About the Author

Angela Nazworth is a shame-fighting storyteller who writes mostly about the beauty of grace, faith, friendship, vulnerability and community. She is a wife and a mother of two. Angela's also an encourager, a lover of good books, coffee, girl's night out, sunshine, and waterfalls. In the 15 years since she...

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  1. Wonderful Angela! I think we all do-and the beauty of God is the grace he extends to us during those button pushing moments to remind us that we are redeemed and loved beyond measure.

    • Thank you, Christy. I think we all do as well and that we also all have habits that just come back and we need God’s help to conquer them … and accepting His love is a great starting point.

  2. I have always tried to act like a Dumb-blonde. I was told in 4th grade that people don’t like someone who is smart. I have always been desparate for friends, trying to play down my God-given ability to learn so they will like me.
    This frustrated my husband. We went to counseling and I was given an I. Q. Test. Not trying to brag, but my confidence was restored when the test came back and I ranked in the 89% for my age group.
    I do have a little bit of dyslexia, but the counselor encouraged me that I was able to find a way to learn without the help of a coach.
    Old habits are difficult to break, but I am beginning to live as the person I was created to be. Thank you for this blog and allowing me to say this…I’ve never told this before!

    Happy New Year, Angela!

    • Happy New Year, Diane! I love that God has freed you from that lie and that you are ready to “live as you were created.” Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart. And top 89% … You go girl!!

  3. Ah, these stories always make me teary! It’s amazing the things that can damage our hearts. I was listening to a song recently by Big Daddy Weave and this line stood out- “why don’t you break my heart ’til you move my hands and feet”. Thank you for allowing your hurts to move your hands and feet to encourage hearts. I bet our God LOVES walking with you by his side!!!!

  4. Oh yes, I can identify with everything you shared in your post. But thank God for all he shows us, how he can transform the pain into blessing poured into others. Thank you for this.

  5. Thank you Angela for your transparency and your pointing us, and you, back to Him. I agree with Christy, I believe we all do – especially as women. I just prayed with my 11 year old daughter this morning over some hurts she was feeling about some things she felt a group of friends was talking about. I was thankful I could empathize and yet point her back to our Father, and talk about knowing who we as women are to Him – our King, our protector, our shield. Our hearts are both tender and strong. Thank you for being tender and strong, and speaking truth.

    • I am so grateful that God delights in me … even though my inside is not always pretty and those bad habits often start from withing, He is gentle and leads me back to truth … back to Him.

  6. I just wanted to give you a big hug after reading this. How sweet you are to share the depths of old pain. It helps everyone when someone is brave enough to unveil their hurts. You are precious. Kids can be so mean, even inadvertently. I endured a lot of pain in elementary school being teased and even bullied. So hard. And, yes, those experiences brought me to places where I tried to please others instead of feeling adequate and secure. As I age (in the Lord) He is bringing me more and more peace and security in Him and I am letting go of what others think. Thanks for this article.

    • Oh Patty, thank you for commenting. I am so sorry that you experienced bullying and I rejoice that God has brought beauty to you from such a painful situation. Hugs.

  7. I was a happy little girl (I can see myself in my granddaughter) always skipping, jumping, laughing. I married a man who criticized everything about me. I was no longer happy but sorely aware that I was annoying to everyone because he said I was. I divorced him and slowly returned to my original person and personality. I learned later that his father told him how stupid he looked, how dumb he was, how everyone hated him etc. The point I am making is when we are hurt we sometimes pass it on to others instead of breaking the cycle. This could save a lot of heartache and lives. Thank you.

  8. I love this post, Angela. And I so relate. I’m redheaded (which brings tons of jokes) and the back of my head is pretty flat. I wrote a devotional about my flat head for Daily Guideposts….so freeing to write about it!!

  9. Isn’t it interesting that we allow our self-image to be sketched by the words of others? I’m right there with you ladies, and so thankful that He is growing what’s good and redeeming what’s bad/weird πŸ˜‰

  10. I can really relate to you on this and I really appreciate how you tied it in to other areas of your life. I have always walked very pigeon toed (I get it from my dad I think, since he walks that way too). I was very self-conscious in middle school and to try to make up for that I tried to walk with confidence which apparently came across the wrong way. I even had a well-meaning boy (who liked me at the time) tell me I walked like a model..or a prostitute. Um..thanks. I have often had friends tease me about the way I walk, or even worse, people that are noticing it for the first time. For a long time I tried to re-train myself to walk differently (and run differently since it was noticed alot when I played soccer), but it never seemed to stick. I did finally come to a place that I decided the way that I walk is part of how God made me me and that I was ok with it. Whether or not the people around me mentioned it or not. This was a really good reminder for me to not put my identity in anything but Christ, and to not slip into any sinful habits. Thank you!

    • Liz — Thank you so much for sharing. It is so funny … when I wrote this post, I knew that other women would relate in different ways, but for some reason I never thought that there would be others who were effected by their walk … it makes sense that there would be … but I think that sometimes we (as women) or at least I, can get caught up in thinking … “I am the only one” Thanks so much!

