Dear quiet girl,
I don’t care if you are 11, or if you are 19, or if you are 37. The world probably tells you that you need to change. That it is wrong for you to be quiet. That what you really need to be is outspoken and outgoing. And you feel that every day.
What I really want you to know today is that you are beautiful just the way that you are, and that you do not need to change.
When I was younger, I was very shy. I know that’s not everyone’s story—one does not equal the other—but I bet a lot of you can relate.
Maybe it wasn’t really shyness—it was just being uncomfortable in situations where other people seemed comfortable. When I didn’t want to speak up or be the center of attention. When the ice breaker was my worst nightmare and it just made me uncomfortable.
That’s my story, of being a quiet girl growing up in a society of outspokenness. In a society that views my quietness as being wrong, or abnormal. I’m like Rory on Gilmore Girls—sometimes I would just rather read my book than join a club (although that isn’t always the case).
I grew up thinking that my quietness was wrong, and my shyness was abnormal. I hated myself, and by the time I was in college I got really angry at God for how He made me. No matter how hard I tried to be different than I was—to be outspoken and the life of the party—I just couldn’t. I started to push against God in anger and I started making bad life decisions because I wanted Him to prove that He really loved me.
It took a little while for my decisions to catch up with me and by the time I entered my mid-twenties, I was completely broken.
Thankfully, through that brokenness I found my confidence. Through that brokenness, I found who I truly am. It wasn’t who I felt like I should be. It wasn’t who society told me I should be. But it was exactly who God made me to be, and who I had been all along.
The comparison game
As women we play the comparison game a lot. We judge our insides against someone else’s outsides. We see someone who appears to have it all together and we think, “why can’t I have that?” Which is bad enough in itself, but the sick part is that we don’t stop there. We go farther. We try to change who we are at our core because we don’t think that we are good enough.
Ladies, confidence does not always look like outspokenness. Confidence is being self-assured, not just in WHO you are, but in HOW you are. And sister, HOW you are is beautiful, and is absolutely ENOUGH.
I want you to know that your quietness is your loudest voice. That when people ask you to speak up, sometimes it’s encouragement and it’s okay to be uncomfortable, but other times it is just because they don’t understand you.
One day someone commented on my quietness and I apologized. My pastor heard me and laughed, but then said, “don’t apologize for being quiet.” My pastor is a good leader and he Sees people. That is my hope for you. That you will See yourself, and know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
If you grew up in the church, you’ve heard that a lot. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. God knit you together in your mother’s womb. God doesn’t make mistakes.
It may seem like a cliche, but that’s probably just because you’ve heard it too many times. It has stopped making an impact on you, because you still think that you need to change. You do NOT need to change.
Sure, there are things we can work on. Jealousy we can work on. Greed we can work on. Impatience we can work on. But quietness is NOT a flaw and is NOT a sin. I once had someone tell me that my quietness was pride and that pride is sinful. I don’t think that person understood, but girl I get it. Your quietness is just you. It isn’t pride, although I’m not saying us quiet girls aren’t capable of being prideful. But one does NOT equal the other.
The good stuff
Let’s talk about some of the good things about being quiet, shall we?
Quiet people tend to be great listeners. Don’t you hate when you have finally spoken up and you realize the other person isn’t really listening to you? They have that glazed look in their eye? Quiet people are pretty good at listening to hear and understand, instead of listening for how to respond.
Quiet people are often very observant. We invest our energy in people and situations. We don’t miss as much. For example, I have a really good sense of direction and I think it might be because of this. Quiet people notice things others might not.
Quiet people usually think (a lot) before they speak. I used to get frustrated about this, but as I grew older I realized that it is one of my strengths. In college everyone I knew thought I was super intelligent even though I was a B average student. I’m pretty sure it’s just because I kept my mouth closed half the time, and when I finally spoke up it was usually well thought out.
Things to think about
If you are struggling with your quietness right now, here are some Bible verse that I want you to really dwell on this week. Even if you have read them before—even if you want to brush them off—don’t. Sit with them. Rest with them. Wrestle with them. Come to understand them.
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. Proverbs17:28
Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:4
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
If the world is telling you to be something you aren’t, evaluate why you care so much. Is it your friends? Is it people you WISH were your friends? Are you going to lose your job over it? Is it a good reason, from a good source, or are you just trying to impress someone who should honestly be loving you just the way you are?
God made you! He literally delights in you. God doesn’t make mistakes. God is love. And God is especially good at being God. He’s got you.
The next time someone comments on how quiet you are, remember, you don’t have to apologize.
Until next time,