Be Brave

Originally published Monday, 28 October 2013.

I never dated in high school. In fact, I got voted “Most Dateable” as a cruel joke my senior year. A couple of girls thought it would be funny to vote for the guy and girl least likely to get a date and they managed to get a large majority of the class to follow suit.

I was quiet, I had frizzy hair and glasses too big for my face—not exactly the girl all the guys want to date.

I had always struggled with self-esteem and now the devil had prime ammunition to keep me so buried in self-doubt that he haunted me with it for years. From that day on and through most of my 20’s, I heard the devil whisper “Remember what everyone thought? You weren’t pretty enough and fun enough to get a date. You never were and you never will be—you will be alone forever.”

In my messed-up head, I bought into those lies. So, I wore clothes too big to hide my body, didn’t wear much makeup and never expressed interest in a boy because well that would be ridiculous to think a boy might actually like me. My fear of rejection and humiliation kept me from ever stepping out of my comfort zone and meeting new people. While hiding was lonely, it was also safer.

Little did I know God was beginning to work in my heart. Through blog posts, Bible studies, song lyrics and words of wisdom, God began whispering to me His truths.

I am His beloved. I am beautiful. I am His child.

He began showing me how much my fear of rejection was keeping me from living my life for Him. By making me believe I was always going to be disliked, the devil had kept me paralyzed with fear.

God began to change me, but He also required effort on my part. I had to be able to look past the fear and take a lot of steps outside of my comfort zone. I had to be brave.

Through the last several years, God has grown me tremendously. While meeting new people can still make me uncomfortable, I no longer let my fear of being rejected keep me from living life as God intends. By stepping out, I have made some wonderful friends, have jumped in the dating pond (and suffered through hurtful rejections), and most importantly felt my relationship grow closer to God because of my true reliance on Him. To step out in fear requires Someone much stronger than ourselves.

One of the biggest lies the devil has told me is that because I’m not enough, I will never be married. I wish I could tell you that by putting myself out there in spite of fear, I’ve met the love of my life and we’re engaged to be married, but that hasn’t happened … yet.

God is teaching me that just because I’m not married doesn’t mean it’s because I’m not enough. It simply means that it’s not yet been a part of His plan. It means that He has me on a different journey than I thought I would be at by now.

Oh, I still struggle and every time a boy doesn’t like me, I hear the devil whisper “You’re not pretty and fun enough and you’re always going to be alone.” But God’s voice is speaking louder into my heart these days and He is who I am choosing to listen to.

Lean into Him and He alone will make you brave.