I have been silent on the blogging front for months.
I have wanted to write from a place of having it all together. From a place of, “I followed my elimination diet perfectly and had great results and my house is squeaky clean and I never get mad and I’m totally not even a little bit struggling with living alone!” I cannot write from that place. But oh, I wanted to. And hasn’t that been my life? Desperately wanting to tell the world, “I have it all together.” Because if I don’t, I at least want to pretend like I do, present the idea that I do. If I can control that much, maybe it can make up for the fact that my life is actually, in fact, out.of.control–or at least it feels that way. But can’t let ’em see. I fear the ugly is starting to seep through the cracks in my mask, and I’m terrified. Because I am fueled by the “need” to tell you, convince you, I have it all together.
I never will.
And the thing is, my best writing has been my rawest. It’s always come from the hurting place, the healing place–the not yet fully healed, but the in-process and the not-yet-put-together and the messy and the ugly-but-He-is-making-beauty-out-of-it.
I believe that. That He is somehow going to make–is making–beauty from this ugly mess. Even if I can’t see it. Even if that belief is thin and worn and weary. It’s there. I know it’s there because it keeps coming back from the mess, back to Him, and saying, “Help me overcome my unbelief.”
I’m not ready to get real or raw enough to tell you all exactly how or with what I’m struggling. But I’m ready to write again. To say again that I’m hurting. I’m broken. I’ve done much of that breaking to myself, and I’m not proud of it. But I can’t stay in the mess and not move. I can’t keep sinking. So I call out. I call out and He reaches down. He tilts my chin and cups my face again, and I know He’s here and He’s holding me, even when I fight Him and the idea that He could possibly love me where I’m at, where I’ve gotten myself to.
I’m ready to not wait anymore, to not wait until I have it all together–because I will never get there. This I know. And I’m ready to write again, because I know it helps me not stay stuck. I’m ready to blog again and leave love all over Portland via hand-written letters (moreloveletters.com style) because if love can be true for strangers–if I can write the words that tell them they’re beautiful and made in the image of God and loved–then it must be true for me, too.
And when your face is cupped and your heart is held by the hands that formed you and the universe, when you believe that even for a moment, it gets easier to breathe and you’re not so scared about the cracks in the mask, or that it’ll fall off. Because you begin to believe that what’s behind it isn’t so ugly after all–because He has made it beautiful, and plastic shines but it don’t glow. And you were made to glow.
I could glow, too? I start to believe it slow. And starting to believe reveals Him in me, because I begin to want to reveal more than I want to conceal. This is Him in me, His doing. This letting the mess leak out because it might minister to a sister soul who, too, is scared of sacrificing her plastic face? This saying, “I am struggling, but here is how God is healing me, helping me, forgiving me”? This wanting to get it out more than the wanting to hide, the humility and humiliation of exposure more than protecting of the pride? This is Him in me, this One who lived the perfection I couldn’t, and died for my imperfection so I wouldn’t have to. This is Him in me. This I know, and the kernel that cries, “Help my unbelief!”, it grows. It grows, and I too, could glow.
And so could you.
It doesn’t take much to be brave. It can be as simple as breaking the silence. It takes belief to be brave, believing it’s worth it. It is. You might be surprised at how that first step, small as it may seem, nurtures that seedling of faith. Pretty soon, you’ll be glowing, darling.