Meet Victoria Lynn - a writer, blogger, and incredible friend. I was able to meet Victoria in May, and she is a seriously awesome person. Talk about a heart of mercy and encouragement!
And today, I have the pleasure of joining Victoria in a blog tour for her newest release - When Beauty Blooms. The novelette is beautiful, but I'm almost just as excited because the authoress wrote a guest post for us! She is going to share her thoughts on a difficult topic addressed in When Beauty Blooms - social anxiety. Scroll down and meet the heart of a dear friend...
(and don't forget to enter the giveaway and check out Victoria's novelette!)
Hosanna left it up to me to post about whatever I wanted to. LOL! Not sure if that was a good idea or a dangerous one, but here we are. :D I am so blessed to know Hosanna and I feel privileged that she asked me to post on her blog.
So, without further ado, here are my thoughts on a subject that has been a struggle for me, but also a feature in my new book, When Beauty Blooms.
Social anxiety is a label for something that I didn’t realize that I had an issue with until this past year. As a homeschooler and someone who wasn’t very involved in the community, the close circle of friends that I interacted with in my growing up years never threw me for a loop. I loved them, they loved me, we had a blast, I knew how to socialize, 'nough said. But the thing is, I am more of an introvert than I originally thought. My day-job (of a receptionist) requires a lot of interaction with clients, but it also involves a lot of interaction with coworkers, and a lot of their day (scheduling etc.) relies on me and my ability to do my job, know timings etc. No pressure right? *starts to sweat*
I have come to realize that I rely on what other people think of me a lot. And that’s not super healthy. I want to do a good job, I want my coworkers to be pleased with the job that I do and with me as a person. But there are times when perfection is not possible. I make mistakes, and I also have felt utterly crushed by criticism or correction. Which is not healthy.
But aside from those things, I have also experienced a bit of ostracization. I am different. I am a Christian girl who seeks to remain pure and wholesome in everything I do, from language, actions and outward appearance to even deeper matters of the heart. I go against the norm when it comes to many of the things that are found normal in this world. I’ve learned that it is hard not being accepted for who I am. Again, being sensitive, I sense the subtleties of actions and I have felt the rejection at times.
As I have been through the process of editing this book and getting it ready for publication, I have found myself relating to Marjorie, the main character, on a much deeper level than I did originally. She is often rejected, even if subtly for the way she lives her life and her personality and viewpoints that go against the norm.
Through my journey, and I haven’t by any means arrived yet, not that we ever do, but I am learning that my identity is not found in what others think of me, but what Christ does. Even if God is the only one who knows that I did a good job at work and that my heart is in the right place, I should be okay. Because His opinion is the only one that matters. Granted, I should seek to please my boss and serve them in the best way possible, but at the end of the day, can I look to God, knowing that I did my best, and find that enough?
It’s a work in progress. I’m a work in progress, and you know what? That’s okay. God doesn’t require perfection from us, He requires a heart fully devoted to Him.
I have found myself on the way home at the end of a long day crying but saying out loud so the devil can hear me that “Christ is my all. His opinion is the only one that matters and His love is worth it all.”
He loves me and will always love me.
But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children.
- Psalm 103:17 (emphasis added)
And that is truly all that matters. Who I am is found in who Christ is and my value is found in what He did for me.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will...
What about you? Do you ever struggle with social anxiety or people pleasing?
By God’s Grace,