I read an interesting article this morning that has gotten me thinking about living life with others...
Asia and I have always tried to be really intentional about being real with folks... putting our faults on the alter of friendship and honestly walking through life without pretending.
The truth is - we're madly in love and struggle to love each other.
We adore our kids and despair for them in the same breath.
We have a lovely home that has piles of junk in every corner and massive dust bunnies hiding under every bed and dresser.
We give money away and we spend way too much on selfish desires.
I live my life in a body that's at a healthy weight but have a constant driving desire to sabotage my health with unhealthy, temporarily satisfying, non-nutritive junk because I have an addictive issue with food.
You see, what you see on the surface is not always what lies beneath.
And I don't ever want to pretend that what lies beneath doesn't exist.
I sneak chocolate.
I yell at my kids.
I fantasize in an unhealthy way about having a husband who would eat vegetables and take me backpacking and know instinctively what kind of little doodads and gift-y treats would make me feel special.
My house is surface-y clean but if you look too closely, you'll discover I'm a terrible housekeeper.
I am at my deepest core a really lazy person.
I am judgemental.
There are days the ugly head of my tendency toward depression tugs so hard on my psyche that I struggle just to function.
Some days I can barely face the prospect of people... my introverted nature makes me want to hide away and pretend you don't exist to a point where I overindulge my selfishness in a really sinful/egocentric/contemptible manner.
Basically - I am in need of grace on so many levels... I really suck at some things.
I went through a life stage when I was surrounded by people whose entire motivation appeared to be a desire to appear 'sanctified.' Their energy focused on presentation and high standards and expectations that left little room for struggle/reality/doubt.
The truth is - living that way tore me down in a way that made me question myself on every level. I just never could measure up. I lived in a really unhealthy fear of God's judgement.
I am so thankful that as I've gotten older - I've found a blessed balance between striving to honor God through my life choices and holding tight to the amazing and simple fact that I don't have to measure up... that my worth is entirely proven in the simple act of a cross and blood spilt for me and any effort to make it appear otherwise demeans that sacrifice.
I cannot/will not meet any standard.
But I can admit my short comings and trust in a faithful, gentle Savior to take the mess of who I am and create beauty.
I hope that I present my self in a way that honestly exposes the truth of my sinful nature and glorifies my Savior who redeems even the worst parts of me.
I recognize the danger of being prideful about this and resting in God's grace in an unhealthy way.
Certainly, I strive to honor the gift of grace and mercy I receive every morning by living my life in a way that pleases God.
I will not abuse this Amazing Grace.
But I also will not hoodwink people into thinking I have anything figured out or that I somehow have magically mastered my sin.
I am a fallen soul whose only hope is God's goodness.
I am also a restored/beautiful/overhauled/recreated individual whose whole life (I hope) reflects the beauty of God's benevolence toward me.
I am a hot mess and a beautiful, organic, constantly growing/changing picture of unbelievable, exquisite wholeness.
I choose to lean into the tension of that reality.
God takes my disastrously selfish, tragic self and integrates it with His perfection and somehow, mysteriously creates someone complete.
Life is messy.
God is good.
That's the reality I choose to lean into each day.