31 days to listen : messy, awkward, unacceptable places

 

I totally recognize that it’s October 15, and I’m only on day nine of writing for 31 days in October.  It may take me two months to get all 31 days in, but I’m going to get it done.

Quiet has been hard to come by this past week.  Josh and I are both working full time, trying to get our apartment situated, preparing for his parents and brother to come visit this weekend, trying to squeeze in a little time for each other, and falling into bed at night where we sleep like rocks out of the sheer exhaustion of trying to keep things going.  Time and space are precious commodities these days.  Maybe part of this journey for me is in the learning how to make time for quiet, even when the time isn’t there.  To etch out the thirty minutes a day it would take to make myself some tea, sit down, and spend some time reflecting on all that’s in my head, all that Jesus is teaching me.

And now, on to the reflecting.

This week, despite its erratic schedule, has been very introspective for me.  A sweet friend of mine commented on my last blog, and her thought has been running through my head for days now.

I know I’m not the only girl with insecurity problems, but no one ever really talks about it…

That is a painfully true statement.  We don’t really live in a culture that puts a high value on sharing your vulnerabilities.  We praise the strong, the successful, the independent.  The people who show no sign of weakness, no tendency toward frailty of any sort.

I hate that.  Because get caught in this trap of thinking those attributes make us great and invincible and powerful.  When more often than not, all they make us? Is alone.

I am so tired of seeing the dear people around me feel alone in their brokenness.  In the messy, awkward, unacceptable places that all of us possess and most of us deny.  Even in the church–to be honest, sometimes especially in the church–we fear showing weakness.  We fear vulnerability.  We fear exposure.  We read Scriptures that say insane things like, “My strength is perfected in weakness,” and they make us feel so nice and fuzzy, and then we move forward into a life that says those words can’t possibly be true.  Because we have to be strong.  We have to have it all together.  God forbid we be open about what hurts us and scares us and plagues us and tempts us.  That’s not the American way.  One the many ways in which I believe the American way and the Jesus way couldn’t possibly be farther apart–but that’s another post for another day.  Or perhaps a novel.

I will probably spend another post (or maybe five) on this topic, because I think it’s an incredibly important one.  But for today, these words are enough:

I’ve never really felt like I’m very good at being a woman.  There is much evidence in my head and in my past that would serve to prove this point, if you asked me.  But again.  That’s a whole other novel.  One that I really do need to write one of these days.

Most days, I feel as though I’m probably a really bad teacher.  I look at the teachers around me, I compare myself to them, and I always manage to come up lacking in my own estimation.

I feel like the world’s most socially awkward person more often than not these days.  I generally despise meeting new people for this reason.

I’m spend most of my time somewhere between ecstatically looking forward to having children and being terrified of it, because I’m not sure it’s in me to be selfless enough to be a good mom.

I am terribly insecure in what I believe.  Not because I’m not sure whether or not I believe it myself, but because I have a desperate need for approval, and becoming secure in what I believe requires me to stop worrying about whether the people around me agree with me or not.

All that to say–if you are feeling insecure, you are not alone.  You have a kindred spirit, and someone who’s willing to walk beside you in the dirty soil of your dark and messy places, and find beauty there.

Much love, friends.

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