If shame causes a person to hide who she is, I must be ashamed of myself. I hide the books I read for fear of being ridiculed. I refrain from sharing my thoughts when they differ from someone who doesn’t understand me. I practice piano only when no one is around. I’m afraid I’ll be considered arrogant if I do what I believe God is calling me to do.
Years ago, I wrote these words in my journal. Reading them now, I feel sad because fears like these kept me, for quite some time, from becoming the person God created me to be. I’ve met other women (and men!) beset by similar troubling self-views, so I recognize that it is possible for any of us to feel ashamed simply being ourselves.
Here’s what I’m learning: Just because a friend or relative is not a musician doesn’t mean I can’t be. I can enjoy reading, studying and teaching even though another person would rather do a hands-on helping project. If someone I love participates in sports and I don’t, that’s all right.
They can use the talent and gifts God gave them and pursue the activities and ministries they enjoy. And I can do the same.
Would you like to join me in praying: Lord, please help me to accept my personality characteristics and talents as gifts from You. And when someone else doesn’t understand who and what I am, give me courage to smile and not hide*.
Make It Personal: What do you enjoy doing? How can you do more of what you like?
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.