I have a confession to make.
I’m having a hard time putting it into words as it concerns a “shame” issue I’ve been avoiding for most of my adult life.
Maybe I need to back into this instead of coming right out and saying it.
Way, way back when bangs were high, shoulder pads were everywhere and “The Breakfast Club” was in the theatres, I was growing up. And it was miserable. I don’t want to go too deep into the story, but know that there were family issues, depression and an abysmally low self-esteem. The only way I could imagine getting through this time was to build an emotional wall. Initially, the wall was a way to protect my heart. To remain safe. However, eventually it became a wall of sarcasm, anger, fear and pride. It wasn’t just a line of defense, but of offense, too.
I should have outgrown the wall. As big hair gave way to the grunge era, I should have been searching out who I was becoming. But I didn’t. I was protected by that wall. And that wall became my identity. My beauty was hidden by bitterness.
Through the years, the wall has taken a lot of damage. Spiritual growth has turned it into a site of ruins. Yet, even in its decimated state, I still find myself ducking behind it’s remnants when I feel exposed to rejection or disappointment.
So. My confession.
My confession is: I know precisely why I am single.
It’s not my outward appearance, intelligence, lack of coolness or any of those other trivial things I have blamed throughout my life.
It’s the wall.
And that wall has been blocking one of the most beautiful parts of me: vulnerability.
Fear built that wall. Fear of being embarrassed. Fear of being rejected. Fear of being hurt. Fear of looking like a fool. Fear of living.
Fear of being pursued.
It’s safer to reject someone before they get the chance to reject you. Something about being pursued (romantically or otherwise) terrified me. Terrifies me?
That wall was never a protection. It was never helping me. It was built on one foundation: shame.
Shame because I’m single. Both the church and the world have made it clear to me that I just didn’t make the cut. Undesirable.
Shame about my failures. Never mind that any success includes numerous flops.
Shame about my past. Even though it is just that: past.
So now what?
How do reclaim vulnerability? How do I live completely in who God made me? How do I embrace joy and walk without fear?
I’ve come so far in the past few years. I long for relationship – but mostly I long for God.
Could it be, with all this faux living I have rejected even His pursuit?
To be continued…