Saturday, March 01, 2008

"Joy Says..."

I remember playing "Simon Says" when I was younger. It was great if you were 'Simon'! Everyone always tried to do whatever was asked of you in order to stay in the game. Obedience was all about community. Not being cast aside. Unity. Conformity. Not being singled out as different. 'Simon' not only made the rules, but enforced them. It was the ultimate 'People Pleaser' game. Everyone listened to 'Simon'.

For most of my life I have had a complex of feeling like no-one listens to me. In elementary school participation in class was difficult. I was shy. Quiet. When I did voice opinions or thoughts they were ridiculed. Criticism silenced my tongue. The harsh teasing and unacceptance of fellow students caused me to retreat inside, afraid to express my views as I was made to feel simple, unimportant and insignificant.

This escalated to such a degree that during my highschool years I was actually made to write final exams, not because my grades were below the exemption percentage, but because I didn't offer answers in class. It was the teachers form of further punishment for a student who had been battered by cruel remarks and held shackled - a prisoner within her own world.

As I grew, so did my feels of inadequacy. It seemed I could please no-one and everything I did was being judged. I couldn't do anything right. Someone always had a better way. I wrapped myself in a cocoon. I wanted a safe place where the analysis and disapproval of others didn't cut as deeply. My heart and soul were wounded. This butterfly was never coming out.

Recently God has been stripping away layers of protective shelter and encouraging me to emerge. I have begun to share the 'real Joy' through my writing. I have tentatively and cautiously expressed ideas and feelings and I'm finding understanding and affirmation. I'm standing back in complete amazement - I actually have something to offer and others are being favourably responsive.

Within the last 24 hour period a couple of ladies whom I love and respect have shared comments I have sent to them on their own blog posts. I am overwhelmed! Two people actually think I have something worthwhile to share that they even quoted my writing..."Joy says...." WOW!

Praying the Lord will sheild me from pride, but at the same time enjoy, for the first time, the wonder and freedom of being me.


Kelley at Aroma of Joy said...

Oh Joy I can so relate to that! I feel an amazing sense of freedom that I never have before. I think part of it is age and finally feeling like I don't have to "fit in". In fact I don't want to fit in~~~just call me a Misfit! And I NEVER would have said that 5 years ago! Also, the love and acceptance of God has freed me from needing it from others. I think teenagers are a prime example of the "need to fit in" syndrome. I am really trying to teach my kids to come out of the cocoon and fly.....

Love, Kelley

Yolanda said...

Joy, what a great post and I'm so glad that I saw you on Kelly's blog. Keep writing for Him Sister! I too have found myself walking in FREEDOM by allowing Him to use me to write for His glory.

Vulnerable, but real.


Blessings, Yolanda

Catherine said...

So glad you're free to write friend! I enjoy coming here and reading what you share with us.

Ok...I enjoy our telephone and tea visits more because we talk so much faster than we write but, I learn much for you here too!

Spread your wings and fly butterfly!

Kelley at Aroma of Joy said...

I did receive your email and I sent a long reply this morning. I wanted to tell you about my decision before I posted it. Let me know if you don't receive it. I did mention in the email that Leila is looking for a roommate at the conference (we are flying out together) and then you both referenced the same book on my blog. Coincindence? Hmmmm.....

Love, Kelley

swile67 said...

Thanks for being transperent Joy. I can totally identify with your feelings. I am really enjoying reading your blog...keep on writing and praying you will get to She Speaks!!