I received some, truly, heartfelt comments from yesterday’s post (Whose Behind the Pen…and Why I Blog), and I want you to know what a blessing it is to hear from my readers.
When we take down the masks…be real…and stop pretending that we have this thing called “life” figured out, then and only then, can we be a true blessing to one another. Therefore I’ve decided to expand on yesterday’s post…dig a great deal deeper into whose the woman behind the pen in hopes of encouraging you, my friends.
Who is the woman who hides behind the pen? I imagine she’s not much different than countless others who walk this planet. An introverted, recovering “people pleaser” who has struggled her whole life with doubts of self-worth, acceptance, and being comfortable in her own skin. Searching the approval of man, changing her spots as all chameleons do, saying “yes” when she should have said “no”. Always striving to be something that she wasn’t, when who she was should have been enough, a daughter of the King, created in His image.
I can only recall glimpses of memory before the age of five; however, I believe it was during this season that I anchored my life to the threads of people pleasing. It was never a conscious decision to morph into someone I wasn’t; it came as natural as one breathes–automatic, without thought–it was how I learned to manage my world. Anger, disapproval, or rejection from those around me caused such turmoil within my soul that I was willing to sacrifice who God designed me to be for whoever the world wanted me to be. I wanted peace at all cost. It wouldn’t be until years later that I would recognize the idol of people pleasing in my life, but it would be the one common thread that was consistently woven into every facet of my existence.
I could never be true to the design that God created me to be as long as I clung to the threads of people pleasing–continually forcing myself into molds that I was never made to fill. It was a slow death to myself, a strangling of the soul that Christ died to save. My Heavenly Father loved me to much to allow me to remain entangled in the threads of people pleasing. This is my story of how I got from there to here–walking in freedom, no longer a prisoner to my own self. Myself and my brother.
A photo of myself as a child should be next to the word “shy” in the dictionary. I was extremely timid as a little girl. One of my elementary teachers accurately described me as “painfully shy” in my school records. When meeting someone I didn’t know and being asked to say, “Hello,” it was sheer torture–literally, physical terror coursed through my small body and can only be described as paralyzing. People naively thought that they could talk me out of these debilitating feelings by saying things like, “Oh, she’s just bashful” or “She’ll come around,” which of course never happened. It was beyond me why grown-ups thought by staring at me (making me the center of attention) and coaxing with their words that they could somehow get me to perform like a trained monkey. Truly the only thing it did was get me to retreat further into my shell.
I hung back behind my parents when we went to other peoples’ homes. A look from a stranger would send me scurrying to my mother’s side–like a scarred rabbit–and the few times my mother tried leaving me in Sunday school had resulted in a torrent of tears.
I had no desire to be noticed, preferring to stay hidden in the shadows–being on display was much too invasive, and therefore should be avoided at all cost. I did my best to stay out of trouble (always the good girl), not desiring the attention or the conflict. I was not a risk-taker, always taking the safe, secure route. Rules were my friends, they were obtainable–one only had to stay within the perimeters assigned and all was good. This naturally led to a very black and white view of the world, with no room for gray. Yet God gave me the gift of mercy, which would always enable me to feel tremendous compassion for others in despair.
Shyness, coupled with a deep seeded desire for peace, is what I believe fueled my desire to please man. A shape-shifting of self would be the idol I would cling to with white knuckles, refusing to give way to God–His plans, His purposes, and His desires for my life. I would become so tangled in the threads of people pleasing that I would nearly lose myself until only God could repair the damage. He would need to bring me to my knees so that I would give Him total Lordship over my life…
Friends last summer and fall (2014) I wrote nearly my entire life story…this was chapter one. If you would like me to continue sharing my story, please drop me a comment and let me know. It is my desire to bless and encourage you.
Grace to you, Kasey