Silencing the Storm
Many of us have been told what we were not capable of—hurtful words and unfair circumstances greeted us when we least expected them. Lifes storms never formerly introduce themselves; they just come at the most inopportune times:
When we feel like we’re on our feet, ready to face the areas in our life that we ran away from. When we set a goal and have decided that for once, we’ll actually be able to accomplish it. When we’ve decided that even if our voice is shaking, we’ll still speak boldly.
What do we do when our lives feel like a never-ending winter?
If I was asked this question a few years ago, I would say “Run”, because that is exactly what I did. I ran. I felt so insecure in who I was as a person, and as a result I doubted my strength and the strength of the God that I serve. For years I felt like a failure, incapable of being successful. That mentality caused me to avoid facing issues that were not only detrimental to my well being, but also to the relationships that meant the world to me.
I was a runner, frail and breakable. I allowed the opinions of others to bend and shape me into someone I was not destined to be. Comments such as, “You’re not smart enough”, “You’re not pretty enough”, “It’ll be a miracle if that happened”, took root into my heart, and it seemed impossible for to ever be uprooted. I wanted to push past doubt and the feelings of despair, but how? How could I be bold when my first inclination was to run?
I went back to when I was eight years old and in the third grade. I went through a transition and it wasn’t the smoothest. Incapable of expressing how I felt, I gave myself one way of handling the situation, and that was to run.
I remember giving my teacher a hard time that year. The smallest problem would make me angry, and what did I do? I ran. I picked up my things and ran, not knowing where I would go. I usually didn’t go far and some how, I always found my way home. But it didn’t end there. I began to run away more and more when I didn’t have my way, or was simply angry and too frustrated to verbally express how I felt.
My running was so out of hand, that eventually I was kicked out of school. My principal cared about me and told my mother that whenever I would run, I would not only put myself at risk, but I also made the school liable for my behavior. They were responsible for me and if anything happened, the blame would be on them. At eight years old, I found myself in a juvenile school, separated from my old school that felt like home. I was lost and confused. I knew I didn’t belong there. I knew that I was a better person—that there had to be another way.
Eventually I proved that I was a good student and capable of good behavior. My principal allowed me to return and became a mentor along the way. She gave me the opportunity to be the school’s first student photographer, and that was major for me. I made honor roll, and was chosen to give the graduation speech. With time, patience, and much love and prayer, my life turned completely around. In fact, when I recently ran into an old classmate who was hesitant to approach me, she stood in awe of my transformation. I served as proof that anything can happen.
I silenced the storm.
I took unfair circumstances, mistakes and lessons, and put them all on paper. I decided that instead of running, I should face them. So I decided to write it out and make it plain. I allowed myself to be raw, unpolished, and real. I believe that the best way to face your insecurities is to share them. Chances are millions of other people are feeling, or have felt, the way you feel right now.
In October of 2015, Fearlessly Written was created. During this time, I had just graduated from high school and unexpected circumstances hit home. I felt purposeless and lost. Questions my purpose filled my head. I vividly remember feeling down one week, and instead of writing on paper how I felt, I decided I would type it. I opened up a Word document and typed up my first piece entitled “Grace”. That week I made a mistake and I needed God’s grace. As I began to write, condemnation lifted and a peace came on me. I felt good, I needed to share this with someone. So I hesitantly sent it to a close friend and they motivated me to share it with the world.
The Internet is a scary place, but somehow I built the courage to share my story. Within four days, Fearlessly Written was up and running. I spent day and night working on my website outline and all the logistics that went into creating a blog.
It was scary, but one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I silenced life’s storm with transparency. Fearlessly Written allows me to share how I feel instead of keeping it on the inside. My blog holds me accountable to others. I can’t tell my readers to be fearless if I live my life in fear.
I stopped running from my fears. The question is will you?
Ariyanna J. is the Founder and Writer of Christian lifestyle bog Fearlessly Written. You can read more of her work here.