Have you ever felt suffocated, completely and utterly overwhelmed, heart-stopping motionless when it comes to being around people? Small groups, larger groups, even one on one?
Interacting with others can often put me in a state of distress. Truthfully, it is more so what they might be thinking than their actual physical presence. I rather swiftly come to feel uneasy and bog myself down with a whole caseload of “what ifs”. This has the potential to be exceptionally crippling, mentally so.
I have experienced this since I was a young teen, maybe even earlier in life. Because of this, I am very selective in who I allow myself to be comfortable around. Certain people’s personalities just click with me, put me at instant ease. Those experiences are far and few between though. It is not necessarily at the fault of others that I cannot connect and unwind. More often it is something about my life that my mind does not allow it. Even for those select few I have connected with, it still takes me time to completely let the castle doors open. I may let them safely cross the moat but really letting them all the way in is a different story.
Can you relate?
Here is the deal. What I have learned is sometimes we have to come out of behind those walls even when we really don’t want to. Even when it feels beyond uncomfortable.
We need to ask ourselves, “what are others around us missing out on when we insist on holding back?”. Not only are we holding back ourselves but we are holding out on the other people what we have to offer. When we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts we have something not everyone else does. Even if someone is a believer they do not always hold the experiences we have personally had.
We need to be active for the kingdom of God. If we do not allow ourselves to be put out there and to be used we could miss someone who needs exactly what the Holy Spirit has instilled in us. When we settle for holding ourselves back so much we are shorting other people.
Today, I encourage you to remember God knows the numbers of hair on your head. He knows your anxieties. He knows your fears and your doubts. He sees and He knows this is something hard to do. Trust that you are not alone and go out and breathe hope into someone else’s life. Share what Christ has done for you. Share a trial in your life with someone that is experiencing something similar to your hard times. Remember that you are not alone so you can share with someone else they are not alone either.
When someone tells you “Thank you for your words. I really needed to hear that. You make me feel like there is hope.” you will be so incredibly encouraged!
God is with you. Don’t hold out on someone else that could so desperately need your words, your companionship, and your heart.