Shy as a Shark

Ok, I’ll bite. It’s shark week, and even though I am so confused about why it’s so cool, I guess I’ll use it as a tag.

My mom has super long hair, and I spent most of my childhood holding onto it like a lifeline or hiding behind it to avoid talking to people. My dad used to say that I was “shy as a shark” because I had to circle a few times before I’d go in for the kill. I think all the times my mom brought me to the fire station for their “stranger danger” presentations really made an impact on me. Or it could have been the fact that I didn’t talk until I was 3. I didn’t have the need to. I had 3 older siblings who did enough of that for me.

So, no one was as shocked as I was when I started being an outspoken Christian conservative. For one thing, I’m shy, and for another, I live in Washington. I think when I made the decision to withdraw from school, I started educating myself and realizing I had been lied to. I was so mad about all the time that had been wasted while I was being indoctrinated by the public school system. It wasn’t fair. I was also ashamed at the time I had spent fearing people’s opinions rather than God.

I watched this really great movie called, “Beware of Christians.” In the film, these four bros get out of the social culture of going to church and find out what it really means to follow Jesus. It’s a really good film, it’s on Netflix, so if you have it, I recommend it. One question they asked that wrecked my heart was if it was worth it to deny Jesus just so you can “fit in.” If you had asked me that in high school, I would have said yes. Even though I have always believed in God, I would have given anything to fit in. One of my sisters is not much older than me (22 months) and so I kind of grew up in her shadow. She was beautiful and popular, and people wanted to be my friend just to have access to her. I was on the total opposite end of that spectrum, so I coveted her position on the high school totem pole. I held on to a lot of unhealthy relationships because I thought I couldn’t afford to go any lower. I learned how to keep quiet so I didn’t upset people, even though I knew what they were saying was wrong. So instead of listening to what the One who made me said, I listened to the ones who broke me down.

Again, I’m rambling because I’m blogging at midnight, but my point is this: I circled around who I was made to be for a long time, but now I’m ready to go in for the “kill” and step out in faith. Now, I am more concerned about what God thinks of me, than what people think. I have a burning passion to pursue liberty and justice that takes away the fear of being criticized or ostracized. I don’t want to be anyone else because I finally know who I am and what my value is. People may not listen to me or like what I have to say, but they don’t have the power to stop me from saying it anymore.

Your hands made me and formed me;
    give me understanding to learn your commands.
 May those who fear you rejoice when they see me,
    for I have put my hope in your word.

                       Psalm 119:72-74

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