In Sarah’s chapter, she captures that painfully awkward feeling that I think every kid has when they’re growing up. She writes that her sensitive heart put her at a disadvantage because childhood love, fumbling words, and ultimate rejection stung all the way to the core.
Reading about her experience took me back to my own middle school rejection. It’s that sharp sting that makes your eyes burn. Stuff that happens back then forms the way you relate to people for years, if not forever. Sarah shared some of the stuff that’s probably still got some bite to it.
“I’ve been labeled sensitive, overly sensitive and even hypersensitive. I could never get over heartache or snubs… I would get my feelings deeply hurt… The idea of letting something ‘roll off my back’ was almost an impossibility to me” (page 153).
Sarah was also bullied by a youth pastor who would make fun of her and taunt her when she cried. She finally started trying to dumb heart down and hide it behind the walls we’re so good at building. It was in therapy years later that she started to see her sensitivity as an asset.
She’s grown up now, but it took her the majority of 37 years to undo the damage that careless people created while they were clambering over her for their own spot in life. Kids don’t know that their words stick in the minds of their peers like deeply imbedded splinters. We grow up, and our minds form around those splinters, making them a part of who we become.
Sarah’s identity was put in perspective when she considered the fact that God created her with a tender heart, and trying to change or hide it was a direct insult to Him. Now she’s a mom with a tender-hearted little girl, and she gets to whisper her truth as her daughter cries herself to sleep.
“Maybe she’ll understand that her heart was created with just enough tenderness to love the world as it needs to be loved and to feel the hurts of others so that she can mourn with those who mourn” (page 156).
Holly Grantham wrote the 24th chapter of Soul Bare. She titled it “The Choreography of God”. I’ll write my thoughts about her chapter next.