by: Staci Stallings
For many, many, many years I tried to be someone else. It wasn’t a specific someone else. I simply had the impression that something was wrong with me, so being someone else made more sense. The weird thing was, I was desperately trying to be successful and get the approval of others while simultaneously hiding the parts of me I thought they wouldn’t approve of.
It was as if I was saying, “I want you to love me, but I’m not going to let you know who the real me is.” So I lived my life in fear that someone who loved me would figure out that wasn’t really who I was and they would decide not to love me anymore. Which of course is ridiculous because they weren’t loving the real me in the first place, they were loving the made-up me, which wasn’t me at all. What a mess, right?
Well, this year as we go into the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, the thing I am most grateful for is that God finally broke me out of that miserable, rotten prison I was holding myself captive in. Little-by-little through life and writing, I have learned that being me is really okay, that using my gifts and letting others see them is all right as well.
In fact, it’s better than all right… it’s amazing!
You see, when I was trying to hide, I spent all my time radaring everyone else to see who they wanted me to be. I scanned my family and my friends. I scanned others in writing groups and you, my readers. I scanned everybody. And I spent so much time scanning trying to figure out who everyone else wanted me to be, I forgot to live!
When God finally convinced me (and it really did take some convincing) that He loved me just as I am and that He knew all about my weaknesses and all about those things I didn’t want to admit to anyone, and that He loved me anyway… It blew me away! I realized that all that hiding wasn’t doing anyone any good. God wanted me to come out of my little cave, bravely if possible or using His bravery if mine was shaky, and live.
Amazingly, upon finally accepting that, life has opened up to possibilities and opportunities I never would have even tried when I was wallowing in my self-cave of doubt and fear. This year I stepped out on God’s bravery when He asked me to put my books on Kindle and then on Nook. It took more of His bravery to get on Facebook and Twitter. And it took everything He could give me to start a new author connection group.
Best of all, I didn’t panic and run when things got tough. Instead, I stood on God’s promise that HE could do it even if I couldn’t. And miracles started happening.
So now when I look back on this year, I will be very thankful that finally, finally I listened to what God’s been trying to tell me all these years in a thousand ways: “I love you. It’s about Me being faithful to show you how awesome I am not about anything you can do. I want to help you all the time, in every situation, especially when you don’t think you can do it. I want to be Your partner and Your best friend in everything. All you have to do is accept what I’m holding out to you.”
Understanding, believing, and accepting that has literally changed my life. So this year, I am thankful that God didn’t give up on this headstrong, confused, but good-intentioned girl. He is my Hero!