I don’t talk about it much, but one of the biggest areas I struggle with (other than my weight) is rejection. People tell me they see me as confident and I am. I am secure in myself in a lot of ways. Most of the time, I’m outgoing, dare say, even entertaining. But almost 100% of the time, when I walk away from situations, I always have that voice whispering, “See…. no one likes you, you talk too much, you always stick your foot in your mouth.”
Funny enough, some people like me for those exact reasons. You know exactly what I’m thinking 100% of the time. You ask me my opinion…. you’ll get it.
But, I just realized in the last couple of months, I don’t hear that voice as much anymore. I wish I could say, it just naturally occurs with age. You just naturally get more mature. I think people think age and wisdom go hand and hand. And they do, but, people don’t gain wisdom from age, but from the experiences they had while they aged. Sadly, you can age and stay exactly the same if you choose to. I think a lot of work has been happening on me the last year. So, I definitely won’t give age the credit. I would say, the trials I have endured this year have literally transformed my mind and who I am today.
Let me just say this, if you don’t like who you are and I definitely didn’t, do the scariest thing you desire and feel called to do and commit to it 100%. I guarantee you, in the middle of that, you will look back and be blown away at how far you’ve come, mentally and spiritually.
I don’t know if you always heard that terrible voice in your head growing up and maybe I am the only one. But I’m 29 and I still occasionally hear it. It wasn’t until about a year ago I even realized I struggled with rejection. I wish I could pinpoint what actually triggered me realizing it, but I can’t. All I remember was that it was a profound moment in my life. And sadly, for a while, I wore it as more of a badge of this is why I am the way I am, instead of changing.
So, I grew up in a limelight. I was a Pastor’s daughter, so everyone knew who I was. But everyone liked my brother more, I grew up in Landon’s shadow. And sadly, it wasn’t a figment of my imagination. People would point blank tell me they liked Landon more than me. Can you imagine being a child and adults being pretty blatant about how much they loved your older brother more than you?
At my grandmother’s funeral, my aunt asked me where Landon was. I told them he was coming the next day. Her reply was this, “We love you Lauren, we JUST love Landon. We’ve just always had a special connection with him.” I wish I could say that was the only family member that felt that way and for the longest time, I despised Landon for this. He is fun. He is awesome. I get it. I understand why people love him. He is so entertaining, handsome and a total goofball. But it wasn’t his fault that people were such a-holes and idiots.
But, it wasn’t the last or the first time I heard this. So I assumed that is how everyone felt. Everyone loved Landon and no one liked me. I was too outspoken, too opinionated. I need to change everything about my personality so people will like me.
But know, I’m not writing this so you can tell me how much you like me or don’t like me. But you totally can if you want. Jk….. That’s not why I am writing this. But finally, finally, I’m not as worried by it. I know the Lord is using me in my own way. I am not my brother, nor am I in my brother’s shadow. I am unique.
So, I was in a church service, I was crying. I felt like I needed to change so much, my outspokenness, my opinions, how much I talk and the Lord laid this on my heart, ‘You are my female Peter.’ WOAH! Does that mean I get to sit next to you in Heaven? I kid… I kid….
It knocked my socks off. You might not know who Peter is and I’ll give you a little run down:
He was considered rough and tumble.
He was one of Jesus’ most devout followers, yet denied him three times.
His aggressiveness make Peter a natural spokesman for all the disciples.
He often spoke before he thought.
One point, in Peter’s outspokenness, Jesus told Peter, “Get behind me Satan.”
Peter made lots of mistakes, wasn’t perfect, yet Jesus called him his ROCK.
So that morning, I realized, The Lord made me exactly who I am today ON PURPOSE. I grew up thinking, if I could just be less outspoken, more charismatic like my brother, then the Lord could use me and I would be liked by people. I had it wrong all this time. The Lord didn’t want me to quit being so outspoken, he wanted me to be outspoken for HIM.