And this thought hindered me each time I stepped into a room full of people.
I’m sitting in a coffee shop writing this and as I typed the last sentence, my breath rose in my throat in a rush that exhaled the wind of a hurricane. And it might have produced a similar amount of rain, but being in a public place, I was a hurricane that kept my composure.
Somewhere along my journey the word “Sophie” became synonymous to “not good enough.”
And the phrase “not good enough” lived inside of me as a condemning force that rose into battle each time someone said my name. Every time it fought the battle, it won.
Every time someone called out my name, I cringed.
Every compliment I was given was translated into a lying language because the same places the compliments originated were the places where I was hurting the worst.
We have a tendency to tell ourselves our story based on shame.
You’re nice because you’re scared of hurting others.
You’re shy because you never have the right words to say.
You’re positive because everyone will hate you if you complain.
Every personality trait I possess was placed into sentences that looked like the ones above.
It appears aberrant now that I’m typing it out.
But we are all living in the lies. They’re quiet and they sound similar to the truth.
If you lived in a concrete room for your entire life, given every resource you need, and people told you that there is no way out, you would never need to leave. Everything you have works where you are.
It’s not until we recognize the lie that we receive the notion that there is another way.
That’s the way it works with the lies. And I did not realize it until recently but the reason I felt like people didn’t like me is because I was picking up their broken pieces and attributing their broken pieces to be caused by me.
Too many of us are still thriving in our concrete room.
People condemning you for the mess in their heart does not make you unworthy. It does not make you a victim. It makes you more free. It makes you more free because you have been given the capacity to see where others are missing freedom. And in turn, instead of choosing shame, you can whisper your freedom back to them.
I’ve made a promise to myself and to my future family that when I’m older and have a husband and have a family of like a bazillion kids I’m never going to use their name to condemn them (and if there’s actually a bazillion of them, I probably wouldn’t know their name anyway). I will never raise my voice with the use of their name. I will never begin or end my sentences with their name if I’m disciplining them.
Because their flaws are not who they are. Flaws are adapted with awareness. Their insecurities are not who they are. They are made secure in love.
And they’re going to mess up and they’re going to see consequences, but their identity will not lie in their mistakes. Their identity will live in love. Because love rising is the only way for mistakes to fade away.
Learning my faith gave me the capacity to turn around with joy at the mention of my name.
I was so lost, I was broken in every way, and I heard the Spirit say my name. I turned around and I could see no one but I walked in that direction instead because the way it sounded was so beautiful I could not see another way. I had to find the One who said my name.
And the journey back was long, but it was shorter than the journey in the other direction.
“Sophie,” God whispered. “You’re nice. You’re shy. You’re positive. And you’re mine.”
And that breath hit me in the face like the wind of a hurricane, blowing back every lie I’ve ever believed.
In the middle of the storm, you met me like a hurricane.