There is a part of me that’s been long abandoned… A room in my heart whose only door has been wallpapered over. The dust gathers on the floor while an old pain sits and rocks itself mechanically in the corner. All freshness has left the air.
I used to have so much more confidence in myself, in my giftings and the things that made me unique. I used to create boldly and lead bravely and follow the stars in my eyes. I never would have thought it would come to this… this slapping off of the lights in a part of me once filled with light and laughter and joy.
Do you know the feeling I’m speaking of? The sinking shutting-down? The slow amputation? Or perhaps the sudden violent absorption- as if that piece of you had never even been?
Do you have such a room in your heart?
All the grand dreams and plans I had for my life have been whittled down to mere amusements… cute little things that I do in my spare time.
When did I stop taking myself seriously? When did I begin laughing off and belittling the largest parts of who I am?
I’ve allowed some people in my life to have more sway over me than they had right to. Their opinions of me and their thoughts about these giftings of mine became absolute truth. If they disapproved of me, it obviously meant that I was just not good enough. If they placed expectations on my shoulders and I failed to meet them, the natural conclusion in my mind was that I was a failure.
The result of this allowance was the red hot shame that would burn my cheeks when they were near. I could no longer look them in the eyes. I knew I was a disappointment.
And that’s when I heard it. The metallic bolting of a lock somewhere deep inside.
The fear of failure… no, maybe more accurately: the Expectancy Of Failure rushed into my life- slamming doors closed with the force of it’s entrance. No longer would I put myself in a position to be a big fat let down. No longer would I risk looking silly or inexperienced for the sake of trying something new.
My life since then has become a side-stepping of any and all expectations. If I avoid people’s expectations, there’s no way I can let them down. Maybe then they won’t see that I don’t measure up. If I never try for or start anything new, I will never fail.
And, wouldn’t you know it? It’s true! I’ve removed all possibilities of failure from my life! I’m safe from harsh judgements and no one is ever disappointed in me! No one is even aware of my enormous capacity to let them down, and I haven’t felt the searing eyes of disapproval since!
It is hell.
I want my room back. I want to throw open its windows and fluff up its pillows. I want to put on an old jazz record and paint the walls turquoise.
I feel like God is asking me to reclaim this space in my heart. And He’s asking me to do it in THE MOST bizarre way.
He’s asking me to repent of my wrong thoughts. Wrong thoughts of Him, yes, but also- wrong thoughts of myself. As His creation. I chose to believe that I was a failure when He’s clearly told me I am not. I chose to believe that I would never amount to anything, when He’s clearly told me that I will. He doesn’t only say these things in the Bible, He has personally whispered them to my disjointed little heart. Over and over and over again. And I have chosen not to listen. I have believed the lies instead, and so I must repent. He’s given me these gifts for a reason, and that reason is not to cast them down in the dirt and claim false humility.
If I ever want to move beyond the place I’m stuck in now, I have to turn away from these wrong thoughts. I need to understand that my father GRIEVES when I cling to lies and attempt to build up shabby little walls to keep Him out.
So, Lord, if you’re a blog reader, hear this:
I’m so very sorry. Forgive my backwards heart.
Now, grab a paintbrush. These walls could use a coat or two.