• Paige Barker

Page 20: One Year

On this day last year I launched my blog and it has been a whirwind of a year.

This is a vulnerable post for me to share, and it might be a longer one to read.

I haven’t touched a keyboard of any kind for six weeks. I have to for my job, but outside of work, I haven’t written in six weeks because I’ve been scared.

I’ve tried to sit down and write, and every time I have tried, I clam up and have to shut my computer because fear and insecurity have gripped my heart. I’ve allowed fear and insecurity to take the driver seat… even though I know better. A lot of life happened in the last several weeks (some uncontrollable stuff and some stuff that I have caused, unfortunately) and with everything, I have had this thought process blaring in my head:

“You’re a fraud. A hypocrite. You don’t deserve to write because who are you to talk about anything when you’ve messed up? What you have to say doesn’t matter and won’t make a difference, so why try?”

It has been one of the hardest inner battles I have had to overcome. While I have had a smile on my face (for the most part), I have been screaming on the inside. Naturally, I am someone who isolates when going through difficult times, someone who chooses to silence my emotions for fear of rejection or not being heard, someone who will bottle everything up until one day I explode. And I do have a mentor I talk to about pretty much anything and everything, but this time, I chose to isolate. I chose to hide. I chose to bottle everything up because it was easier than confronting myself.

I was tired of fighting, so I mentally and emotionally gave up. Whether or not the people in my life noticed, I knew what was happening on the inside. No matter how hard I tried to understand why I was internally struggling so much, I couldn’t. It was as if there was a cloudy film blocking me from seeing anything clearly. And I’d be lying if I told you I was completely free of this struggle. BUT what I can tell you is this: I have a peace I haven’t had in a really long time by writing this.

There was an area of my life I was choosing to be disobedient in what God directed me to do. I remember clear as day when God asked me to do a particular thing. I wasn’t too happy about it, but I chose to listen because I wanted to be obedient. Well after a few weeks I went back to what God asked me to walk away from (that’s never a good idea by the way). And I think part of why I was going through that internal struggle was because I was choosing disobedience. It wasn’t ignorance because I knew exactly what I was doing… even though I knew it wasn’t right, and it made my stomach churn just thinking about it.

Last week, I was convicted to go back to what God directed me to do. I can’t adequately describe how it felt to have the weight of disobedience lifted off. However, that was available the entire time, but I was too stubborn to surrender my pride. At first, I had this thought,

“It’ll be fine. It’s not that big of a deal. It’s not really a sin, so how can it matter that much?”

HA. Hello Paige… disobedience IS sin. So I had to repent. Like really repent.

I hate letting people down and disappointing people but when I do because I’m human, I want to hide for as long as I can from the person I let down because I don’t want to face the correction or the conversation about how I let them down. I’m already so hard on myself that any correction makes the inner critic worse. That’s what has happened the last several weeks: I tried to hide from God because I didn’t want to face the correction. I didn’t want to feel worse than I already did. But correction was necessary. Proverbs 3:12 tells us,

“For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.”

When God corrects, not only is it out of His love for us, it’s because He sees that we’re not living up to the potential He sees in us. And that is motivation for me to be better because God sees the best in us and calls us higher. He lovingly pushes us to be the daughter or son He sees that we can be. And how grateful am I to have a Heavenly Dad to love me that way; to love me when I can’t love myself. To love me through my mess.

Can I tell you something, friend? He loves you the same way too. No matter what you have done or where you have tried to hide, God is waiting with arms wide open ready to love you and help you be the best version of yourself.

While this isn’t a typical celebratory post about having my blog for one year (although I am super excited about that), I wanted to be real, I wanted to be raw, and I wanted to be vulnerable with you. That’s why I started my blog to begin with, so what better way to “celebrate.” And it’s never easy being vulnerable for people you may or may not know, but I hope this encourages you wherever you’re at today. Because I’m fighting right alongside you, and if God can help get me out of my mess, He can do the same for you.