I am learning a new song.
It is one that includes my flaws and foibles and just lays them out there because to have held them so closely for so many years….almost killed me.
I am learning to live ……inside here….in this heart.
I make mistakes. I especially make mistakes in relationships.
I sat around a table last night with friends…..and we talked about how to balance the law and grace. How do we promote life and living into being generous and sacrificial around life…specifically abortion. And my sweet friend always brings it back to exactly what it needs to be…..You simply offer relationship and love to the person suffering. We talked about how to vote and promote and have laws and all of that responsible stuff….but in the end….abortion is not a decision….it is a fear and lack and place of needing someone to come and tell you that life is going to be alright. If a woman is choosing an abortion, she is usually not doing so because she is full of life and happy and satisfied and just so excited about her future that it simply has no room to give life to her child. She is most likely choosing this because she is scared and fearful and has regrets and is longing for a way to make her world safe again. And that is not a place to come to her and shame her or destroy her with –isms and judgments. That is the place to come to her with words of grace and offers of help…real and tangible help. How can I help you and your baby? Can I feed you or clothe you or provide assistance or sit and just listen. Can I protect you in some way or simply walk with you through this? Where can I come and be strength when you have none left?
Can you imagine a world in which we all did that? Would there be a single teen pregnant and afraid who would shrink back from her “mistake”? If we could open our hearts and say, ” Honey…I have been there…..I know. Come with me. Let’s walk together and I can show you how to love even here. You can love yourself…you can love this baby. There will be so much love and grace and tangible help. “
Mistakes can be frightening things. But don’t we all make them?
I certainly am making them…more now than ever…or perhaps just admitting them more now than ever.
My heart fails as I think of them. I have been unkind when I should have been loving. I have been judgmental when I should have been graceful. I have sent texts in the dead of night….hoping that someone could see my heart….only to read them by the light of day and cringe at the harshness and unkindness of them. I have not trusted more and tried less. I have spoken words that hurt and words that bite. I have tried to make a way…when patience was the thing I needed. And above all…..I have not trusted the One who holds all my good in His hands and in whose service I claim to be.
Ugh…..I hate messing up. I just hate it. I hate telling myself lies and pretending I am perfect. I hate desiring to be seen and feeling that choking fear around never being loved or cared for. I hate lying to myself and feeling panic around just getting to know someone….and I hate being an impatient, silly girl who cannot seem to be completely comfortable in her own skin.
I am still hiding in places. So…
I sat on the way to school listening…..I sat in the car yesterday listening….and I sat around that table last night listening…..
God….I need to hear.
I need to hear your words in this soul. I don’t need to tell myself lies. I don’t need to worry about being foolish. If I am foolish, then real, loving, vulnerable people will stick with me and walk with me even there. If I am foolish, people who can see the me underneath all this broken will walk with me even there. I just have to continue walking out this journey to the other side.
I will make literally thousands of mistakes in relationships as I walk….some big…some small. I will say the wrong things…..text the wrong things…..kill friendships…..kill dating relationships….stumble and cry and be embarrassed and hurt and feel like I am not worth loving. I will panic and lose sight of who I am, and I will certainly shut people out and act like a crazy woman sometimes.
I need to allow myself space to dream….and to get hopeful….dancing the night away and holding someone’s hand…..
Then I need to allow myself the grace to panic and crash and say stupid things and even feel abandoned and so not worth even getting to know.
This growing and becoming vulnerable is about the hardest thing I have ever done.
In all relationships……I need to just show up and love. Loving myself has been the biggest challenge lately. I struggle and then feel like I have to BE someone spectacular and so charming and lovely and happy and perfect………
I am simply getting it all wrong. I need to be me……the funny, slightly mischievous, soulful, lover of learning….who is wounded and hurting and still grieving at times very passionately feeling her heart as she heals. It will only be in being that woman….that I will be able to see someone’s eyes and hear someone’s words and know that they are truly interested in THAT girl.
Thank goodness…..I have friends who can hear me and pray with me and allow me to be so silly and broken. I need to live into that. I need to quit expecting any man to heal any part of this. I need to just enjoy meeting people and leave their reactions in their hands. If someone chooses not to walk further….it is no reflection of me. It is simply a reflection of their desire for something different.
Learning to walk in confidence as me….just plain old me….is a difficult lesson.