Don’t let me fool you into believing that who I am today is who I’ve always been. You don’t have to corner me in a bar after I’ve had five shots in order for me to tell you about my epic failures at being human, struggling with self-confidence, violence, and anger. It’d be great if I had magical powers that could brainwash everyone in the world into believing what I want them to know about me, but I’m lazy and forgetful. It’s easier for me to be an open book and allow you to choose what you want to remember about me. It also does me no good and God doesn’t get any glory if I’m unwilling to share my unaltered story free from Photoshop, edits, and my pride. *If you see typos remember that part :)*
I spent years replaying moments that seemed like the scariest scene from most kid movies. You know what I mean. The scene with the monster under the bed that only comes out when everyone has gone to bed. As a kid watching it you want to look away so you don’t have nightmares, but you can’t because you have to know whether the monster really grabs your feet. I’m getting goosebumps right now thinking about movies like Don’t Look Under the Bed and Little Monsters. Y’all know I don’t like scary movies. Nevertheless, periods in your life can make your poor habits and choices or regrets seem like lurking creatures in the dark. Coming face-to-face with the monster I believed was under my bed meant acknowledging the monster that was in the bed, me.
Without giving you all the juicy details I’m saving for a book *wink wink*, I was in a battle with my mind, soul, and body. I had a vague expectation of what I believed God wanted me to be, what family and friends needed me to be, and who I was. I soon realized who I was and who I thought I was as a person didn’t mix well and I had to make a decision. It was after making the decision to be unapologetically me that I experienced depression and anxiety. I know you’re thinking, “how did that happen?” Well, after you’ve decided what you want out of life you have to take action, make moves. And for me, it was paralyzing. Where do you start? Do you have to do it alone? What if they hate it? Over the years I’ve had friends genuinely ask, “who are you? and what exactly do you do?” out of honest confusion.
Being comfortable in your own skin, being called to ministry means sometimes people won’t understand. And more often than not you won’t be able to explain it to them. I’ve witnessed this in various contexts throughout my life, but I never thought I would experience disconnect within my profession. Especially while spending thousands of dollars earning degrees. Where they do that at? I had a glimpse of my purpose, but I didn’t have enough to make a plan. God knew that if I had too much information, oh, I’d make a plan. Unfortunately, my plan would miss some of the key elements in God’s plan. While I was struggling to make sense of my foolishness and life, I felt I needed to bounce some ideas off a new pair of ears. You know, make sure I wasn’t losing it.
So, I went to therapy for affirmation. I thought I was on the other side of my depression, insecurities, anger, etc. but I kept questioning whether it was really gone. Like a kid wondering if monsters under bed really leave cause your Dad says, “go away.” I reached a point where I needed to know God told it to go away. So therapy became God’s way of telling me, “yes Sierra you survived. And although challenges are still going to come you’ll never be in that place again.”
When people ask “where did your confidence come from” or say “you’re so sure of yourself.” And I can’t leave out my all time favorite, “you’ve come a long way from that little girl who didn’t like dresses.” AHHH! I still look over my shoulder to see who they’re talking to. Just kidding. I’m confident because I spent what seems like a lifetime afraid to look under the bed and once you throw away fear you know that you’ve held the power all along. And that’s what gives birth to confidence and silences the monster. If you’re struggling to break free from fear I invite you to make a choice. Any choice…big or small. Realizing your power to choose can disrupt your paralysis (or powerlessness). That’s your superpower!
Get the help you need to become your best self then slay the hell out of it no matter what people think or say. I make poor choices, I still have really embarrassing moments where my insecurities show, but I take courage in knowing I’ll never go back to who I was before. +Salt
*the featured image was taken from SwitchEasy.