There are some things in this world that I am not scared of. For example, I'm not scared of speaking my mind in a meeting. I'm not scared of cooking a new recipe for guests (although my mother would advise against that). I'm not scared of a classroom full of unruly students. But standing face to face with a stranger and talking with them about the mundane? Terrifying.
I'm not a shy person, usually. But today I was. I met somebody new and they were nice. But for some reason, I felt that they could not possibly be interested in anything I had to say, and so I stumbled on my words. I felt silly and insincere in my expressions. I found myself wanting to blame my discomfort on them, but I knew truly that something was going on within me.
Is this something that goes away as we get older? Do we reach an age, a number, when we no longer desperately hope the stranger or the friend across from us will think we are interesting? Is there ever a day when we will not find it painful to be vulnerable? Even as I write this, knowing that others will read it, I want to protect my ego and pretend I am completely confident in who I am. But I am not always.
There is verse from Psalm 46 that I love. It says, "God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns." She shall not be moved. When we go into new situations, when we talk to new people, we do not have to twist ourselves to be more interesting. We don't have to stumble over our words, searching for just the right one. We don't have to beat ourselves up for not knowing what to say and when to say it. Our insides don't have to be moved. We can be rock solid in knowing that God is in our midst.
It feels scary to admit that I feel uncomfortable, self-conscious, or less-than sometimes. It feels scary to admit that I'm scared. But maybe if we all acknowledge our own insecurities, they can start to feel less scary. Maybe once we know they are there and invite God into the midst of them, they will not be able to move us anymore.