An Order of Real for One

I’m over the drama. I’m done with the pretense.
I’m drawing a line in the sand and standing on the side of truth.

I’m all for transparency and a willingness to admit that I don’t have all the answers. I don’t hold the keys to any form of a picture perfect life.

I know it takes heaps of courage, and measured amounts of fear and trembling to call off the guards, let the walls down and admit that you are flawed, that you struggle in this life, that you wrestle in your faith, or that things on the inside aren’t always as they appear from the outside.

After all, we just want to be accepted and well liked, right? Even if it comes at the expense of your truth.

I’m hard-wired to strive for perfection. I love a neat, tidy, happy ending. I like order vs. chaos, unity vs. division, structure vs. fluidity. I like schedules, and rules, and law, and all the other Type A, left brained goodness in my life.

But, I’ve lived this life right along with you and we both know that we can wish for harmony and bliss but sometimes we just end up with a big, fat, hot mess.

There was a time in my life that I would try to cover up that mess and camouflage it behind bright and shiny words of faith and hope. I would plaster on my happy face and dole out “I’m doing greats” and then wonder if anyone else in the world could possibly relate.

I did this because I was afraid that the people around me would look down their noses at me, tsk-tsk me for not being stronger, question why God’s word and church wasn’t enough to push me through, and ultimately judge me for being less of a woman of God than them.

And you know what…some of them did. Some of them still might.

But they weren’t and aren’t God.
His words to me are not born out of judgement, His words to me are filtered through grace.

He does say – believe, trust, choose joy, and remember My promises. He also says, when you don’t, when you can’t, when it’s all a big hot mess, I still love you and I get it. I’ve got your back.

I started to unwind the convoluted web of perfection and decided that I wasn’t doing myself or any one else any favors by being caught in its snares. And because I was craving camaraderie, I began to see people around me doing it too.

Moms admitting that their kids sometimes make them crazy.
Wives confessing that sometimes marriage is downright hard.
Women willing to say that their emotions sometimes win the fight.
People admitting that they are just sinners who are craving the open arms of a loving God…and the open arms of His people.

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” ~ C. S. Lewis”

Breathe. Sigh. Rest.

Why do we try to hide our truth from each other? More so, why do we try to mask our imperfections from God – our Creator, who sees the beginning from the end, who knows our frame, who searches the recesses of our heart, who knows our deepest secrets? Why do we marinate in condemnation where there is none? Why do we wear the scarlet S of shame when we have a Savior who understands it intimately?

Why? When the world is full of people who need to know that there is hope. There is acceptance. There is love, while we are yet sinners. There is forgiveness. Don’t we need to tell the story of being accepted, loved, and forgiven – not just once – but over and over again?

Sometimes daily.
Sometimes momentarily.
Sometimes five moments after the last.

I love God’s word, but I don’t walk around with my nose in a bible.
I believe His word is absolute truth, but sometimes people don’t need His word as much as they need my story – my open arms.
I know God’s truth is relevant and applicable to everyday, but it is not a magic eraser for our fears, worries, doubts, and insecurities.
I am convinced that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, but He never spoke to confuse, confound, manipulate or twist, so why would I?

I want to be the real deal. The genuine article. I want people to feel like they can be the same with me. That just because I wear the brand of a believer, does not mean that underneath it all is not just the flesh of a sinner.

I want you to be able to pour out your heart and know that my heart receives yours with grace and understanding – you are entitled to it just as much as I am.

I will speak the truth in love, because it is powerful enough and I don’t need to wield it as a weapon to cut you down – condemn and provoke. And sometimes, I’ll choose to say nothing because if you can’t say something nice, well then…you know the rest.

I’ll be angry when I need to, weak when I have no more strength, and I’ll throw the occasional pity party for one. I’ll admit when I make mistakes, I’ll be vulnerable and share my heart if it will comfort yours, I won’t pretend to have all the answers and I’ll wonder why right along with you.

I will turn my heart towards His, keep my eyes fixed on the author and finisher of my faith, and I’ll encourage you to do the same.

I’ll try. I’ll fail. But, I’ll keep on trying, because faith is worth the fight.
I’ll remember that God knows, sees, and understands.
I’ll remember He loves me and I’ll tell you He loves you too.

Friend, just be yourself. I’ll be me and you be you.
And we’ll let God be God – He’s got that covered.
He is real. So, I’ll be real. With Him, with you, and with myself.

And you be real with someone who needs it too…deal?

“Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it. For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup – where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?”  James 2:14-17 MSG


If this post had a theme song…this would be it!

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