I am sensitive. Not in the “cries at appropriate times” sense (because I do not), or in the “always says the right thing” way (because I am the queen of awkward pauses), but in the sense that I feel things strongly (understatement). So a word, or a tone, or even a look, can absolutely deflate me.
Justin and I talk about it all of the time (sweetest man on the planet) – and he encourages me to guard my heart more than I do.
If only it were that easy. I have tried to be less sensitive my entire life – but guess what? That’s kind of an impossible task.
As a teenager, I saw this part of me as a terrible thing. I believed the worst about myself – that I was an oversensitive drama-queen. I believed my worst critics – hook, line, and sinker. When you are sensitive, and you don’t have healthy boundaries, it is a crippling combination because you give the words of all people equal weight. So the person I admired and respected who spoke words of grace and beauty into my life – I believed them. But the person who was selfish and who spoke words of rejection and critique into my life – I believed those words as well. I let some really terrible things define me.
I forgot who I am.
Fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139)
A daughter of the King (who is enthralled by me). (Psalm 45:11)
A child of God. (1 John 3)
And this was a part of the crippling insecurity I waded through in my twenties.
As an adult, I am slowly, s-l-o-w-l-y, breaking those chains of insecurity and rejection and starting to see myself as God made me to be. A part of that transformation is I am starting to see this sensitivity as a gift from the Lord, not a flaw or a mistake on God’s part (as I thought it was for a decade).
I am sensitive – it is an integral part of who I am and there is a purpose behind it.
My sister-in-law, who is a gift from the Lord, recently said something powerful to me. She told me that I represented the heart of our family. Her words flowed over me like a healing river.
A heart is sensitive. A heart is incredibly vulnerable. A heart can be easily damaged. Yes – all of these things are true.
But a heart also pumps life.
I have started to see my identity not in the weakness of who I am, but in the strength. I have tried to let ministry, grace, healing, and peace flow out of me into the people around me who would receive it.
I fail so often. I have to apologize and humble myself constantly. I am a flawed human who battles sin and pride.
But I have a purpose – and I was designed by a Creator who does not make mistakes.
I am sensitive. It is what I am and I’m learning to be grateful for it. I am fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who loves me unconditionally. He gave me a husband to protect and guard me so that I can be who I was made to be without fear. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? Such a sweet God we serve.