I once had a deep trauma when it came to talking in front of people and asking for help. I’m not just talking about speaking in public spaces but in one on one conversations. Let me share a couple of personal stories with you.
I was at McDonald’s in college with my teammate JB Smiley, and I forgot to ask for some bbq sauce. I asked him to get me some, and he was like why don’t you go up there and get it yourself. I said, bro, I can’t, and I begged him to go and get it for me.
He didn’t quite understand why I wouldn’t ask, and neither did I entirely at that point, but it terrified me to ask for anything, no matter how big or small.
Recently, some friends and I were sharing crazy stories that happened to us growing up. I shared how in 7th grade, I peed on myself sitting in my chair in typing class. I was out of bathroom passes, and I was deathly afraid to ask my teacher. I tried my hardest to hold it in, but a little bit slipped out, and it was game over from there! (It’s okay to laugh here. I laughed, sharing this story. lol)
Emotional abuse, fear from my childhood, and teenage years wounded me to the point where insecurity screamed the loudest in my life. The fear of rejection and the lack of trust in others led to me crippling inside. I knew I was deeply wounded, I knew God still loved me, but I still was struggling with how to manage it all.
In 2017, I had another moment where I couldn’t figure out how to ask for help. In a meeting with my Pastor, he said, this sounds like fear, insecurity, and ultimately idolatry. I never thought of it this way, and I was grateful; although walking through something hard and facing the truth for what it is, I believed God would use what I was experiencing for His glory.
This challenging moment allowed me to see that the fear of opening up still gripped me. From not opening up and allowing others in, I was not only hurting myself but others too. This realization led me to seek professional help and to a deeper understanding of God’s word to learn more intimately about who God says I am.
What you see today is years of me learning to rewire my brain, learning to love myself, learning to open up to others, learning to trust God, and live beyond the trauma. I still have challenging moments and waves of anxiety that creep in, but I’ve learned in these moments to breathe deeply, remind myself of who God says I am, and appreciate the moment in front of me.
The anxiety and seasonal depression may never go away, and I am okay with that because I know God loves me for me. I have people that love me for me. I have people that are patient with me and continue to cheer me on to be the best I can be in Christ.
Lastly, what I once thought that was sent to break me; God has used to powerfully transform me and mold me into the person I am today.
- It’s okay to admit we are not strong enough to fight through the trauma.
- What we conceal cannot be healed.
- We can step toward the pain. It is actually the best way to find healing.
- God, community, Scripture, exercise, professional therapists help us to live beyond the trauma.
- You are loved by God!