Insecurity has been a struggle for me since I can remember. I grew up on the mission field so I was always different. I looked different when I was in Africa, and I acted different when I was in America. When I was growing up, I wanted blue eyes and straight hair because that’s what all “Americans” had.
When we moved back, I was in 6th grade. Middle school is confusing enough without changing continents. My identity was all messed up-I didn’t know where I belonged and fit in. I looked like my peers, but I felt different. I found myself laughing at things because others were laughing. I had no idea what was funny. I got really good at making it seem like I knew about a book or movie that everyone else knew. I wanted to belong, but I felt different.
I craved belonging.
I ended up finding my identity in academics. I was good at school so I became the smartest I could be. I embraced the title of “smart girl” because that meant people were noticing me. I was a people pleaser. How people saw me would make or break an experience. I would always have makeup on, dress nice, and be put together. It was people’s opinion that mattered and I usually came up short. Someone was always prettier, more talented, and smarter than me. This carried over to college. In my relationships, I was overly concerned about how people saw me. I became afraid that they were only my friends because of pity-because I initiated it.
I was becoming more confident in myself and accepting the uniqueness of my soul. Last fall, a series of events caused my insecurities to be taken out and hung like laundry on a line-flapping around in the wind. I turned to God, letting Him romance me as the lover of my soul. I was in the process of taking the down and folding them as God whispered “You are loved. You are enough.”
Then, the accident happened. My life changed that day, not just physically but emotionally as well. My close friends rarely left my side. My relationship with them was more than just convenient, it was deep. They weren’t friends with me out of pity-they chose me. Some of them were even at Grant before I was transferred there. In the hospital, I had more pressing issues than my physical appearance. I didn’t care how I looked. Survival was the upmost priority.
Now, I’m insecure about specific things, like how I walk and how I talk, but I don’t care as much what people think. My need to please others is minimal. I don’t do things just because people expect it of me. No is a bigger part of my vocabulary. My outfits of choice are shirts and athletic shorts, which show my scars. It’s weird, because of my brain injury, I don’t know where I fit in the world anymore, but I’m more secure in myself-in what makes me Sara Beth. Life is short and my energy is limited so I choose to put my energy in things I’m really interested in. I had so many plans of how my life would go and then, they vanished after the accident. I am starting to get glimpses of the possibilities, which encourages my soul.
It’s still a journey to a confidant me. Each day is better than the last. It requires so much bravery to love myself just as I am-all my quirks and faults. I’m learning to see myself as God sees me-a beautiful, smart, and loved daughter of the King.