For most people the word terror means something drastically different than it does to me.
I think if you asked most people to define that word their answer might be things like watching a scary movie, being lost in the woods at night, tragedy in their family, being held at gunpoint, Jaws … You know, normal things.
For me the word terror means my intense, white knuckled, unexplainable, mind-numbing fear of walking into a room full of women.
Now, this was not a room full of scary or rude (that I know of, Lol) women or even psychos. They are mothers, sisters, daughters, friends … and they are all in my bible study group. Yes, you read that right … my bible study group and I’m terrified of them.
I know, I know…. my JOB is women. I do makeup on women, have worked in cosmetics for 11 years, have ministered to teens (give me 2000 teens any day over a roomful of women), have given classes at Pink for teen girls, and have been a speaker at a Child Trafficking event with 1500 people (including Britany Spears!!!), yet simply walking into a room of women is one of the hardest things I can physically do??
Now, I think I’ve always known about this fear but I guess suppressed it or made excuses for it until several weeks ago. See, it was the first time this group was getting together. I blindly signed up for this class thinking it would be fun; little did I know that it would almost handicap me.
As I was getting ready the morning of the Bible study I started to panic and freak out, like REALLY freak out. My precious man tried calming me down until I started shrieking that “I HAD TO LOOK GOOD, HAD TO BE PRETTY, HAD TO, HAD TO, HAD TO!” He looked at me like he had seen an alien, which you would think would have snapped me out of “my moment,” but it only did on the outside. On the inside, those thoughts were still screaming in my mind as I drove there.
I sat in my car for about 10 minutes debating whether or not I was going inside. Sitting in my car trying not to have a panic attack, I had an AH-HAAAAA moment. I realized that I’m terrified of women. Absolutely, positively terrified!
About 4 months ago, I asked God to help me with the “dark places of my heart.” Actually, I think my exact words were, “Father, help me with the mess on my insides and show me how to love—show me how to be me.”
Somehow when I prayed that, I never expected my Heavenly Father, my Daddy, who knows me better than I know myself, to address something that had haunted me since I was little.
As God started dealing with me about this, I realized that I’d had many examples of women who judged other women, who gossiped about them and in their own ways made fun of them; but rarely did I have an example of women who forgave, gave grace or acceptance, and not many that showed love. Especially unconditional love.
When I was a pre-teen I got made fun of a lot. I was awkward and ugly….4 eyes and brace face. Girls treated me like I was a freak show, would giggle and point. Boys would ignore me or worse would dare their friend to do something and if he didn’t do it, would have to sit next to me, I was the butt of dares.
Then, in a way it went from bad to worse. I got cute. The braces and glasses came off and boys started noticing me—girls started judging me, making fun of me for different reasons, criticizing me, etc. I didn’t realize until recently that those small things were actually hanging on my heart, had actually been pulling on my heart in a way that’s altered the way I view women as friends.
I have a very small handful of what I consider my “Besties” and have always been careful not to spend too much time with girls, because I figured they would end up like all the other girls I knew. Finally, though, I realized I’ve been a very lousy friend to many women in my life.
The other day as I was searching for what God says about friends, it dawned on me….just because I’ve known mean girls and have had some crappy friends DOESN’T mean that I have to be that way towards the women I know. It may seem simple and ‘duh’ to you; but to me it was like Jesus threw me a lifejacket and said, “Hang on, I’ll help you.”
I have a devotional called His Princess, Love Letters from Your King, and came across this:
Proverbs 18:24 – ‘Some friends don’t help, but a true friend is closer than your own family’.
“My Princess… Let ME build a true friendship.
I want you to look for a true friend – not just any friend. Find someone who brings out the best in you – a girlfriend who is a gift from Me. My love, it takes time to build a strong foundation with a true friend, so choose your tools wisely.
The first tool you’ll need is transparency…the ability to see within each other’s hearts – your strengths and weaknesses.
The next tool is truth. I am the way, the truth, and the light for you. You will discover the rewards of real friendships when you speak truth and bring refreshing words of encouragement to each other.
Finally, your friendship will need to be sealed in Love, girded with trust, and encircled with prayer. Remember, My princess, you must become the kind of friend you desire to have.
Love, Your King and True Friend
I truly believe that this is a year of God stretching my heart and blowing my mind!
I choose to forgive when women hurt me because I’m guessing that they’re hurting on the inside more than I am.
I choose to let God SHOW me how to love the women I come in contact with.
I choose not to let past hurts determine what kind of friend I am.
I also choose Grace.
Won’t you join me?
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.