August 22, 2009

Wonderfully Made.

I have felt so many things coming against me lately... trying to discourage me and shrink me and stuff me back down into myself. All of this just after I have been discovering who I really am... a radiant lover of life who does not have to be afraid of what people think of her, ever.

It really is so obvious what is happening, isn't it? I have been making big steps forward in the area of confidence, and something out there is trying to swat me back down into my 'proper place' again.

In the past few weeks I have been realizing how much power I've given the Fear Of Failure in my life. I have realized that I've been actively choosing not to take steps towards my dreams simply because I might falter or fall flat on my face. I've been in bondage to Perfectionism... refusing to do ANYTHING unless I was 100% sure that I was going to do it flawlessly and that no one could disagree with me or find fault with me in any way.

If you've lived that way, you know that you can acquire all the admiration and praise you'll ever want to hear...

But it will never satisfy.

I've been SO afraid of plain ol' humiliation or people realizing that I really am nothing more than a goofy messer-upper who never quite grew into her arms that I have ceased living! I have retired into the depths of my home and forgotten the almost sensual pleasure of throwing caution to the wind and RISKING my shiny exterior to the bruises and scuffs and bumps that come with a life lived raw and out in the open under the stars- a life thrown into the light and, therefore, subject to the blinking scrutiny of every other person around.

I am not afraid of your scrutiny! I am not afraid of your judgement! I never will be again. If something about me upsets you, well, that's an itch you're going to have to scratch. I simply can't live in the shadow of people's feelings about me anymore. It's cold there. I need to warm my bones in the sun of honesty and openness again.

I KNOW that I am a total goof ball who doesn't know her left from right most of the time. I KNOW that I give too much of myself sometimes and then not nearly enough at other times. I KNOW that you don't like my hair. Or my clothes. I KNOW that I am about as graceful as a wombat in quicksand.

Your pointing it out doesn't hurt me. It's true! I'm a flop. I'm bound to roll down a hill somewhere soon and get grass stuck in my hair and lose a shoe. It's inevitable that I will say something completely dumb and then promptly turn bright red and begin spitting out sentence fragments at your face. And it's simply not a question of IF but WHEN I will next ask you where we've met before... even though we were college roomates. (TRUE STORY.)

I am not perfect, praise the LORD.

I will forever continue to live candidly, in hopes that someone out there can relate with complete and utter imperfection. I can't hide myself or cower or bend before other people's opinions any longer. I'm just not that flexible, these days.

I like who I am, and I like who God made me. I wish more of us could say that in all confidence and not feel any shame or fear of backlash about it. I think the church has told people over the centuries that they should hate themselves and their bodies, but I really don't think that's God's heart for His people. I think He likes it when we realize the treasure of our own selves.

I once lived for the esteem and affirmation of people I looked up to very much. They were GREAT people, but their sway over me nearly snuffed the real me out. It was a scary place to be, because I suddenly had no center when everything went topsy-turvy. I was trying to be a replica, to fit into a mold they held out to me, and it did harm to me that I am only now untangling.

My compass was off. Now, His voice is the only one I will trust when it comes to my identity. No one else can tell me who I should be, what my life should look like, what my body should look like, or how I should spend my precious days and hours here on this earth. Only He has access to those things.

GOD made me who I am, so to mute any part of me out of the fear of man is a slap to His face that I am no longer okay administering.

By learning to love ME, I am ultimately learning to love HIM. There's just no room for anyone else in that equation.

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Ps.139:13-15


MsN said...

You are so wonderfully made, my dear!!! And just like you, I find it nice to have so many falts b/c I always feel I have room to grow. Love you!

Rita Ortloff said...

Oh Emery! This was divine. Just divine.

Christina said...

I love this. Our God is such a good God. So merciful, and gracious.
I am so thankful for God revealing himself more and more to you.

Piper of Love said...

The best thing? Knowing that God made you EXACTLY like you are, and DELIGHTS in you exactly like you are.

You're His little girl, forever. Nothing can touch that.

Wonderful post, m'love.

anna joy said...

emery..... i seriously dont know how EVERYtime i go through something i look at your blog and it happens to be DIRECTLY at me. The Lord is SO GOOD. i am so blessed by your words and our internet friendship, even if we hardly talk! you've made such an impact on my life and you inspire me sooo much!!thank you!

misterlisalee said...

for a teenager who is going back to school tomorrow as a high school senior but still feels as awkward as a freshman....

this means a lot. thanks for your words!

sufferingsummer said...

and I know it really doesn't matter I just want to tell you, for the record. I really love who you are. I like you in particular for your imperfections.
I feel like I spent my whole life trying to understand what you articulated so well here and it wasn't until I turned 30 and had children that it clicked.
"fearfully and wonderfully" those are some powerful words.

Samurai Scrivener said...

I know what you mean when you say that the need to make something perfect the first time can make accomplishing something hard (er, impossible.) I know I've looked at a drawing or something that someone else has done, and it's effortlessly brilliant. Then I look at my own stuff, feel inadequate, and wonder... what's the point?

But you have to do what's right for you. And when it comes to something that you enjoy, don't let the feeling that your effort isn't good enough stop you from accomplishing it. And you shouldn't feel nervous over what people think about you. I know that's like saying you shouldn't cry when you break your ankle: you can't really help it. But the things people say are only half of it: it takes your doing to take it to heart.

I've found that praise is encouraging and nice to have, but it doesn't help me grow. Criticism hurts, but you can take the constructive criticism and use it to become better at what you do. Then there are people who say rotten things just to be jerks, and to hell with what those people think.

In the end, don't try to please everyone: that's impossible. Don't try to be perfect, because you're human, and by nature incapable of it. Just have fun and do the best you can. You'll do fine. And if you stumble, you can always try again.

Lastly, I don't hate your hair, I just hate the fact that it's naturally blonde when mine isn't, heh heh heh.

MoMar said...

Wombat in quicksand? Well, then the most wonderfully made wombat ever to step into quicksand ! I love who you are ... you help people with your amazing words, how many of us can do that?

Anonymous said...

I think you're awesome! ;)

Jooste Roost said...

Amen, Sister!

~love said...

oh, may we all know that full well.

Amanda said...

Oh, the Fear of Failure cripples me too. Because I feel like I have failed and I just can't stand to do it again! So, I hide in the shadows and peek out occassionally hating those people who worship with abandon and are so comfortable being exactly who God made them to be. Hating how easy it looks for them, and wondering what step it is that I need to take to get there because I just don't know.

Thank you for your words! Thank you for sharing, not just the fun times and your adorable family, but the struggles you have, to which we can all relate. It's a beautiful glimpse into God's plan.

Candace said...

Emery thank you!!!! I so badly needed to hear this right now at this moment. I am so afraid of where I am at right now, knowing that I have no idea what lies ahead, and TERRIFIED I will make a mistake or not know an answer that I should know. So thank you for sharing and boosting my confidence.....I LOVE how God works in you and how it helps all of us! =)

I miss you, I love you!


Ms. Missteps said...

All hail the flops. So over the fear factor. Thanks for this!

Anonymous said...

This means a lot to me ...what you wrote..i feel i cant get to where you are ..and yet thats what ive always wanted..i just want to be me but i dont know who that is or how to do it..its such a sadness within me and i just had a wonderful little girl..i just got engaged and i dont know anything about myself..not anything...and im so mad at myself for it !!

Crystal Partee said...

Emery, you write beautifully! I've very much enjoyed the half dozen times I've stumbled across your blog in the past year. it's a joy to know you and I'd love to know you more! :)

-Crystal Partee
p.s. you would still be gorgeous with grass in your hair and one shoe gone!