  11. aww thanks for sharing… i was going to shut down my computer and sleep until i clicked incourage on my bookmark bar.. this entry really blessed me πŸ™‚

    i am guilty too for being sensitive when someone asks about the way i walk.. during my younger years, people would notice my weird walk, they said i’m imbalanced.. so i thought they meant it’s like portraying a boyish walk.. but my mother also found out that i have a shorter leg on my left than the other one.. and we did not realize that this was already symptom of having scoliosis until i got to college and my back hurt everyday.. my sister helped me with my posture and also the physical therapy sessions made some improvements with my legs’ strength.. sometimes, i still feel awkward about my way of walking but God provides comfort and care.. and i know that He loves and accepts me no matter what… i praise HIM because i am fearfully and wonderfully made; HIS works are wonderful, i know that full well. Psalm 139:14

  12. It’s amazing how those hurts – from childhood ‘friends’ and family and loved ones, especially husbands and children – can keep us from seeing how God created us – dearly loved and precious in this sight. I pray that in 2012 that God will remove those hurtful comments from our memories and give us the grace to move forward to be the women He created us to be – each of us unique with our own special purpose. I pray too that we will learn to love each other and be blessed with eyes that can see the special gifts that God has created in us so we can rejoice together, one in His love. Now and forever.

  13. Oh, Angela, what a sweetheart you are! Yes, our first experiences with family and peers set the mold so strongly. I am “big sister” (at the age of 67) to a wonderful woman who had my mother’s approval because she was a worker and housekeeper extraordinaire. Even as a child, she was neater than I. To this day, I feel inferior in her presence, even though Mom is with the Lord. But I love her dearly — she is a wonderful sister and friend.

    Praise the Lord for who we are in Him. I have had to learn to love myself and to look to the Lord and His Word for my value. I learned in a counseling class that when others don’t particularly like what I do or who I am, I can say, “It would be wonderful if you liked me, but even if you don’t, I am OK and God loves me.” As a recovering perfectionist myself, I work at not spending my valuable time over-analyzing and criticizing others, but rather loving them for who they are. I’m not always successful, but I repent and keep on with the help of the Holy Spirit.

    Walk any way that is comfortable for you, Angela. The Holy Spirit is our Counselor and works in all of us to conform us to the image of Christ. I pray He will heal all the hurts in your heart (and in all of our hearts) so that the beautiful person God made you to be will shine forth to the glory of God!!! You are a blessing!

  14. Oh boy do I have sensative nerves! I was “blessed” to have 2 punctured ear drums growing up, thus not being able to hear. After surgeries right one is fine, but left is still punctured. This made speech very hard for me. At times, I have trouble being understood–talk to fast, don’t pronounce letters correctly, etc. Please please please don’t make fun of me I ask people. When, on occasion, my hubby does I get tensed up and mad.

    Now, though, I can use this for God’s good. I do sign language to music for my church’s special music. In the end God had a plan & it has worked out.

    • Beth, thank you for sharing, brave woman! It amazes me that grownups can still pick on others … even if they are not trying to be cruel. I think it is beautiful how you are using your hearing and speech problems to help others and to glorify God.

  15. I transferred schools at the beginning of 5th grade. Everything was different from uniforms and schoolmates to the style of handwriting taught. Just this week I caught myself mixing letter styles, again. I worked so hard to be consistent with the peculiar r & t forms and still these many years later I see it rise again. The analogy to other areas of our life where we strive for self-improvement is apt. Inadequacy driven home in our youth can be deeply planted in both soul and spirit. How great is the truth that they don’t define me before God.
    I needed this reminder today, thank you.

  16. I can so relate to this! Shame is such a powerful, raw emotion, and seems to send me right back to being 7 years old again. You did a brave thing by writing about what’s painful.

    Shame loves to be hidden away, where nobody talks about it and where it can just grow and grow. It hates to be shown the light, as you have done by writing about it.
    I’m trying hard to ‘name my shame’ when it comes rolling over me – it’s so hard, but so worth it. Blessings to you.

  17. Thank you Angela! The timing of this post is amazing. Just yesterday someone commented on a trait of mine, and I caught myself “spiraling” so to speak around and around what this individual had said. I got so caught up in their evaluation of me that I had a hard time grasping hold of God’s love and truth. I really thank you for this awesome reminder!! God Bless!

  18. I have often wondered what was worse: those things that cause us pain which appear on the outside of our lives or the things that burrow within the walls of our soul. Within my life there have been things that have scared my self worth and confidence and I can never say what will trigger a withdrawal BUT what God has shown me within the last several months is that it isn’t up to me to fix myself rather just make myself available for His transformation. And within those moments of the raw tenderness of the past being exposed can He use me for His glory. Often though I quickly applying the tourniquet of DIY. How thankful I am that God never gives up on me!!!!!

  19. You’re a brave woman for sharing these hurts so publicly. Isn’t it amazing how these feelings and memories lay buried for years, but are resurrected by an idle comment? You are a wise woman to turn this remembrance of past hurt, resurrected again, into a quest for refining and perfecting by our Father.

