I drifted through last year a girl who never knew herself, a stranger in my own body. I was unsteady, shaky, upset and undone by whispers, bewildered by choices. I would hear my own words passing over my lips like they didn't belong to me. I became a disappointment, I took up too much space. So I withdrew often, self-preserved, got smaller.
I stumbled through the wilderness. But I'm here now and I know myself. I can stand at a welcome mat, hand raised to knock and feel welcome. I feel unafraid to take up space. I know the ugly and messy parts of me. I know that my fingerprints are my opposites, tough and tender, courageous and timid, strong and weak. I sit often alone in suspicion and self-doubt. I let those things mute me still sometimes. But I'm also learning to mute them instead. I am reactive, defiant and rebellious. A go down with the ship girl. Sometimes to a fault. Sometimes to a saving grace.
Anxiety is the wallpaper of my home. More often than not I am walking around with unease, with worst case scenario on repeat. I don't trust and I'm overtly sensitive. Abandonment causes my heart to beat in my throat. My bones ache for security. My backbone is defense and indecision. But I'm grateful to know these things now. Because I now know how to resist the anxiety that buzzes behind every closed door I lift my fingertips to open. I can push pause on the repetition because I know what's on repeat.
So now I create because I know who I am. I create because I'm comfortable in tension. I'm present in them. I welcome the self-doubts but I don't give them a say. They make me stronger, the wilderness only ever doing just that.
I'm standing in the guardianship that is my personality. My wildly sensitive heart that bleeds for injustice, for cruelty, for the broken world I can't seem to look away from. It's tearful eyes. I come undone and long to cup the world's face with my hands, stick a bandaid across it's bloody knee.
I am standing out from under rejection. Taking the risk. Stirring up fear. Daring to trust. Facing worst case scenario. And I've found faith on the other side. A fierce faith.
I welcome the loyalty that has marked my life because it has protected me in seasons of wandering. Because it's what I want to live. A life of Your kingdom come. A life of not my will. A life of His renown and His renown and His renown.
Maybe you've felt it too. That pang whispering you are unknowable. It might just take the wilderness to get you there. But you'll get there. And you'll find out just how loved you are. Mess and all.
That's how I'm running into this year. Full of childlike wonder at the way the Lord answers the cries that my heart didn't know to breathe. I'm filling up my skin in a new way, like a new home, still hanging up pictures and moving furniture, but settled. I know who I am. I know my rebellion, my anxiety, my tenderness, the way my heart beats a little crooked and I know my own bravery. It’s me. I’m me. The whole me. And it’s good. It’s gonna be a good new year.