“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” Brene’ Brown
My friend Christina was trying to get to know me a bit when we first moved to South Texas. “Are you easy to get to know or more private?” “Oh, I’m an open book,” I said with pride. I’ve always thought I was an open book. But as the years go by, I realize that I am an extrovert with introvert qualities. And I’m harder to get to know than I once thought.
I like to be home. I like to do my thing. I will share with you something that only a few people know about me- I don’t like to talk on the phone and I actually have had some serious phone anxieties in the past. Once I’m on the phone, I’m fine. I feel like I’m doing so much better with it now, but still have a ways to go. But I could go forever before I called someone back. I know…it’s terrible. And it’s mainly with people far away or that I don’t see anymore. Text me and we’re good. I’ve avoided Skype and Facetime because it made me feel awkward and I felt like I needed to be more put together than I was.
And in the past I’ve missed different events or outings because I didn’t feel comfortable or like I needed to be there. I just wanted to stay home and hide. It feels safe when I’m at home. Messy hair, don’t care, pjs on and no drama. And that’s good to have a place of safety and refuge- but I know I can’t stay here all the time. I know I’ve been called to be a light and so have you. What I have to remember is that when I call people or go hang out with people, that I’m needed. I know that might sound weird, but you and I are needed! The Lord wants to use us to encourage others and build relationships. I know I can’t exactly do that hiding behind my keyboard (or whatever that thing is for you that it’s so easy to hide behind).
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” Brene’ Brown
At the end of the day, we’re all a little awkward, a little inward, but mostly we’re all perfectly imperfect… together. Every time I’ve done something that I almost missed because I was going to stay home, I come home feeling filled up, blessed and thankful for those experiences. And I tell my husband, “We need to that more often!” We were meant for fellowship, whether phone or in person, this I know. I think that’s why the enemy loves to give so many people anxieties in this area, because the enemy wants us to isolate ourselves. I have a lot of friends that are dealing with anxiety and it’s very isolating. The one thing I know that I have going for me is that I really love people. Like really. I’ve said it before after meeting up with someone at Starbucks or talking with a good friend I haven’t talked to in a while- I love people. And the other irony is that I’m called to be a speaker, so there’s that.
We have a friend who’s moving and the one thing I noticed about her (and I told her this) was that from the moment she got here, she gave it all and held nothing back. I admired the way she jumped into friendships and did life with people. She will be so very missed because she gave people the most precious thing she had, time.
I want to encourage you, as I take my own advice, to not let this year get by without digging your roots in a little deeper. I’ve been so blessed to do several girl getaways this year. I always come back with a deep love and respect for each of those ladies, as we’ve been able to peel away our masks and just be us… real. We laugh together, see our no-make-up self’s, and share personal stories that make us who we are today. There’s something to be said about not only getting to know them, but it feels good letting them get to know parts of me too.
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” Brene’ Brown
So be sensitive to God, what He’s calling you to do in this next season, the people He wants you to reach out to, the relationships that are important to you that you need to continue to invest in, the people you haven’t called in a while (just do it!), and perhaps the places that He will call you to go that you might not always ‘feel’ like going, but you’ll always be glad you went! Look for opportunities to grow, serve, and be apart of what God is doing and build your community- because your community, your tribe, that’s where the good stuff grows, amen.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:12-15