When you were a little girl, did you ever wear your mum's shoes? Or those that belonged to someone with a foot bigger than yours? Did you walk around acting like the owner of the shoes, or acting as though you were older than what you really were? Did you play dress ups? I remember doing that. I really enjoyed doing that, actually... but I also remember that, at the time, I was fine with being me. I had nothing to prove and no one to prove it to. What I was doing was just in the name of fun. I was young and carefree and the worries of the world, and the scars of the soul, were yet to find me. Life was good.
Somewhere during the course of my growing years, however, I learned that not only would I never be good enough to fill someone else's shoes, I really wasn't good enough to walk in my own. Somewhere along the way I lost that naive innocence that tells me I'm ok, everyone else is ok, and the world is an ok place. And in its place came a 'knowing' that I was deemed less than acceptable, and less likely than anyone else (or so it seemed) to ever be worthy of love. Somewhere along the way I lost confidence and contentment and that sense of freedom and security that come with those things, and I lost it at a very early age.
In my soul, I sense that I'm not the only one here who has found themselves in such a place.
What brought us to this 'knowing' that we're not good enough is different for each of us, but it came, didn't it. It found us. It stole us from our place of happily ever after and whisked us off to some dark and lonely place where the tower was not made of ivory, and our heart was cast into what felt like a dark and cold pit of unhappily ever after. And, oh, wasn't that aching in our heart a horrible place to live...
Some of us were strong enough to escape the clutches of such 'evil'. Some of us are still trying to escape it.
I still struggle with confidence at times. I was an intensely insecure child, teen and adult. It wasn't until God spoke to my heart - after I gave it to Him as a Christian - and started setting me free of the lies that came to bind me to that darkened place, that I started to return to that place of "I'm ok..."
In the past couple of days, I've come to see that after losing that security as a child, I slipped into a state of mind that had me wanting to be acceptable. I was drawn to people who seemed to have similar characters to those in my world that I believed did not love me, thinking, "If I can get these people to accept me, then I know I'm ok..." But that type of personality never did accept me. I was too quiet. Too timid. Easily bullied... and so on.
I fell into my teen years, and dragged myself into adulthood bearing the chains of insecurity. I had an intense fear of being ridiculed and rejected, and became even more timid as time went by. The only time I dared to speak out, fight back, or not give a toss about what others thought, was when anger came to my rescue.
Then came God.
When I was so tired of living, broken and wanting out of this world, He picked me up, dusted me off, and set me back on my feet. And during the course of my walk with Him, over the past twenty years, He's had His hands full trying to restore my confidence. Not to mention remove the anger from my soul, and try to help me break free of timidity.
I remember walking into church once - and this was when I was way into my thirties, with my husband and children - saying, "God, I'm here [at the front door], the pew is there, please help me get there without anyone talking to me..." You see, while some people feel rejected if no one approaches them to say hello, I was the type that was quite happy to go unseen. I hated people coming up to talk to me if I didn't know them, or even if I didn't know them very well. I feared rejection. I would freeze on the inside. I would never know what to say. It was a horrible prison to live in... And, to my complaint, God respond (from His Spirit to mine) "Fake confidence and it will grow on you." So that's what I learned to do.
At other times, placing similar thoughts before God, He impressed upon my heart, "Make [the conversation] about the other person..." and "Pretend as though you've known them for ages; they could be your best friend in the making..." and some of them came to be. :)
Lately, I've realised that He's brought me back to a place that enables me to be free in myself and wear whatever shoes I want, without worrying if others approve of them or not. And, in my heart, there is a knowing that I will never fill someone else's shoes, for they were not made for me. And that is ok, because they will never fill mine, either. And none of us will ever fill yours, either... :)