In the first post in this series I wrote about how God has been restoring me into being who He created me to be if it weren't for being born into a broken world and how He did that physically by reigniting my passion for running. In this post I'll write about how He has been restoring my personality. Weird, right?
Today I'm not shy about talking about how I grew up in a dysfunctional home. It was shameful at the time, but today, as an adult, I realize that I had no control over it and that I could not have chosen my way out of that situation. And also, as I mentioned in my last post, my parents are totally different people today and have sought recovery and healing for their lives. I love and forgive them both and have nothing but well wishes for them.
That said, it really sucked at the time. I mean, seriously, life sucked. It was hard, and I didn't like it. I was given the message that I was, in a word, worthless. As a result, I grew up with a very low self-esteem and felt an unbearable shyness.
In high school I found that a few cheap drinks gave me all the gregariousness that I needed to talk to just about anyone. I know this sounds bad, but I had so much fun being so uninhibited. But why couldn't I be that way sober?! Oh it was so frustrating.
I always thought that my personality was shy until I went to therapy a few years ago, and the therapist was like, "Uh, no, you're not shy, honey." (I don't know if she really said "honey", but I like it better with it there.)
'Really?!' I thought. I mean, I felt shy. The truth was, however, that I had just been beaten down emotionally for so many years that I had not an ounce of confidence in which to approach people. I could think of no reason at all that people should want to talk to me or get to know me. It took immense courage to talk around people with which I was unfamiliar (let alone talk to them). I remember being at my ex-boyfriend's house at Christmastime meeting his family, and I overheard his brother say, "Doesn't she talk?" ACK! I was devastated.
Funny enough, God has also used this blog to build my confidence. Since I don't have to see people when I'm trying to get my point across, I'm able to be more me. So the more I blog, the more I really figure out who I am. I think that's why so many people say that blogging "keeps them sane" or "is therapeutic". What a blessing this blog has been to me, even if I never end up getting the big numbers that I sometimes envy. What it has done in my life is really invaluable.
So it comes full circle. God made me to be outgoing, funny (to me), fun-loving, adventurous, and more, but life squelched that. Now, however, He has taken the reins at being my Father, speaking words of strength, courage, love, confidence, and mercy into my life over the contradicting messages of my past, and has restored me to be more of the "Annie" that He made me to be. What a loving Father, so perfect and merciful.
Stay tuned for the third and final post in this series. It really comes full circle!