I was surrounded by a group of women who are beautiful and godly ladies—
Conversation was loving, intentional and funny—and that was just around the dinner table! As more and more about each of these ladies got shared there was an old familiar feeling that rose up in me—
It wasn’t a ton of encouragement and joy—
It wasn’t excitement and anticipation—
Instead, I was paying attention to the rising realization that fear was rising quickly in me and was making it hard for me to swallow…”Oh dear God, help me,” I prayed under my breath over and over.
I tried to do a quick mental inventory of what the heck was going on in my head and heart and I found myself praying that no one ask questions or press into me because I was really beginning to panic internally.
Part of the reason why I was here was to step into authentic relationship with more people. To place more people around me who would speak love and truth. To not keep myself so isolated. One person in particular motivated me to show up to this group and now that I was here, listening to others interact with each other and open up with what was for the most part a pretty general introduction to their life—I was seriously entertaining the thought of just walking out the front door. I never have been the type of person who shows up well in a new group of people…even a small group. For the most part, I tend to be the type of person who guards my heart and gives little information until I’m sure that my heart and my story feel safe to give away. I looked towards the lady who I really want to know better and I tried to willfully shove that feeling inside that made me want to book it out of there!
I made it through the evening being able to keep my answers brief. Though blood rushed to my face each time I was asked a question, I managed to work through my self-induced vulnerability block as a 10 degree temperature change flushed through my body numerous times during the evening.
We were all getting ready to leave and in all honesty I was feeling pretty good that I didn’t struggle too deeply to not be seen (believe me I really do know that my words sound like an absolute oxymoron). Ultimately, I felt fairly unscathed—which as terrible as it sounds, being vulnerable and known (although it is what my heart cries out for) can feel painfully exposing.
…until one of the ladies turned to me and asked a question that to most would be rather innocuous…
For me however, it held a deep and rather dark answer. With shame I answered with as few words as possible and looked away—she reached out and put her hand on my leg…as I looked up, her eyes were filled with sadness.
Though her lips were moving, all I heard was silence until another one of the ladies came over to say good bye, after what seemed like an eternity later.
I, of course, took complete advantage of the break in conversation—I thanked the host, said a quick good bye to the others who were there and bolted out!
Truth be told I was still sitting in a place of deep shame over just that small handful of words that I shared just before I left and I was almost sick to my stomach. I drove over to a friends house and the lights were out and vehicles were gone…dang…no one home.
Shoot—I was having a really hard time remembering her number.
Dang—I didn’t have my cell!
This is just ridiculous! I sat for a few minutes in my car parked in the street and wondered what the heck I was going to do—
I began driving home—still embarrassed of what I shared—still feeling so crazy exposed.
I turned the radio on to try and drown out the noise that my own thoughts were screaming in my head…and one of my favorite songs “Eye of the Storm” came on and captured my attention.
In the eye of the storm
You remain in control
In the middle of the war
You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor
When my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me
In the eye of the storm
I started singing it out loud as I drove down the highway and found myself raising my arms during the words that resonated in my situation right at that moment.
And then “You are My King” came on…
I’m forgiven because You were forsaken
I’m accepted, You were condemned
I’m alive and well, Your Spirit is within me
Because You died and rose again
Amazing love how can it be
That You, my King, should die for me?
Amazing love, I know it’s true
Its my joy to honor You
In all I do, to honor you
YOU ARE MY KING
JESUS, YOU ARE MY KING
What a beautiful covering of acceptance and love that just poured over me.
I was feeling so much shame and embarrassed of the life I have lived and the past that I have.
God just met me in that moment of deep shame—
He didn’t allow me to marinate in that guilt and sickness…
Instead, He put His loving hands around my heart and surrounded me with His truth through this song of worship—
Amazing Love—how can it be—that you my King should die for me…
With the depraved life that I’ve lead…
With the harmful choices that I’ve made…
With all the people that I have hurt…
Amazing Love—I know its true—that its my joy to honor you—
Tears flooded me. All my guards and walls crashed down as I wept intensely as the words of that song, in that moment lifted me and let me know that I was truly loved by my Father, God.
In all I do, God let me honor you—