I have a confession to make. I am screwed up. I have bad habits which I’m ashamed of. I’ve made mistakes and still do. I can get annoyed at little things. I’ve been in a broken home and lost a parent young. I’ve seen alcoholism at first hand. I lack confidence and occasionally self-esteem. I can be lazy, make excuses and procrastinate.
In other words, I’m a mess.
I don’t have it all together.
My life isn’t perfect.
I don’t have all the answers.
However, I get encouragement from others about the kind of person they see. A wise, intelligent, insightful person with compassion. A man who would make a great husband and father. A respected member of a church. A great writer.
And all these compliments might well be true.
But even if they are, it doesn’t mean I have it all together.It just means God manages to get the best out of me at times and use this to help others.
God allows me to demonstrate and live out the best of myself publicly very well.
But I’m good at hiding my brokenness.
You see, the more broken you are, and the longer the brokenness goes on, the better you get at hiding it. You learn what to disclose and what not to disclose.
Part of what people see might be an act.
But you’re not telling me the interactions I have with friends – both online and face to face – are me acting. You can’t convince me the writing I share which impacts people is fake.
No, this is the best of me.
This is me living in complete harmony with who I was created to be.
The Secret we all Keep
The act is separate. The act is when you touch on the insecurities, the fears, the doubts, and people either act like they don’t exist – or they brush over them. Fake a smile. Pretend it’s all okay.
I’m afraid. Afraid one day people will see the truth and suddenly no one will read my writing. No one will encourage me in my gift. And all my friends will turn on me and dump me like the dog poo you wipe from your shoe.
However, I suspect I’m not the only one who feels like this. In fact, I would go so far as to the majority of people feel this way, deep down.
But we all keep it a secret, because we’re all afraid of losing the good we have.
The self everyone sees is true in one sense. It’s a part of who we are. It’s us at our best. It’s not necessarily a lie
It’s just not the entire truth.
This is why it’s so difficult to receive grace. Because receiving grace means allowing someone into the darkness. It means letting someone see the mess of who we really are, trusting we won’t be rejected.
The relationships of any kind which really mean something, the ones which last are the ones where both sides acknowledge the darkness…
…and love each other anyway. (you can tweet that here)
I know God feels this way about me. He sees my crap. He sees the me I hide from everyone. He knows my dark side even more than I do.
But says it’s okay. And tells me my life is full of purpose, value and meaning…
…no matter how together I am.
And incredibly, despite having all this darkness in my life, God still blesses people through my writing. He still uses me in church. And I still am able to be a good friend, good brother and good son. Sometimes, anyway.
Inside I am so broken. But God somehow brings meaning and purpose through it. And incredibly, I am still able to bring meaning and purpose to others’ lives.
And I can’t be the only one. In fact, I know I’m not.
Because the people who bring meaning and purpose to me are broken too.
All of us are. But God uses us anyway. He performs miracles through our mess.
So today, say the words to yourself…and to God:
“I’m messed up. And it’s okay”
And know you are blessed…and a blessing.
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