I think everyone has an area in their own lives that they are self-conscious about. For me there are many things -- I'm short (5'2), and that has always been a huge target for people to make fun of me. It is socially unacceptable or rude to make fun of overweight people, and I would never do that. So why is it okay to make fun of short people for something that makes them feel inferior in so many ways, and that they can't even help? That has never been okay or funny to me, but it happens so often, I've been able to pretty much laugh it off. It helps that Eva Longoria and Lucy Hale are both 5'2, and they are some of the most beautiful ladies on he planet. I guess being short isn't the worst thing in the world if I have something in common with these beautiful people. They have certainly made quite the careers for themselves despite their being "vertically challenged." (...if I had a quarter for every time I heard that one...)
Then there's the fact that I am a major introvert. I'm not even going to all myself "shy," because I just hate that word. I am the most talkative person in the world once I am comfortable with you, and I'm open about everything (I mean, hello! You know that if you read my blog). I danced in high school in front of hundreds of people every single week. I was in a show choir where I danced and sang in front of large groups of people. I don't have too much of a problem with public speaking. These are not things that shy people do! On the outside, I look like a shy person, but I like the term "introvert" much better. It suits me more. Anyway, people have given me such a hard time my whole life for being "shy!" Hello, it's the way God made me. And here's a hint: someone who is "shy," probably will open up more if you make them feel comfortable, and don't focus on their "shyness" in front of everyone (see numbers 2, 3, and 12). But that's not even the insecurity that has been eating away at me lately. I'm learning to embrace my introvertedness, and know that it's okay for me to be "shy'' and be myself. The people who really matter will love me anyway, and who cares about the rest of them?
So being short and being shy have both been things in life that I would change in a heartbeat if I had the chance, but I've learned to deal with them. Short people are hot (obviously...see above). "Shy" people are just introverted, and I think society is beginning to recognize that more and more. However, there does not seem to be a redeeming quality to my next insecurity: my ditziness.
Lately I've been having a really hard time with this. Because I know I'm a smart person! I graduated magna cum laude with my undergraduate degree in '07. I have a 4.0 so far in my speech-language pathology educational career. I have gotten into a very competitive graduate program where 250-300 apply, and only 40 are accepted. In my head I know I'm a smart person. I can memorize a book full of facts at the speed of light, and I think I'm pretty good with words most of the time. However, I have absolutely zero common sense. I'm not exaggerating. I literally have no common sense whatsoever. I always do things the difficult, time-consuming way, because my brain does not work in a functional way. There, I said it. I am a total, 100% ditz. And I'm a daydreamer with my head in the clouds, which doesn't help things.
In high school and even college, this trait sometimes worked to my advantage. I was the tiny, girly girl who was ditzy, and people (namely people of the male persuasion) tended to think that was cute. I laughed it off, and tried to make it seem as cute as possible back then, and somehow it sort of worked for me.
However, I'm older now. As a 27-year-old, it is no longer "cute" to do stupid things, especially in the professional world. And in day-to-day life, it's just gotten really annoying. When I walk into the living room on a mission, and immediately forget what I was doing, it's a hassle. When I accidentally set my cell phone in the refrigerator, it's really annoying when I can't find it. See what I mean?
A few months ago, I was in a situation where I did something really ditzy in public due to my absent-minded, head-in-the-clouds ways. I can't even remember what I did, but I do remember how it prompted somebody to laugh and make fun of me. And yes, I am hyper-sensitive. But I felt so stupid, and was so embarrassed, I buried my head in Luke's chest as we were falling asleep later that night, and just cried. Because: "I know I'm really smart, but nobody knows it, because I act like such an idiot all the time!"
Obviously this has really become an area of insecurity for me, especially now that I'm getting older. I do everything I can to hide it, but I really hate this about myself.
Lately God has reminded me that He created me the way I am for a reason. There are so many stories in the Bible where God used people who had such weaknesses, and yet God used them for mighty things anyway. Moses specifically comes to mind (maybe because of the whole future-speech-pathologist thing, I find this verse fascinating):
"Moses said to the Lord, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." ~Exodus 4:10
This past semester, I spent 25 hours observing people with speech impairments or delays. I've seen people spend hours and hours trying to overcome speech and language obstacles. I've seen people brought to tears in frustration over their speech problems. It is such an area of insecurity, because a speech impairment is not something that can easily be hidden.
It sounds like Moses may have been a stutterer, based on the "slow of speech and tongue" line. And God used him as such a great leader! And I'm pretty sure he didn't keep his mouth shut the entire time he was freeing the Israelites and leading them in the wilderness. He could have told God, "No, I won't do this. No one will listen to me, and I can't speak in front of people." But instead, he took the call, and let God be the strength in his weakness. He changed history! And now people will know his story until the end of time!
All that to say that yes, I am totally ditzy. And yes, sometimes it hurts, and it is a huge insecurity for me. But if I was perfect and had no insecurities, what would I need God for? I'm thankful for this "impairment." Because it is a weakness that God can shine through! I don't have to shy away from doing things, or become discouraged by my insecurities, because I know God will be the strength in my weakness.
I wrote this post as a reminder to myself, but I hope it has encouraged you today! We all have weaknesses and insecurities, but we can't let them cripple us! Because no weakness is too big for God to overcome!