Hard Goodbyes

A couple of weeks ago, we had a ministry meeting at the camp.

This meeting included the two staff members, the three guys living with us, and my boss and her family.

It was an amazing time of our fearless leader opening up about her crazy awesome testimony to three guys who don’t necessarily believe in God.

Once the sharing time was over, she had us all go around in a circle and say what we liked about each other. (Undercover prophetic words if you will).

When it came to my turn for everyone to tell me what they liked about me, it was all good stuff, but there was one thing that stayed on my heart and mind. There was a lot said about how people wished I had opened up more.

I brushed it off that night, but a couple of days later I brought it up to my friend Rachel. “I didn’t realize that I was so closed off…” In a moment of full vulnerability and letting go of previously conceived thoughts about myself, I allowed my friend to speak words into my life.

There were a lot of tears, and a lot of things that were brought up that stung, but in the end I had gotten down to what the issue was.

I had been so conditioned by words, and judgment from my childhood, that I expected everyone I met to have judged me before I even spoke, and decide that I wasn’t good enough. This is why when I meet people I don’t necessarily open up right away, or sometimes even talk. I’ve been so scared of what people are going to think of me. I have hesitated with friendships or conversations because of a false judgment I put on myself.

“Oh well they’ll think this…”

“They probably think that I’m…”

“They are too cool to talk to me…”

I doubt myself. I have lacked this confidence in who I am, since I was a little girl being called names on the playground.

So it shouldn’t have been a surprise to me that these new guys felt as though I wasn’t opening up. It’s because I wasn’t. I was hiding. I didn’t want them to see me because I was scared the real me wasn’t good enough.

After this conversation, I made a decision. I was going to open up to them, even if it was utterly terrifying.

And because of this I had an amazing last week and a half with them.

I even offered to drive them to San Francisco. I made a nine hour road trip with three guys I had only known a month, two of which didn’t speak much english.

One of them actually became a huge encourager to me. He was honestly the hardest one to say goodbye to.

I hugged them all and I drove home.

As I drove, I started crying. These three guys had become part of a family in our house. Always there. Always joking around. I already missed them.

It was such a hard goodbye.

And yet, the only thing that I regret, was not opening up to them sooner.

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