So a little background information here: I go to Southland Christian Church, my decision to attend SCC is probably one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself in a long time. We just finished a sermon series on Plan B, about what happens when Plan A doesn’t work out. Last week’s sermon hit me to the core. It rocked what I’ve held onto, and used as a crutch for so long. I absolutely recommend going to watch “Choosing to Trust Instead of Please” … you’ll see where he talks about self-awareness and confession. Two things I will avoid at ALL cost. Let’s be honest most of us do not want to be self-aware to the things we believe about ourselves. It’s not pretty. I am an overall, kinda, confident girl. I put on the front that I’m fine, but self-awareness causes me to acknowledge that I’m not fine. That I have been hurt in the past, like most people and how I have allowed those hurts to developed how I think about myself. I have learned to believe that being vulnerable isn’t good and no guy would like that. I believed that I inherently would not deserve love until I looked a certain way, got to a certain size. I believed that I had to convince people to like me, that I had to only show the primped, always “on” side of myself to be loved. That I shouldn’t ever struggle because no one else wants to deal with my bad days. Perfect is my enemy and does me no good. It tells me I’m no good. It tells me that I’m unlovable until I’m perfect. It tells me my past defines my future. God tells me something different. He tells me I’m loved. That He can reach me anywhere, that if no else loves me he does. He takes my anxious heart and says be still, remember who I am, remember I’ve got this. I’m learning that I can be loved with my faults, with my bad days, with my anxiousness. I’m learning that I’m fine the size I am and the shape of my heart matters so much more. This is a scary place for me to be because I’m allowing my heart to feel things and be open and belive the actual truths about myself. Not the truths I made up along the way.
These scary places aren’t exactly fun. But I’m learning to live by the mantra that if it scares me it might just be good for me (although not haunted house scary, that’s never good for me) I’m stretching and learning and loving in ways that I didn’t know were possible for me. At 27 I had resigned to that this is how life was going to be because getting my hopes up only led to disappointment. I didn’t hope for too much in the future saying that you can’t plan for life like that, but really I just didn’t want to say Hey I want marriage, I want kids and I believe God put that desire in my heart. In the past 5 months, but more specifically in the past 3 months the stretching & learning has led to what Shauna Niequist describes best as “Aching Muscles In My Heart that haven’t been used in a while.” In these times I forget to be thankful, I forget to remember that I do not have to be perfect. I get scared, I imagine that I’ve messed up my entire life because I slip up and doubt for a moment. You know the whole 3 steps forward 1 step back. Well in my mind that 1 step back wipes out the 2 steps forward I still gain. I’m slowly, and painfully more painfully than I realized until this week, choosing to trust that I’m worth it. That when people see the me, the real me that I am good and that they won’t leave. They’ll see my scars, my pain, and my heart and still choose to be around. My friends have quietly, most of the time, walked me through the hard times hand in hand. They’ve stood beside me, built me up and let me figure out these truths. I’m thankful. Right now when times are mostly good, they rejoice with me as I take my steps forward in this life. As I learn in my new relationship, and happily walk blindly into whatever this future has.
I want to remember perfect doesn’t have a place in my life but being present does. Self-awareness and confession do. My friends and this great man do. He reminds me to rely on my faith and without even knowing helps me build up new truths about myself, helps me believe in myself. I’m not sure I could adequately say how thankful I am to have him in my life, I don’t think I really believed this could exist for me until him.
This isn’t my usual type of post. I typically stay away from my faith but this week has been a major growing spurt, where I’ve failed miserably but that doesn’t mean I am a failure. I’ve finally chosen to step out of my fear and get baptized again, that is if the weather choses to cooperate. I feel like I have a more basic understanding of what I’m doing this time. I’m ready to wash off those old beliefs and those old “truths” I held onto and move into a future of an open heart that’s more willing to love and hurt and live the way it was meant to. Full of grace and kindness and understanding. Move into a life with a heart full of joy, not fear.