I've spent most of my life hiding who I really was. I think I was just afraid that if people really knew me, then they wouldn't like me. I didn't realize that I was hiding my true identity.
Certain people like my closest friends knew me and knew me well, but when it came to others I gave them the part of me that I wanted them to know and in all actuality that wasn't the real me, the true me, the one God created.
Even in the first half of my marriage, I hid myself in the shadows of my husband. People knew him because he allowed them to see him (his flaws and all), but most people only knew me as his wife and not as Evelena Dawson.
I remember when people didn’t even recognize me if I wasn’t with him. That’s how hidden I was in his shadows. Most of the time I would have to say, “I’m Evelena, Rob Dawson’s wife.” Then they would immediately know exactly who I happen to be after I mentioned that.
A part of me was ok with being in the shadows of my husband, and then another part of me desired my own identity that was also attached to my husband’s identity.
I didn't mind being known as ‘Rob's wife,' but I also wanted to be known as Evelena Dawson. But I realized that people didn’t know me because I never gave them the opportunity to know me. When my husband would stop to talk to people, I would just stand next to him and just smile and nod.
Although some conversations were not for me to say anything, but then there were some conversations where I could have spoken up and shown a little bit of my personality, especially if the spouse was also with them. But I would just stand there and wait patiently for my husband to finish up his conversations.
One day, about five years ago, I was serving in a ministry at my church. I became quite comfortable with the people I was serving with. So every time we would meet, more and more of my personality would come out. I'm a jokester, and I love to laugh, and I love to make people laugh.
So one day the director of the ministry was around the other staff members and me. I was talking to some of the ladies there, but I was me, the "Real Me." I was laughing and joking, and some of them were laughing at some of the things that I was saying.
I looked over, and the director was also laughing and something that I said. Then she looked over to one of the ladies and said, “I didn’t know Evelena was this funny” and then she looked over at me and said, “You’re funny, I didn’t know that.”
That response made me aware of the fact that people might actually like me if I gave them a chance to, granted not everyone is going to like you, no matter what you say or do. But that's ok, as long as you are true to yourself and true to who God made you to be then that is perfectly ok.
I wrote a blog recently called "Will the Real You, Please Stand Up?", Meaning the You that God created. Not the you that your past has created. Things that happened to me in my past has tried to shut me up and make me see myself as less than. I was ashamed of my past, and it created a person I was never meant to be.
But it's time to shut down the devil and be everything that God has called us to be. No longer will I be afraid of what people may say or think about me. No longer will I allow the enemy to keep my mouth shut about things I was once afraid to talk about. My life belongs to Christ, and I will allow Him to use me in every way.
I'm Coming Out! I'm Coming out Bold, strong, secure, unashamed and knowing who I am.
I'm Coming out as the person God made me, and I won't apologize for it.
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