Do you ever feel like you are often defending your name in situations with people and how they perceive you? I know I do. As I was scrolling through my personal Instagram and sifting through what I want to see on my feed and what I am no longer wanting to feed my spirit, I stumbled upon this quote by Willie Moore Jr. “I used to wanna protect my name in situations, now I just wanna protect my peace. I let whoever think WHATEVER.”
Often times I would rack my brain and try to explain every thought, the words I would speak and every action I would make. And to be honest, I still do at times. In this season of my life, I am figuring this out more and more each day. I really want to protect my peace, but man is it difficult! Being a part of a church that hurt me deeply has been hard. Then to leave that church and go to another church that I was SO involved in, at times for the wrong reasons, I found myself in a revolving door of cliques, popularity contests, and judgmental people that hurt me to my core…leaving me to feel like I always had to protect my name.
I do not say all of these things to be hurtful in my words to others, but to be honest in my own experiences. I have been trying to heal without speaking of these experiences. I have seen other people leave to share some of these same things, only to believe otherwise. I am sure I left others feeling confused, hurt them, and not sure I should even be there. For those things, I apologize. I could not see past all of the way things were because I wanted to fit in and avoid having another church hurt so badly.
And so, because of falling into these bad habits, I have become someone so different than who I really am. I have let the feeling of never being good enough for the “church folk” change me as a person…by sacrificing myself. How incredibly messed up is that? And I don’t blame the people. I blame myself. I blame me for getting in my own way of who I knew I was and who God created me to be only to come out on the other side of it damaged and full of regret.
So now, what is left? Me protecting my name or protecting my peace? At the end of the day people are still going to have their opinions about me and what I say. Sometimes without ever having a one on one conversation with me to verify any of it’s validity. I’m okay with that, now. Of course I want to protect my name in a sense, but I’m okay knowing that I have to be at peace with my decisions and trust God as he leads and guides me. I am also at peace knowing that I can step foot back in the church I still love, when the time is right, with a different heart, different view, different values, and being the person I really am.
At the end of the day, people are going to take me as I am or leave me. One thing’s for sure, God accepts me right where I am and I don’t have to protect my name with Him. He sees me and knows me far beyond what I can expect from others. He is my peace. He is my refuge, and that is worth protecting.