From March 30, 2014
I am 30. I don’t feel like a grown-up yet. I am awkward. I am anxious. I want you to like me. I want to have it all together- well, at least a little bit together. Phew. I feel better already.
A decade ago, I realized the power of public confession, but I didn’t recall it until this evening as I took a walk with Matt and talked about my suffocating insecurities. The memory came out of my mouth before it clicked in my brain. My entire childhood and adolescence, I struggled from a crippling fear of public speaking. I don’t mean like a “I can’t give a 10 minute speech” fear; I mean a “Hey Teachy-teach, if you call on me I will send you hate lasers with my eyes for the rest of class” fear. Seriously. If there were more than two eyes on me at one time, I would turn into a freakish shade of tomato, sweat puddles streamed from my armpits (traitors, they were), and I melted into sheer awkwardness. Here’s where the victory came: as I started getting older and more outgoing, I started making jokes about my weakness. As I started talking about my fear more and more, the fear did something interesting. It disappeared. Before a presentation, I would warn friends around me that they were about to feel very uncomfortable with the awkwardness that was me for the next 10 minutes, and then I would get up there, and I’d be fine. What? In college I finally eliminated the fear entirely, by signing up for a public speaking course. Every week I had to give a speech, and then WATCH IT on television afterwards. Awful. Awful. However, after that I could speak in front of a medium-ish size group of people without thinking about it.
All of this came back to me tonight as we walked next to the loudest frog-infested swamp in the WORLD. I was telling Matt about my latest weakness and how it seems to be consuming me. I then recounted the public speaking charade, and it clicked. If I want to overcome my weaknesses, I need to shout them from the rooftops. In James 5:16, it says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be HEALED.” Confession (and prayer, naturally) is healing, whereas keeping all of our yuck inside is suffocating. Perhaps this does not need to be such a dramatic declaration as writing a blog, but even confessing to one or two people will help immensely.
This has been especially helpful in my marriage. I am about to get very real- beware peeps. Throughout my marriage I have occasionally struggled with thoughts of another. This says absolutely NOTHING about my husband. He is amazing. And hot. What it DOES say is that we have an enemy lurking who wants us to stumble at every turn. Whenever these thoughts pop up, I always confess them to Matt and ask him to pray for me. EVERY TIME this happens and I confess it, it goes away completely- until the next time that the enemy senses my weakness and tries again. That little wang nugget. By allowing myself to be completely vulnerable with my husband, I am publicly and spiritually breaking the bond that the temptation has over me. There is so much freedom in confession.
As I have floundered under the weight of my current weakness, and thought and prayed, and prayed and thought about how to overcome it, I realized that it may be as simple as confessing it. Just like I did as a teenager. If everyone already knows my frailties, what do I have to fear?
So in an attempt to rid myself of my overwhelming weakness, here it goes: I am terribly insecure. It has gotten so terrible over the past two months, as I have been trying to find my place in a new city, that I literally get nervous to talk to people. PEOPLE!! Not like the President of the United States “people”…I mean like the girl bagging my groceries “people”. I say weird things, look at the floor, and I think that my tomato color face may be trying to make a reappearance. I cannot let that happen. Let me tell you, blushing burns. If you have no idea what I’m talking about then you are way too cool for me.
The truth is, every.last.one of us has weaknesses that we would love to overcome. This may have all been common sense to you, but if it resonated even a little, grab a friend and share your heart with her. You will feel a wee bit lighter after you do.