The fear of being seen

Ever have one of those dreams where you leave home without being dressed?  You only realize it when everyone is staring at you as if you’ve lost your mind?  I’ve had that dream again lately and I’m pretty sure it has to do with this blogging venture.  Thinking out loud in real-time means that you’re a little exposed while you’re dressing, while you’re still in process.  Frankly, that’s a little unnerving.

If you read my very first blog post, you’ll know why I am doing this.  It isn’t to garner attention or attract an audience. (I do not even look at my site-statistics.)  It is in response to a 15-month process with God where He has been leading towards this very thing.   Already, it is working some things out within me.  First, it gives my pondering, creative side an outlet beyond the written journals I keep (3 to 6 books/year).  Secondly, it is raising all my insecurities about being seen, being out there for the world to judge. 

I love to teach God’s Word and have been gratefully fortunate to do that a good bit over the years.  It is a wonderful thing to bring a message you are confident is from the Lord, a message strongly proven by many places in Scripture, a message that grows within you as if you are pregnant with it, bursting with the power and wonder of it.  I am a passionate teacher because before I ever teach a concept I was first its student.  I think that it is the power of that truth within me, as it shapes me, that most dramatically affects my conviction as I teach it.  It is mine before I ever give it to others, even as its truth and reality are still growing within me.  (And really, aren’t all God’s truths continually growing within us, reaching out to new areas of our personality, thought processes and emotional health?  I think they are never fully matured, even though they can become powerhouses within us.)

Blogging is different.  I’m not sharing a message with you that I believe is from God to you.  I am sharing with you what I perceive to be His message to me, in real-time, as it is yet unfolding.  I am sharing what my mind and heart are mulling over, what my spirit is being drawn to over and over throughout that day.  I told God that some of  you will think I am a spiritual nerd (Does she really think like that?) or a poser.  Nevertheless, He has pointed me towards this and truly been with me in it. A few of you have told me that it has been meaningful for you, and for that I am very thankful.  Thank you for telling me, and thank you to my Father that it is so. 

I realized yesterday in my quiet time with God that I still fear my inner processes, fear being crazy and not knowing it.  (Crazy people never think they are crazy; their thought processes make sense to them.  Deceived people don’t know they are deceived; it’s a catch-22.)  I have good reason to fear this.  I spent 18 years living in someone else’s version of reality (which was not reality and I knew this). I had to outwardly conform to their version of events while ignoring my own inner processes which were torn to shreds over the  glaring  inconsistencies.  (God gave me a terribly keen sensitivity to injustice and at times I have been tortured by its drive while at others I’ve been driven by it towards health and wholeness.) My deepest wound was created when I was told daily (by words and deeds, shockingly consistently) that my very existence does damage to others, is intrinsically wrong.  That who I am is wrong.  It has been the enemy’s playground and for many years, every time something went wrong (in my life or in those close to me) I felt the sinking proof that it was true.   God has done tremendous work in the area of this wound, but there are days it still aches, days when my defenses are low that the enemy sears me with his darts right into the heart of this old wound.

Yesterday I was journaling about how I feel that the “big” needs in my life are God’s reconstruction work but the “little” needs in my life seem like gifts from God.  He led me to ponder this concept of my reconstruction:  How much damage were you doing at your very worst, at your very most broken, Tammy?  Before we began the reconstruction?  I saw the picture-definition I have of “crazy” and then compared it to who I was at 22.  At my most broken the picture wasn’t even close.  At my worst I was still was not what I have feared most. I knew I was not whole and I desperately desired to be whole. 

I’ve known for a year now that God is re-shaping how I see myself.  I’ve been thoroughly, utterly, down-to-the-marrow convinced of God’s love for me and acceptance of me since 2003.  Still, I do not accept myself as fully as He accepts me.  He has been healing my self-view for many years in layers and levels.  During that process, a few years ago now, He formed this within my understanding:  You still don’t believe that you, being you, is a gift to this world.  I instantly knew this insight was from Him.  These days I feel that perhaps through His work in me I can make a valuable contribution in His world, but yet there still lingers this deep fear that I will harm rather than help, that I will unintentionally damage while desperately desiring to point others to Him.  So this is where He is at work within me right now, my friends.   This is what I wrote in my journal yesterday:  “I am wondering if this year’s journey in ‘being seen’, in all its advancements, is necessary for my continued healing.  I long to be deeply known and still wanted – affirmed, even – after all of these years of fearing that if I am completely exposed others will see something insidious that I cannot see and God has not revealed to me.  In certain situations (not nearly as much as before) something deep within my heart  still responds to this fear and I cannot route it out myself.  Help  me, Father.”  This is where He is at work in me, preparing me for the soul-surgery He is so good at.  It will take time but I know I can trust Him in this process.

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About Tammy Feil

Happily married to Terry Feil since 1994, mother of two boys. My husband, Terry, is Pastor of Families and Students at Riverbluff Church in North Charleston, SC.
This entry was posted in Faith, Fear, Frustration, Hearing from God, Personal Growth, Trust and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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