by Jan Dravecky, Guest Writer
Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens.
Don’t turn away from me, or I will die.
Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,
for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk,
for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord;
I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward
on a firm footing.
Psalm 143:7-10 (NLT)
I asked God to show me. Show me the masks I have worn. Show me why I began to wear them in the first place. Show me the evolution of my imposter. I asked God – as King David did…
Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.
Psalm 139:23-24 (The Message)
Almost immediately the Holy Spirit began to show me. He showed me that I was the first born of two parents who were also first born. I was born a very strong-willed child – it was in my genes. Because of my self-determined, self-sufficient will, I was not easy for my parents to raise. To make matters worse my younger brother was quite the opposite – a very compliant child – much easier to raise than me. So when I displayed my strong will I was often compared to him and then I was told that I was more like the least liked members of our family and I knew even at my young age that was not good!
God also showed me that I was blessed with an extremely sensitive spirit, though at times it has felt like a curse. I always have felt and sensed much more than the average person. I not only experience my own emotional pain but I also feel and experience the pain that others are experiencing. Often times I think I experience way more pain than they actually feel. So I was labeled as “overly sensitive” and a “drama queen” because my face always expressed what I was feeling. I knew, too, that was not good!
So early on I learned that it was not good for me to be “me”, and I needed to change if I wanted to please others. I hid who I truly was and I became whatever others needed me to be. I became a chameleon so I would be liked and accepted by all. I was also a good actress so it was easy for me to portray myself as someone else – someone totally different from me. The problem was that after a whole lifetime of acting to please others – even God – I lost – even forgot – who I truly was. I lost myself in the process.
As sad as this scenario seems, what is awesome is that God answered my cries and showed me who He created me to be. He exposed my imposter – removed my masks – lifted my shame and showed me how marvelously He made me. It was finally okay for me to be “me” because I was His creation!
You also are His marvelous creation. Do you know who you truly are? Do you struggle like I have struggled – actually ashamed of who you are? If your answer is yes then my prayer for you is that you too experience the freedom to be who He created you to be. I pray that you – along with King David and me – will be able to proclaim to our Father…
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
Psalm 139:13-14 (The Message)
On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky is the wife of former San Francisco Giants baseball pitcher, Dave Dravecky. Together, Jan and Dave founded the Endurance ministry (endurance.org), created specifically to encourage those who are facing serious illness, loss or depression.
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