If you've ever faced fear and anxiety at any point of your life then maybe you could relate to what I felt for about 5 years of my life.
While all my friends got their license the day they turned 16 and began taking trips around town and getting midnight snacks, I sat in the driver's seat of a car completely paralyzed with fear. The thought of failing and screwing up brought tears to my eyes.
Although I didn't always say it out loud, I felt so much self-hatred whenever I was in a group of friends who all could drive except for me. I felt so unworthy.
I know, I know. "But it's only driving!"
And that's what I fought to tell myself through sobbing tears of just not feeling good enough. That's what I told myself every time someone would ask me why I haven't just done it yet. My heart would sink to my chest and my stomach would twirl into a knot.
" I'm just not ready right now."
"I"ll do it soon."
"Can we change the subject?"
"It just gives me a lot of anxiety right now"
All responses I've said to people.
Behind my seemingly strong responses, hid a little girl who just wanted to cry because she was scared. I would say that most of my sorrow behind not driving in my teen years came from not being able to go places when I wanted too- and to a certain extent that was true. But the majority of my tears came from a place of complete and utter insecurity. I felt like every time I met someone new I felt like I was stamped with this fact on my forehead.
"The girl who can't drive"
And so I would begin to let the lies feed into the most sensitive part of my heart.
"Christina, why would ANYONE want to be friends with someone who can't drive? Something SIXTEEN-year-olds can do, and you're 18 and can't do.
"They're going to think that something is wrong with you"
"They will never see past this fact"
There were moments where I didn't let these lies take the forefront of my thoughts, but there were days where they most definitely did. And those were the days that hurt the most.
Through my years of fighting this fear and this constant state of embarrassment, I found something that was beautiful- something that I wouldn't have found if I didn't go through this journey.
I found the intimate love of the Father.
In the moments where I felt so defeated and so let down by myself- and the feeling of letting others down, I would remind myself that God never hangs his head low. He has NEVER looked at me and thought "Why don't you just DO it?"
He was patient. He IS patient. He held me through every time I made my way to a bathroom in school to cry silently about the complete turmoil that this had on my life. He held my face up when I let the lies cover the truth. He never let me go, He never reprimanded me, He never saw me as less.
The number one thing that kept me steady through the years of feeling unworthy, unseen, and not good enough was the love of my Heavenly Father.
The second thing that kept me steady was the love and support from those who were closest to me. There's a small number of people that I really let into this part of my life. And I am so thankful that was handled with care. In the moments when I truly could not see the truth of my situation, I had people in my life that lifted me up. In the moments where all I felt was completely defined by what felt like a giant neon sign on my head that said I couldn't drive, I was affirmed that I was more than that. And that there is nothing that can strip me away from my true identity.
This past Friday I overcame one of the most pressing things in my life and got my drivers license. Something that if you asked me to do two years ago- or even one year ago, I would have immediately said I couldn't.
Over the past few days, I've learned more about Go's plan and process for my life than I have in 5 years. I've realized that God already knows the desires of my heart, but just because I want something right away- even if it's for a good reason- doesn't mean I get it right away.
Ultimately, God is the one that shapes the way I feel about everything around me. And because He is a good Father, I know that He knows what's best for me.
I've been on a journey on what it means to fully trust God, and when I say it's been the most beautifully messy journey of my life. I mean that with everything in me.