A sweet friend sent me a message today in which she described me as a “courageously honest woman” and I think that might be one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. I love to write. I love flowery language and big, descriptive words and those of you who read this blog know well that I don’t hesitate to use them. But more than anything, I long for authenticity, for honesty in what I write. I want to paint a picture of the reality of life in this fallen, broken world in beautiful juxtaposition with the reality of the beauty of the gospel and the restoration that Jesus brings. Honestly, I only know of a few people who read these words I type. This blog is mostly for me as a way for me to process through what I’m thinking and what God is showing me on a somewhat regular basis. This blog is part of therapy and healing for me. It’s raw. There’s something about clicking the “publish” button that allows me to let go of some of the things to which I’ve clung for years. Sometimes God uses it to pry my death grip off of certain things one finger at a time. There are parts of my story that may never make it to these pages but God is teaching me that we all have a story and that everyone’s story is worth being told. Even mine. I confess that I still have a hard time claiming that as truth. I still wonder if my story is really worth being told. It’s not very exciting, sometimes deeply depressing, and sometimes just plain boring. And there are parts of it that I haven’t even told myself yet, which, at the age of 26, makes the thought of exploring them a bit daunting. Alas, along with my journal, these pages have helped bear some of the weight of my story these past few months and that is worth the time.
I love the concept of story. The idea that God is the author and the narrator of our stories fascinates me and the truth is, as a literature nerd, it makes me a little giddy. I just love stories of all kinds. I love digging deep and finding patterns and motifs and exploring language and theme. I love the way that stories unite us. Picture a room full of toddlers who are distracted by each other and lots of toys. What would happen if I walked into that room with a book and started to read a story? I would bet money that 2 pages in, the majority of them would be sitting in my lap or next to me or in front of me, trying to help me turn the pages and wanting nothing more passionately than to see the pictures. Stories unite us, they help us find common ground in our humanity when it seems we have nothing in common. Dan Allender wrote a book called To Be Told.. about how God writes our stories and longs for us to be involved, to join him in the writing of the rest. The book talks about theme, pitching the idea that God weaves certain themes in and out of our lives that can help lead and direct us to who and what and where He is calling us. I think it’s true. It’s beautiful to see how God has given me a heart for women and children who struggle with many of the same things that I have wrestled with throughout my own life and a deep desire to be a part of bringing some redemption and restoration to that arena. My themes are strong and it’s the very places where I’ve experienced the most brokenness and despair that I long to revisit with younger women and children as one coming alongside and fighting with them for freedom. I’ve thought many times that maybe therapy is as much, if not more, for the people that I will love and minister to throughout my life as it is for me and my own healing. I, for one, am so glad that Anne decided to go to therapy when she did. It’s amazing how God has equipped her to walk alongside me through this process. And I can only pray that God would one day multiply that healing by using me to come alongside someone else.
Lately, I’ve felt pretty lonely. But this weekend, I spent hours with my pseudo nieces and nephews and brother and sister, today I spent hours with a different set of pseudo family and tonight, as I sat around a table of women who love the Lord and love me, I realized that I am so far from alone. True, no one really knows what’s going on and there’s only so much they can do to help but they are doing so much. More often than not I am too scared to admit that I need help and too prideful to ask for it when the truth is that they want me around. They want me around. I need to work on believing people when they say that instead of coming up with 100 reasons why there’s no way they’d want me around. It’s a worth issue. I know, I know, you’re shocked! But the truth is that my worth comes from Jesus and it’s rooted and grounded in his love for me and the significance and purpose that he brings to my life. I’m worth it because Jesus is worth it and no one can really argue with that. Not even me.