Put the tea cup down, come out of the corner.
Or, invite me to come join you because I want to meet you.