I don't know why I often start journal entries with a statement to myself. Maybe it's a way my brain sets a tone for itself, kind of in a way of saying "hey! let's really think about this so that what's getting written makes sense!". I really have no idea.
Anyways, today that statement jumped off the page of my journal. It happened this morning while I was sipping jasmine green tea and had a quiet moment to sit at the dining room table. Writing pages upon pages in my journal, I paused a moment and raised my gaze to the window in front of me. The house was completely quiet. Something that used to almost freak me out because there would be one, a huge ONE thought that would creep into my head and start going round and round looking for a place to anchor itself. This thought was a lie - ahem excuse me - IS a lie.
Have you ever had a moment where you just feel like you're the only human on the planet with "this" problem? Like, "Nobody else has this issue. Why ME?" Yeah? You too? Oh... did you know what? I have that problem too. And I think I can safely say most of us did at one time or another.
Being vulnerable can bring freedom. Ooof. *mind blown!*
That was a hard lesson for me to learn over the years. I was always your typical "oh yeah! life is great!" type of girl who never shared struggles, pain or heartache. If I shared, it was usually with very, very few people and I begged them not to tell anyone else. Why? Because the facade of "I'm doing great!" was such a comfortable coverup, just the thought of it falling away and someone seeing behind it made me squirm in my seat as if I had bugs in my pants.
Struggles are real life. They aren't only for a select few. We all have them. We just hate admitting them.
Being vulnerable can bring freedom?! What on earth do you mean? How is that supposed to bring freedom? Well....
Once you spill the beans, everyone sees all of them. The nicked ones, the bruised ones, the half foul ones. They see what couldn't be seen from the outside of the can. All they saw was the lovely label, the beautiful perfect picture that portrayed that everything inside was perfect, desirable, beautiful, under control -- you name it!
The beans were spilled. And then what? Oh yeah. "Oh my goodness! looks at that bean - it's half rotted away!" "Goodness me, look at all those bruises!" "Yuck!"
And we wish we had never tipped the can over. We *knew* this was going to happen. Everyone was going to see the faults, the imperfections first. They don't see the beans that are perfect and beautiful. Their eyes are trained to go straight to the odd ones, the wounded and scarred.
"hey! what abour YOUR can of beans?"
"are YOU perfect all the way through like the label portrays?"
the ability to see faults in others is a cheap and common gift.
I don't know about you, but I think we all have some bruised beans. We all have some nicked ones, some rotting ones. We aren't perfect. Not a single one of us.
We are capable of calling forth, encouraging, commenting on the good, the excellent, the beautiful aspects of people. Confidence isn't gained by critism. It's gained by encouragement.
Fear plays into this whole aspect of tipping over our can of beans. Because honestly - who in the world finds it easy to be vulnerable, easy to open up things of the past, current struggles and hidden aspects of their lives without a bit of trepidation that someone is likely to critize - and that it's going to hurt. Critism is something that some of us are more used to than others. Each of us react differently to it.
Me? I react in so many different ways, but a big one is... I'll start punching myself. Beating myself up. Knocking my head against a wall. Yelling at myself - "why didn't you do that perfectly? why can't you act perfectly in that situation?!" "why did I do that? urgh, this is terrible. I should never have said a word." Being in a place where for years - yes, I'm talking years - I beat myself up, COMPLETELY blind to the fact that I was doing it. Ughhhh if I had known, I wouldn't have wondered why I wanted to lock myself up because I was "never good enough" for even myself. I wouldn't have wondered why my confidence levels where wayyyyyy down in the well.
The enemy loves to make us believe lies. Honestly, once my eyes were open I got so angry. Not at me, no, I got angry at the enemy; because he stole years worth of time and hope and life my mind. He stole so many minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years of my life and really convinced me for a long time that I wasn't worth it, I wasn't good enough, I never would be a good person - I never would meet any standards and that I shouldn't even try my best because, ha! what was the point? They were all going to critize me anyways.
Looking back, it almost seems ridiculous -- really, really, ridiculous. How could I have let such a mindset become my own? How could I have believed such a crazy as-far-from-the-truth-as-you-can-get lie?
And yet, I am grateful in a way, because through those years and those moments of utter frustration, I now know - and I have experienced, and seen and lived through something that others go through. Something that others may not even be able to fully see, and yet, the Lord can place me in their lives to be a blessing and speak truth, hope, life and encouragement back into their daily lives.
Isn't it amazing how through trials we go through we can come out at the end and look back and see what the Lord has done? What He has redeemed and brought to a new level of faith and trust? I sit in awe sometimes and often am lost for words at the tender, gracious faithfulness of Jesus. He's there through it all ya'll.
All of us have bruised beans. All of us.
Tipping over our can of beans seems daunting. challenging. scary.
Spilling beans can be messy. Tearing down, peeling off a facade - a mask can be painful.
But it's so worth it. So beyond worth it.
Jesus walks through all of it with us.
Drawing close to Him makes it all worth it.
I'm Christy, and if you had known me a year ago, you would have said "she's got it all together! wow! she's successful, confident... etc".
I'm here to say - that wasn't the real me.
It was my tried and true facade. My pretty label on the outside so no one would suspect there to be nicked, bruised and broken beans inside.
My beans got spilled last year. Spilled and brought before Jesus, before people, before my own denying self that hated every inch of my flaws.
I'd rather be me, than that facade. I would rather show you my true face, my true personality, my true passions than that weathered, tattered, beaten up mask I held up for so long.
hello, it's me. the wild card, talkative, passionate, drama-filled girl with ideas and thoughts that boggle even my own mind.
let's be friends, you and me.
hello, dear world.