You have no idea what I’ve been through. And, I have no idea what you’ve been through. But, I get what’s it like to be going through something, to struggle to try to keep it together and appear to be perfectly normal, to feel alone, ignored and misunderstood.
If we’re going to get through this life, then we need each other. We need to be OK with needing help. Going it alone is too hard and downright dangerous at times – sometimes like the suicidal kind of dangerous. I’ve known too many people who’ve tried to go it alone and ended their journey on their own, prematurely and seemingly out of nowhere. They impacted more lives with their suicide than they realized that they even knew.
We need to be real and honest about our struggles and our pain. We need to find the people who get it, who know that life isn’t perfect. We need to ask for help and let other people meet us in that place, other people who are willing to admit that they need help too.
Honest, broken, raw, beautiful, messy, real people. That’s who we are – behind the mask, way down deep, where probably and sadly no one else knows us. That’s who we need to be in front of the people we can trust or hope to trust. We need to be the authentic, beautiful messes that we actually are. And we need to get comfortable with who we truly are. That’s where confidence and relationship are born – out of the truest expression of who we are.
We need to know and be convinced that no one can take us away from ourselves or shame us into pretending to be someone else. They can try with their vicious comments, their hateful condemnation, their fear of admitting that they are just like us – needy, broken and aching for authentic connection. But their attacks are as much against themselves as they are against us, because their attack is against their own needs for honesty, authenticity and community.
We need each other, but make no mistake, we are not sufficient to sustain one another alone. We need Jesus to cover us with His love and to meet each of us in ways that no person can. We need each other, but we need Him more. And we need more of Him each day.
I am not your savior, and you are not mine. We need to admit that even though we need each other, we are not perfect and cannot ever perfectly meet each other’s needs all the time. We need to give each other grace for when we fall short or fail to be there. We need to accept one another’s limitations. We need to admit that our expectations are too great for any human being to fully meet. The fullness of our needs and expectations can only be met in Jesus. So, while we depend on one another, we need to hold fast to the One who is our Everything.
Let go of fear. Take hold of courage. Reach out to someone. Be vulnerable. Be brave. Don’t try to go through this life alone. If the first person you reach out to doesn’t respond well, don’t give up. Let your wounds heal and then give someone new a try. Keep giving yourself opportunities to connect with someone who can meet you where you are and whom you can meet where they are. Don’t let fear rob you of the good that God intends for you inside of community, inside of relationship, inside of being known and accepted, inside of belonging.
This post is as much for me as it is for anyone reading this. I need to take chances on people, to let them see the real and imperfect me, to let them meet me where I am. I want to give myself a chance to have honest, vulnerable and healthy relationships. And I know that means that sometimes I will get hurt, even by people who are good most of the time. It also means that I will mess up and hurt other people sometimes.
I pray for grace to be forgiving and merciful to myself and others for those moments when fear rears its ugly head and pushes love away. I don’t want those moments to come, but I know they will. So, I want to be prepared to push through the wreckage, reach for the other person and, if the other person is willing, to take hold of redemption together and find out where that path takes us. We may have a long road to travel to rebuild trust, depending on the extent of the wreckage. Even so, authentic relationship is a reward that is worth the effort, the mess and the risk.
Digging in digging down digging deep
to discover the undiscovered me
connecting with the person
who lives beneath and within
breathing air that is pure flowing spirit
who is attuned to move with the wind
Her face aglow with a peace
that sings in love’s freedom
leaps and cavorts in joy’s dance
upon her radiant countenance
She is not easily shaken
or shifted out of alignment
to the One who holds her
close to His heart
She lives in His rhythm
to the pulse therein
She moves to and fro
with His ebb and flow
She won’t leave His side
She has nowhere else to hide
but in His loving embrace
listening to His voice
gazing upon His face
sharing her heart
with the only One
who won’t tear it apart