Today I got a message on Instagram from the sweetest girl who told me I look l “like I have my life together”. I genuinely laughed out loud by myself. As kind as that statement is, I couldn’t help but think about how misleading social media can be.
We look at everyone else’s highlight reels and pretend their lives only consist of what they decide to post on Instagram. But you see, we all know that isn’t really the case. We know that because we see it in our own lives. That there is a whole lot more that goes on behind the scenes and in our minds.
We see someone else’s finished product online and convince ourselves it’s their starting point.
I want to be real with you in this place. I want to be known as someone who is authentic and real and shares my heart, even when it’s uncomfortable. I want to create a space where real life is shared without grumbling or complaining but maybe isn’t easy. The messy stuff, the bright yellow stuff, the corners of my mind I don’t like so much, the pieces I’m proud of, and all the in-between.
Why? Because Jesus was like that. Unafraid to show the weakness of His flesh and His humanity because He was confident in the Father’s love and goodness.
Let me tell you something. That’s hard for me. I’m working on getting to a place where I can show weakness unapologetically, but my heart fights it.
You see, I have this deeply rooted fear of what people think of me. My mind is crippled at the thought of someone not liking something I’m doing, saying, wearing- you name it. It’s something I have been working on with God for many years, but have let control me off & on throughout my entire life. But, see, this is my middle ground. This isn’t my finished product, it’s right there in the middle of my chaotic heart.
See this picture?
Maybe you see a cute picture (at least, I think it’s cute) of me sitting in a beautiful field of flowers. I see a girl that struggles in her sadness. Who has happy days and sad days mixed together without rhyme or reason. A girl who questions if coming off anti-depressants was the right choice because she just feels sad and exhausted a lot of the time. A girl who feels guilty feeling sad because she knows that the Lord is GOOD and has been so outrageously faithful, yet she finds herself in this state of mind. I see a girl who’s spent a lot of time crying about a lack of community and feeling really lonely. I see a girl who is deeply insecure about what she can provide to people and fearful of saying the wrong things. Fearful of abandonment and loss and never being good enough. Fearful of a lot of things, let me tell you.
A girl who is absolutely terrified to admit these things to the world because she enjoys the shiny facades that are way more comfortable than announcing your insecurities to the public.
Yet, the funny thing is, every time I share weaknesses it’s freeing for me. When I talk about my insecurities and my struggles with comparison, it feels a little bit easier to breathe. When I mention struggles with body image, self-worth, loneliness, and even questioning God’s love for me, it’s amazing how much weight is immediately lifted from my shoulders. And even more so, it’s amazing how many people come along and say “me too”.
Of course, there are so many happy moments too. You see, woven into the struggles, I see a girl who finds joy in painting in her sunroom, and cleaning her kitchen floors, and sorting the books on her bookshelf in the order of the rainbow, and walking down the aisles of Target on her lunch break looking at clearance racks and statement earrings.
But in the midst of all these things, I’ve learned God uses are weaknesses far more than he can ever use our strengths because our weaknesses require humility. In order to be used for good, weakness requires recognizing that we aren’t always as strong as we pretend to be. It requires admitting that we need Jesus. When we allow ourselves the space to acknowledge our weakness, it creates the very room in our souls we need for the Redeemer to work.
So there’s my heart folks. But I want to challenge your hearts too. I want to challenge you to make space in yourself for the Redeemer to do His thing by sharing the things that are uncomfortable. Whatever that looks like for you- just try it out.
Baby steps, friends. But I promise you’ll see goodness come from it.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, answer questions, or just chat. We’re all in this life together friends.