So afraid of being seen, and painfully aware of it, I wrote the following three months ago:
“The story of your life is the story of the long and brutal assault on your heart by the one who knows what you could be and fears it.” – Ransomed Heart Daily Reading
My heart is still so burdened and broken Jesus. Social Anxiety still follows me around everywhere, tormenting me. This is not who You created me to be. You didn’t want me walking around in this world full of fear. You created me to radiate You and Your love. When I am full of You and Your love there is no room for fear. Perfect love casts out fear.
What do You want me to do and how do You want me to do it—in regards to healing my social anxiety and sense of self? I am not who I think I am. I am not who others say I am. I am who You say I am. So it goes back to my heart. Who do You say I am? Do I believe I am who You say I am? Help my unbelief Jesus.
There is a root in me that says, “I am unwanted. I am not enough. No one wants to talk to me. I’m a burden. Only engage in conversation for purpose. No one wants to engage with just you. Just Tesia without any purpose or business to handle in the conversation isn’t good enough. Your opinion doesn’t matter. Your ideas aren’t good enough. People will talk to you if they want to, otherwise don’t bother them. They don’t want to be bothered by you.”
Jesus heal me from this lie. I want to be healed. I don’t want to listen to this voice anymore. I don’t want to walk around broken and afraid. You have so much more for me. I see people who others don’t see. Help me to not be afraid of seeing people and being seen. What would be so devastating about people seeing me? What am I so afraid of them finding? If truly I am a beloved daughter of the glorious King, why don’t I walk around with more confidence? Why do I desire to be invisible? Where did it go wrong? When did I start believing this lie? When did fear enter and faith leave?
God you love me so much. Just thinking about my summer in Brazil; what gifts You gave me in the people You surrounded me with. What gifts You gave me of Your presence and love. Your eye was on me the whole time. Your hand protecting and guiding me. God I seek your face. I want to see You in this world. I have so much glory in You. There is so much more glory to be had! From Glory to glory You take me all the way into eternity. Growth always requires pain, but You are in it with me. I so want to grow! Thank you Jesus for the adventure You took me on in Brazil, but I don’t want it to stop. I want so much more. I want lifelong adventure with You.
I choose to trust You Jesus. I choose to seek You and let the rest fall into place. I choose to cultivate the life You have given me. To be a good steward. And You provide the rest. Teach me to be trustworthy. Who have You entrusted to me in my life? Who/how do You want me to reach into people’s lives, and who/how do You want me to allow them to reach into mine?
There’s no fear in love.
Reading this now is painful. The wound is still tender. I can still feel the pain my isolation brought from the lies I was believing. I believed I was worthless and unwanted for so long. When you believe that, you really feel it deep down. Relationships are horrifying and traumatic experiences rather than life giving and fulfilling. Being known by people is excruciatingly painful, but also the deepest longing and desire of your heart; to know and to be known.
In my isolation I would dream about “One Day” when deep meaningful relationships would become a part of my life again. That would lead me to pondering on days past when I had true, deep, and intimate relationships. Which would lead me to, “What happened to those relationships?” And the long list of people who had entered and exited my life would appear. Self-Condemnation would take up residence on the couch next to me, reminding me of all my faults, failures, and inadequacies. Proof I am unwanted, worthless, and nothing. The assault on my heart would continue.
So what has changed in the last three months? How did I finally break free from years of believing I am worthless? It wasn’t as if I hadn’t heard the truth before. My head knew “In Christ I Am…(insert truths here).” My heart didn’t believe the truth. So what changed? How did it go from my head down into my heart?
Total and complete surrender of all control to Jesus. All control. Control of my thoughts, emotions, attitudes, relationships, pain, will, desires, dreams, goals, time, schedule, finances, body, heart, my beliefs, my life. Control of my past, my present, and my future. Control of Every. Single. Area. Surrendering my life and the way I think it should go to God. Allowing Him to take control and shape my life the way He thinks it should go. Giving Him the room to work.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” –Romans 12:2
Surrendering what I thought I knew about God and being willing to know Him for who He actually is.
As a deeply wounded person this process was terrifying. Surrendering control means you are vulnerable. Vulnerability opens you up for potential pain; but it also opens you up to receive the deepest most intimate love imaginable. And when you are loved, truly and deeply loved, there is no pain powerful enough to destroy you. Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). Love binds everything together in perfect harmony (Colossians 3:14). When you know you are loved it’s almost as if you are untouchable. Because no matter what you do, or what is done to you, there is safety in that person who loves you. You can run to them in the pain and they will be there to remind you how valued, wonderful, and special you are. They fill you with their love for you. Everything will be okay because they love you, and you have their love. That is God. He is the author of love. He Himself is love.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” –John 3:16
In order to reach a place of true and total surrender, I had to trust. Trust the One whose hands I was putting my everything into. Trust came in two parts: knowing and believing.
In order to trust someone you have to know them. Instead of thinking of God as some ethereal being far away, I started to personify Him more. Talk to Him and get to know Him like a person. Asking Him to reveal Himself to me and know Him through His word, rather than relying on others to interpret His word for me and tell me their revelations and understandings of who God is. Just like a parent has a unique relationship with each child, God has a unique relationship with each person. So I started talking to Him more instead of about Him.
As I got to know God and all the things He promises in His word, I realized I didn’t believe them. Some promises I had known my whole life (John 3:16 for example), and some were brand new to me. I believed the truths wholeheartedly for others, but I couldn’t believe the truths for myself. This disbelief stemmed from years of abused trust in childhood. The bricks laid for the fortress of mistrust that was later built around my heart. A child naturally trusts their parents. When words don’t line up with actions, you learn quickly not to take people at their word.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” –Proverbs 13:12
My heart was sick, and the only cure was believing the Lord. Taking Him at His word and putting all my faith in Him. Asking God to make John 3:16 a reality in my heart and not just my head. And the heart reality, I’m learning, is the true reality. The more important reality.
“For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” –Matthew 12:34
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” –1 Samuel 16:7
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” –Proverbs 4:23
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” –Romans 10:9-10
Love is experienced in the heart. The heart is the core of a person, where who you are exists. The heart is where your true beliefs are. Healing happens in the heart.
Correcting my thinking was the beginning of healing, but my head wasn’t what needed the cure, it was my heart. If it were just my head then I could obtain more knowledge and be healed. But this isn’t the case. This isn’t how God works. The healing happens when the knowledge I obtain becomes my reality. When I experience and encounter the living God. Because He is alive. His presence transforms me from the inside out. When the knowledge of who He is in my head become encounters with Him in my heart. Wrong beliefs are uprooted and right beliefs are planted. Experiencing the truth in God’s word rather than just reading about it. Healing happens when I meet Jesus. When I surrender all of my heart and life to Him and encounter His love in return. This is what’s changed in the last three months.
I know God, and I am known by Him.
I surrender all to God because I trust Him. I trust Him because I know Him. Knowing Him enables me to trust Him even more. Trusting Him leads to greater surrender. Surrender leads to life.
I will never know the entirety of who God is on this earth. But I know His character. I know He is trustworthy. Don’t let knowledge get in the way of your faith, obedience, healing, and surrender. God is in the industry of trade. He gives you faith when you give Him doubt. He gives you healing when you give Him brokenness. He gives success when you give Him failure. He gives freedom for addiction. Relationship for isolation. Family for abandonment. Peace for anxiety. Strength for weakness. Confidence for fear. Abundance for scarcity. He gives you life in exchange for death.
What will you give Him today?
I surrender all.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord ’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” –Isaiah 61:1-3