  20. OH my the memories that came flooding back with this post. Thank you for sharing, and for framing it in HIS light! It’s so easy to be tricked into thinking negatively about those experiences, instead of seeing it as a refining process.

  21. Why are our lives have been so hurt? My mother abandon me as a child, and I always envied the other girls that their mothers came to school, and kissed and hugged them, while I had to live with an aunt that abused my older sister and I physical, verbally and our minds were completely messed up with the constant threats of the devil coming to take us because we were born from a whore, and naturally we were going to be like her.

    After many many years of counseling, and suffering with big depression, I was finally able to accept that I was not dirt or sinful, and that the Lord had created me as a unique a and loving person, ( I was told that my mother wanted to abort me, therefore I felt I was not worth of living or being worth of the Lord creating me).

    Without bragging at all, I have been able to have a great deal of human compassion and also have helped many people in many ways, BECAUSE THE LORD LOVES ME, and I count my blessing every minute and also feel that I have to give back all the love and blessings He has put on in my heart.

    God bless every single human been who has suffered and raised above it and also the people that are struggling, because they don’t love the Lord, why?

    Because THEY DON’T KNOW HIM !!!!!

    Thank your for reading this, please lets continue praying for one another.

    Sincerely.
    Lorena

  22. Seems like you have some other habits;
    – funny blog writer
    – love for the Lord
    – beautifully honest
    Thank you for those. All that AND a cool walk!

  23. I developed early and was very, very busty. It made me incredibly self conscious. My friends called me “Dolly” (gotta love the south!) and I developed a weird way of running in an attempt to not draw attention to my bust. I wore t-shirts to the pool over my swimsuit and remember the looks and the comments. The most painful comment was that I looked like an egg on two toothpicks. As an adult, I realize it was because I was thin except in the chest but just typing that comment makes me cringe.

  24. Thanks for sharing that heartfelt post. There are feelings from my childhood and teenage years that still resurface. Some of these make me a more compassionate person.

  25. Thank you for writing this. Just recently,at 24 years of age, I had to start using a walker because of a neurological disease… I had just walked out of a restaurant when a gentleman said “Woah there grandma… don’t take up the whole path with your walker” Just as I was about to turn around and give him a shiner… I realized he wasn’t talking to me… and my 24 year old body… but he was talking to his grandma. For that moment when I thought he was talking to me… I felt inferior. After… I felt ashamed. Knowing that I had let my pride get in the way. Thank you for reminding me… It’s a holy refinement process… May God be glorified.

  26. Boy, did this hit home! It’s so easy to want to conform to what others expect of you, even when they don’t, that you lose a small part of who God made you to be. It’s so not right! We’re perfect just how we are cos that’s the way HE made us! I like me and I like you too!

  27. Two things:

    First of all – thank you so much for this reminder. Yes, that we tend to try to be like we think others want us to be, but also that even though we feel flawed, Christ sees me as I am – a creation of His that is yielding her heart and life to be conformed to His image. I am grateful for His grace!

    Second, isn’t the power of words amazing?! This morning in church, one of our pastors challenged us to speak words that heal, build and transform. My prayer is that I will seek to build up others with my words rather than tear down and destroy.

  28. I am 70 years old and I could have been reading about myself in your post.
    It has been a long road for me but I am finally able to look in the mirror and feel worthy of his love.

    thank you for sharing

  29. Oh, I can relate. I have let only my fears and weaknesses define. Such a terrible habit I have slipped into. Must tap into joy! Spirit of God, please guide me out of my darkness that is irrational and unfounded. I am trying to find my way back!

  30. I have just stumbled upon this blog which includes your post. It was no accident. I, too, struggle with co-workers that think their behavior is benign, however it stings my soul as a woman. I am long past the point of needing approval in the workplace from peers, but I still find myself hurt from time to time simply due to the sheer careless and thoughtless behavior others exhibit. Then my hurt leads to so many other things that are so unbecoming of a woman who – most of the time – believes her true value lies with our Father in Heaven and in His amazing promises from scripture. As another commentor mentioned, it is a holy refining process and may He be glorified in my struggles and hurts.

  31. I was the tall girl. Taller than all the boys for the first half of my schooling, and feeling horribly self-conscious all the time. A teacher gave me the nickname ‘Big Bird’ and it stuck. And I hated it! I don’t think he meant to be unkind because otherwise he was one of my favourite teachers, but I was so glad when I moved schools 2 years later and the name was left behind!
    I just had an incident yesterday where I had a flare-up of something I thought was almost dealt with. Sigh… back to the cross, and reminding myself that today is a new day, with new mercies and fresh grace and that the progress I thought I’d made isn’t lost. I can re-take that ground easier if I get onto it fast, instead of wallowing in guilt and shame for a while first!
    Thank you for your honesty. You are brave!
    πŸ™‚

  32. I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everyone
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    It appears as if some of the text in your posts are running off the screen.
    Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening
    to them too? This could be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this happen previously. Thank you