For me, every awkward story of miniature crisis starts with “There’s this guy.” It always starts with a guy. I lose focus. I hyperventilate. I freeze mind, body, and soul. It all blitzes in paralysis at once, like a sudden power surge to my brain. I become a blushing, blabbering girl who has no idea what to do with my hands or my heart.

No, I’m not talking about when I was fifteen-years-old. I’m talking now, in my early thirties. Not much has changed. Honestly, insecurity creeps up now, more than it did at fifteen.

Low and behold, my blitzing paralyzed brain is getting ready to attend a country club dinner I was invited to at the last minute. I’m not much of a country club girl. I’ve only ever been once. It seems whimsical and fancy. Something quite out of reach for my ordinary life. At this dinner, there’s this guy: single, young, handsome, quirky, down-to-earth, and well respected. Somehow, I’m invited to this dinner he’s hosting.

We’ve previously had some coincidental run-ins where we speak briefly. But this? This invitation seems all too coincidental. Maybe the stars are aligned, or fate is working its magic, or maybe God is intentionally weaving our paths together for this one night.

I throw myself together in ten minutes flat. My cousin calls long-distance, talking me through my panic attack as I get ready. She is miles away; I need her to magically appear to help me get ready because I’m too busy breathing through my fears.

So often I get lost in these simple moments. My overactive brain switches to hyperspeed and I’m suddenly running through the unknowns and what-ifs. I don’t know a single soul at this dinner! Who will I talk to? Do I even belong there? Have I dressed appropriately? What if I fall walking in? What if I have nothing to say to him or any of his fancy people? What if he looks at me, I blush and he can tell I’m curiously interested and possibly on my way to in-love with him? I’ll be exposed! I can’t be exposed! That’s too vulnerable!

Driving down the highway full speed ahead, I already feel exposed, like I’m held together with bobby pins and blush covering my every insecurity. My cousin’s reminder runs through my head, “Brooke, just breathe and have fun. Remember whose you are.” With that, my mind switches from racing fears to repeating God’s promises.

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”  Isaiah 43:1

Oh, how my soul needs this deep drink of truth. I need to remember my value and worth do not depend on this guy, as great as he may appear. He doesn’t determine my beauty, my presence, my worth, or my value. 

I drive on, knowing I am worth The King of King’s time and attention. I’m valuable because He created me. I’m worthy of His time and sacrifice. He cares for and protects me. He chooses me. I’m significant because He calls my name for a purpose perfectly suited to the strengths and gifts He designed in me.

There is intention in the way my God looks at me. It’s not a half-hearted side glance. It’s not a slight nod in passing. It’s more than attention when he’s bored. No, He looks at me with wholehearted love and affection. He sees all of me and still chooses me. My awkwardness doesn’t scare Him off. It doesn’t send him packing with an eye-roll and laughter.

My insecurities leave me utterly exposed and vulnerable. Yet, He moves closer and whispers “…you are mine.” My heart and soul come alive. I’m not paralyzed anymore. The deep need of wanting to be seen, wanting to belong, and wanting to be accepted is met by my God who deeply cares. This reminder allows me to keep moving forward.

Walking into that country club I fight down fears and insecurities. Armed with truth, I remember whose I am. I am His. That is all that matters. I am free to be who God designed me to be. When I turn the corner and this young man looks my way, my emotions and self-worth will not depend on his reaction. I already know I belong. I am right where God called me to be in this moment. Whatever this young man’s reaction, I am already chosen.