There are ways of living that you can live with until you can't.~Molly Wizenberg (From The Fixed Stars)
We met for tea. I sat across from my friend in the small café, the hiss of the espresso machine like white noise supplying us comfort. My friend is a natural beauty, her eyes blue, like Spode china teacups, her teeth gardenia white. It was so good to see her face-to-face now that COVID is less intense--to go into a restaurant. She is writing a novella. We talked about creative things. I soaked up her feedback about the novel I'm writing. She is smart and kind, her insights spot on. Our conversation meandered away from writing, and we spoke of issues we struggle with. She said she realized her confidence had plummeted over the last year or so. She recalled an incident. "I didn't take up for myself. I didn't feel confident and just let things go. I wish I hadn't. I wish I'd stuck up for myself, been more confident. I still think about it." I responded, "The fact that you're aware now is good. You won't do it again. I've been there too. It doesn't feel good to let your voice get lost. It's a terrible feeling." She nodded.
Over the years, I've tended toward fluency in apologizing, people-pleasing a familiar behavior. Someone said to me once, "You say 'I'm sorry' a lot." It wasn't an unkind remark, really. Just honest. I'm getting more practiced in allowing my preferences to be okay. It hurts too much to be silent. Peace at any price is too expensive. And it feels so good to speak up. Resting confident.
BLESSING FOR THE PEOPLE PLEASERS (From Psalm 16~The Passion Translation)
You stick to camouflage so you'll blend in. No one knows you're there.
Sometimes that's okay. You like to hang back and observe.
But sometimes it's not okay. You know when it's not.
You can feel the words springing up from your heart, moving into your throat.
You know what it feels like to choke on the words, not say them. "Sorry, I was just clearing my throat."
But you've cleared nothing, you've stifled your voice. You can try again. It's never too late.
May you know that God will help you find the words, show you what to do next. Calm the anxiety.
May you believe that God is close to you and always available. He desires that your confidence never be shaken. He loves the sound of your voice.
May you experience His wrap-around presence every moment.
May even your body rest confident and secure.