A few weeks ago, I was thinking about the personality God gave me, and I remembered 6th grade. I’ve always been a quiet person, so people TRIED to bully me in junior high. 3 girls were picking on me in 6th grade and said they would jump me after school. Instead of avoiding them and going straight home, I actually showed up to the fight… BY MYSELF… with no back up. I don’t remember us even having a conversation. I just remember my 11 year old self reasoning on my walk towards them that this isn’t going to be a fair fight with my hands. My legs are the strongest part of my body, so I’m gonna have to catch them off guard and kick them…. and that’s exactly what I did 😂… kicked all 3 girls, then took off running home. I wanted to make sure they weren’t following me & didn’t know where I lived, so I ran as long as possible before power walking the rest of the way home.
Oh, and my kicking wasn’t without consequences. Even though the girls initiated the fight, they went to the office afterwards to report me. I got called into the dean’s office the next day and almost got suspended for fighting. As I got older, the attempts to bully me continued, but instead of resorting to the physical, I used to cut people with my tongue 😔. I didn’t yet understand what it meant to live a surrendered life.
[Side note: I don’t remember anyone ever telling me I need to stand up to bullies, or anything similar. But I do have a fond memory of my dad showing up to my first grade class to confront a boy who pushed me on the playground and left 3 deep scars on my body because I beat him in a race. I think my dad’s response to that incident taught me not to cower in the face of those wanting to tear me down.]
This memory came to mind like a scene in a movie. For a while now, I was “hiding in the shadows” and cowering over some negative things people said about me… faith shaken and just doubting… and it’s like God was saying “remember the courage I instilled in you from the time you were a child. Stand firm, show up, and do not shrink back. I have given you a spirit of power not fear. You don’t have to defend yourself or feel alone when you show up to battles. Just like your earthly father defended you, I fight for you…” If this was a movie, cue the dramatic music & me rising out of the dirt lol. 😁
I’ve learned over the last few years that during the sanctification process, our personality doesn’t necessarily change. Surrendered to God, He uses what He’s instilled in us for steadfastness, courage, and the building up of others instead of tearing down. Quiet doesn’t mean shy or weak, and loud doesn’t mean strong and confident. It’s not our job to change a person. Yes, we gently lead, teach, guide, and correct sin issues, but personality & sin issues are two different entities. We need to better understand and appreciate that God has instilled that tenacity, zeal, sensitivity, straight forwardness, questioning, helping, or giving in a person for His purposes and glory (again, when surrendered)! 😊