Confidence, a healthy confidence, is a wonderful thing. Well loved children from stable homes usually have it unless someone on the outside has corrupted it with bullying and/or public humiliation. There are precious few who are not afraid to answer questions in a class. The rest think twice before raising their hand. Introverts really struggle with it but so do many extroverts. Why? Because of the risk of embarrassment and humiliation.
What was your most humiliating incident? You probably don’t have to think too hard. The memory of it is always readily there to replay. The enemy makes sure of that. For me, it was a moment in the recording studio. For one project, I had a coveted producer in Christian circles. I was excited when he asked to be involved in one of my later albums. He was exceptionally gifted and the good news is that when you pleased him with a performance, you felt the light of his favor. When he wasn’t happy, you felt like a worthless musician. On one particular day in the studio, I had sung a verse to a song over 50 times. He had asked for a certain interpretation that I just wasn’t feeling. Finally, exasperated, he pushed the intercom button and said for all to hear. “She’s never going to get it. I give up. Let’s go have lunch!” I’m not sure he was ever really happy with the song, or with me. Every time I hear that CD and the song comes up, the memory is vivid.
Confident adults have a firm sense of who they are. They were probably defined well by the people who raised them; their heart was affirmed, their personality accepted, their gifts discussed and defined. But without such a home, in a family where conversation and engagement were absent, identity is one huge void waiting to be shaped by anyone powerful. Humiliation feels like it’s a threat on every corner.
One of the scriptures God used mightily to call me out of hiding was this one from the Psalms.
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.Psalm 18:19 Shy. Retreating. Slow to speak. Finding safety in mainstream thinking. Afraid of creativity. Condemning self-talk. These were the places from which Jesus called me one day in prayer. I saw Him extend His hand down into the pit to give me a hand as I climbed out. The invitation was clear. “Come out and live with Me in spacious places. No barriers. No fear. All thoughts and ideas are welcome. No humiliation in My kingdom.” Before I could feel safe with people, I had to learn to feel safe with Jesus. Words became plentiful. Creativity was born. How well I remember the day I left the cave of wordlessness.
If you are one who fears embarrassment, start researching scriptures like Psalm 18:19. Live in them and be sure to engage the 2nd birth agent….the Holy Spirit. Ask the Spirit to breathe over you so that His invitation to spacious places can penetrate your heart.
For every daughter in the shadows, let her hear Your call to step into the light. Amen