I grew up plagued with insecurity.
Without going into the reasons why, the internal thoughts present, or the resulting behaviors of my extreme dislike of myself, let’s just sum up my experience in one word: wallflower.
I stood against the wall at junior high dances, sat alone in a crowd at lunch most days, and never went to prom.
I hated it at the time, but I realized years later that God’s hand protected me during those lonely years, and I am grateful for the long road He chose for me.
The difficult consequence of growing up like that is that remaining unseen is more comfortable than connecting, people are like a foreign language, and success and accomplishment carry more responsibility than I really want to handle.
I am rarely considered an introvert. I have learned how to smile and mingle, I can stride onto a stage and speak into a microphone with relative ease, and I often have a house full of people for one reason or another.
Over the years I have opened my arms wide to the Bible’s message that the hidden place in Christ is the most precious place of all. I enjoy being last in line, I love to serve, and it is a joy for me to lay aside this weak self of mine and seek to live the life Christ has for me.
But still, I am uncomfortable with success, hate the thought of failure, and some days in all honesty I would rather not be noticed at all.
The end result of my conundrum is that I am never truly comfortable. I want to live two opposing lives at once. I want to succeed and do great things for God. I also want a simple, small life where I can hide away.
Over the years, though, I have realized that wallflowers bloom best in uncomfortable settings.
I have bloomed in the small, hidden season of motherhood.
I have bloomed in the glaring front row season of pastoring.
I have failed and learned some lessons. I have succeeded and been humbled.
If there is any good in my life, any admirable ability, any lovely accomplishment, it is because He spoke a word and caused a bloom to erupt in glory. The blooms that still are closed up, the places that God is still challenging me to trust and grow, are evidence of His patient grace in my life.
I often look at my life with wonder. I have more than I ever expected I would. There is more love, more joy, more peace, more acceptance than a wallflower could anticipate.
I have grown up to be filled by God’s love. That’s the best way to make a wallflower bloom.