People who always seemed to have their life figured out.
People who never had a bad day or something that didn’t go their way.
These people had no imperfections and no mistakes.
Even their clothes and hair was never out of place.
I would place them high on a pedestal wishing, hoping, and praying that one day I would be just like them.
Perfect as could be.
Flawless in every way.
Un-broken and un-scarred by the pain and messiness of the world.
But as the years have gone by I have started to see in a brand new light that perfection isn’t all it seems to be.
That no one lives a life that is untouched by brokenness, by setbacks, by failure, and by disappointment.
And to appear perfect to the world only requires good acting skills.
Skills of covering up messiness and hiding hurts.
Skills of pretending you have it all figured out when you know you don’t.
I used to admire people with those skills.
I thought that’s what made them strong.
But I’ve been realizing that sometimes it takes more strength to be vulnerable with the hardships of life than to cover them up.
Sometimes the brave person isn’t the one who has a smile on their face masking the pain they feel inside.
No, it’s the person who isn’t afraid to cry openly and share that pain because they know that maybe that openness just might be the very encouragement that someone else needs to face one more day.
To know that they are not the only ones who hurt.
That they are not the only ones who carry burdens that weigh them down.
That they are not the only ones who don’t have all the answers.
It is now these people that I admire most.
Not the picture perfect one’s but the vulnerable and broken people who are not afraid to expose their messy lives and their broken hearts.
People who open up the ugliest parts of their lives and bare the deepest parts of their soul.
People who speak loudly about things others are ashamed to even whisper about.
People who are not scared to say “sometimes life is hard, and I’d be lying to you if I said I was doing okay.”
It is these people who are the bravest of all, who by their openness encourage others and help heal broken hearts and scarred souls.
One of the people in my life that did it so beautifully was my pastor’s wife at church prayer a few weeks ago.
She is usually very quiet and doesn’t speak on stage very often.
She is beautiful and lady-like with how she dresses and an absolute sweetheart when you talk to her.
You just know she has a golden heart.
She would definitely be one of those people I’d place high on a pedestal and say “look at her, she’s perfect, she probably has absolutely no problems in her life.”
If I was going through a hard time I doubt I would ever go talk to her.
How would she possibly understand?
But understand she might.
Because when she took that microphone into her hand that night during prayer I don’t think there were many dry tears in the room (at least from the women’s side) 😉 because she spoke about a struggle so deep and personal that I am sure no one but her husband and family knew about.
She shared it not boldly and confidently but with a shaking voice through tears.
And on the outside she may have seemed vulnerable and even a little weak, but she was really the bravest person there that night.
And I hope that I can be that brave too.
But that’s going to require being transparent about life which is a hard thing to do in a world that is consumed with always sharing only your happy moments or your best days whether that’s on social media or in real life.
I remember a few months ago when I was teaching a lesson for my teens at church we were talking about going through hardships in life and doing things we were not proud of and one of them said, “oh, I’m sure you have NEVER went through that, you seem perfect.”
And I wanted to laugh out loud and start making a list of all the days in my life when I totally failed.
Of the days I didn’t want to look at myself in the mirror because I wasn’t proud of the girl looking back.
Of the days I barely struggled to make it through to the end without shedding an ocean of tears and carrying around a tissue box around because life was just so hard.
If there was a list of perfect people who never walked through a trial, who never had a bad day, and who never felt disappointed about something they did then no one would qualify for it.
In our world it is popular to bury hurts, to cover up scars, and to have a happy-go-lucky attitude no matter what.
And I’m all about having a positive attitude and seeing the brighter side of life.
We don’t need any more negative Nancy’s in this world sucking out the joy and hope with everything they say and do.
But there is a big difference between being negative and being real.
Being negative is when you walk around with a constant chip on your shoulder, a gloomy cloud following you around, and you live life doubting God, His goodness, and His plan for your life and you drag others down with your hopelessness.
But being real is not being scared to share what you are going through to the world around you. except you share it not with a negative attitude but with hope knowing that you know the One who can fix you up.
The One who can heal your pain.
The One who can help you overcome your battles.
The One who can forgive your fall and pick you right back up.
That’s what being real and vulnerable is about.
Sharing our hardships in life with one another while looking at Christ as our healer, as our hope, and as our comforter in the darkness, in the trials, and in the hurts.
And when we can share so openly with the world around us we open the doors for others to do the same.
I hope that when people look at me they never say “oh look, that’s the girl who always has it together.”
I hope instead they can say “oh look, that’s the girl who has went through a few valleys, who had a few bad days, who has fought a few battles, and who go through them all only because she had God by her side.”
My challenge to all of us is this: let’s be real with the people in our lives when we are going through hard times. There’s enough people in this world who seem perfect on the outside and yet are fighting battles every day that nobody has a clue about. The only way we can help one another is by being a little vulnerable with our own lives, by sharing our stories, and in that way we can encourage others to share their own.
May you walk strong with Christ today knowing that He who has been faithful in taking care of you until this very moment will direct your every step in the future and provide for any need that you may face. Also, if you can please pray for my mom I would really appreciate it. She is having a surgery on her brain to remove a tumor this upcoming Thursday and the more people we have praying that her surgery along with her recovery will go smoothly the better! Thank you and be blessed! -Anna… ♥