All my life, for better or worse, I have been quietly paralyzed by this question, “How will they see me?”
When I went through a season of chronic illness, the last thing I wanted was to be seen.
Here I was, a life that had been built around the approval of others, now felt out of my control.
And though it has been far from an overnight transformation, I feel like, by God’s grace, I am a better version of myself than I would have been if I didn’t live through the hard stuff.
Thankfully, I am now in a place of feeling so much better.
But I thank God for loving me enough to smash my pride into a million pieces.
I am now just getting how destructive this is.
I am learning the hard truth that God doesn’t always call us to a comfy life of feeling understood and validated, but to a life of love and courage and truth, regardless.
I believe this means to know that we are loved and forgiven, securely and infinitely, because of Christ’s work on the cross. Then to know, no matter where we find ourselves, that we are called to live a life that responds accordingly… a life defined by loving God with all of our heart, mind and soul… and loving others more than we do ourselves.
For me that meant telling my story even when I really didn’t want to; it meant being ok with being misunderstood, just in case my honesty could be an encouragement to someone in their journey.
It was hard to take that first step.
But you know what? God is in the business of lifting up the broken.
Finally, as I take the focus off myself, I feel more apt to embrace the story He is writing in my life. Finally, I feel more free to boast in my weaknesses, knowing He will be my strength.
Finally, the chains are loosening, as I am learning to care about what He thinks above all.
And it feels good.
I have to say, this has been perhaps one of the greatest ways I am healing.