Why am I shy? I used to ask myself this question all the time. I would question God. Wonder why He created me this way. What is the point of me being shy? I would obsess over this question. I would review my life and see what event caused me to be this way. You want to know what I found out? Nothing. Nothing caused me to be shy.
When I would look back on my life, the first thing I thought of that could have caused this social anxiety was divorce. Divorce is known to lead to many negative emotional/psychological side-effects in children, and my parents are divorced. The reason why I quickly decided this wasn’t the cause of my shyness was because my parents were already separated before or very soon after I was born. I have no memory of my parents ever being happily married to each other. Their separation had no great impact on my life because it was the only life I knew. And they were and still are amazing and loving parents. I am so blessed to have been raised by them.
Something else I thought of that could have been a potential cause of my social anxiety was moving. When I was around 7 years old, my family moved and I had to go to a new school. Then, the next year, we moved again and I had to go to yet another new school. I did become more shy with each move, but I dismissed this as being the cause of my shyness because I was shy well before we ever moved.
According to my mom, I was painfully shy as a baby. I would cry when people tried to hold me. When I was a toddler, I wouldn’t acknowledge people who talked to me. Instead, I would hide behind my mom’s legs and look at the floor. If they persisted in trying to get me to talk, I would cry.
So, long story short, I was born shy. There was never a life changing event that lead to me becoming shy. Initially, this revelation frustrated me. Why was I born shy? I still didn’t understand the reasoning behind God creating me this way. That is, until I read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.
I read The Purpose Driven Life when I was 19. It took me that long to finally accept who I am. The book basically opened my eyes to the fact that God has a plan. He created me the way I am for a reason that will go according to His plan for me. He loves me more than anyone could possibly love me and He’s the one who made this way. He makes no mistakes. It helped me to realize that I have a purpose and so does my social anxiety. I’m still not completely sure why God chose this for me, but I do know that I should embrace this part of me as a God given gift. It has blessed me with a stronger sense of empathy and a greater ability to listen.
God didn’t make a mistake when He made me. He didn’t make a mistake when He made those of you who struggle with any kind of psychological disorders. We may not be sure why He made us the way He did until we die, but remember that He loves you more than anyone could love you and that you are beautiful in His eyes. I don’t know why I have social anxiety. But I do know that it is a part of me. It has had an impact on big life decisions I have made and where I am today. And let me just say, I love my life. It isn’t “perfect”, we actually are in the middle of a big Plumbing Crisis right now, but I wouldn’t trade my life for anything.
I have a house that I love, a yard, cars, a dog, an education, a job, absolutely wonderful family and friends, and the best husband I could ever ask for. And all of that is because of the decisions I have made in my life, and said decisions were very heavily influenced by my social anxiety. Thank you, God, for making me that way that I am. I am not perfect. I have lots of room to grow. But I still love myself and can’t wait to continue to grow into a better, more Christ-like version of myself.
I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend.