ok, ok, ok. I haven’t written a blog in like a year and a half. I am not entirely sure why I am writing this one now.
I do not consider myself to be courageous. I am an over thinker. I tend to think of all of the possible outcomes to any given situation prior to doing it. Therefore as a kid I never liked roller coasters. You know because as a kid I thought there were three options: 1. I could die. 2. I could cry (always likely) 3. I could love it. 2/3 of the options seemed negative therefore, roller coasters were not an option. I have two brothers who rarely seemed to conduct a risk analysis like I did. This led to constant wondering of me how my two younger brothers could be so much braver than me? [ this is where mom says, “Kelly, they are not braver than you, they are just different than you]
nevertheless. They are courageous. I am not. But I have done at least one thing that was brave.
I moved to Alabama.
To most people that may seem like nothing. I came to suburban america, to live in a nice community and serve in a nice church. That step in courage though has led to some interesting things. One of which being that I have learned more about myself in the past two years than I ever would have thought. Some of the things are great, some are not so great, and some are crazy (discovering I like living alone, something I dreaded prior to moving….who knew?)
The following is something that I have learned about myself that is just real. Not bad, not good, just real.
[be aware that the following is straight vulnerability….you have been warned]
One thing that I have learned about myself is that I lie.
I don’t lie to others (ok, that in itself is a lie). I try very hard not to lie to others and when I do, I try to confess.
I mainly lie to myself.
The lie that I repeatedly tell myself is: You are alone. You are unlovable.
[told you this was vulnerable]
To be honest, this is most likely the root of a lot of my baggage that I have acquired leading up to my late twenties. In my mind I am carrying around lots of cute vintage luggage, including a nice hat box….but packed away in all of this cute on the outside baggage is this ugly monster of a lie.
friends hurt you? you’re alone. unlovable. Maybe if you were lovable they wouldn’t hurt you.
no boyfriend? you’re alone. unlovable.
family hurt you? you’re alone. unlovable. Maybe if you were lovable they wouldn’t hurt you.
people disappoint you? you’re alone. unlovable.
I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
You know that saying, “If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then guess what? It’s a duck”?
It is not always like that with lies. Because the lie that I tell myself’ appears, smells, tastes, sounds, feels, like truth. Nevertheless… IT IS A LIE.
I know that it is a lie for several reasons. First being that I have a precious community that loves me from near and far. I trust them. They tell me all sorts of important things like when I have food in my teeth or when I am full of crap and am lying to myself. They tell me that I am lovable. But more importantly they show me that I am lovable by continuing to love me as best they can. Sometimes the way that they love me doesn’t look like what I expect, but that doesn’t diminish it’s value.
My friend Emily came over today. She came over with an abundance of junk food. She came over and watched my favorite musical on DVD because she knows that I love it. She came over because she loves me [even when I do nothing but complain to her. Cry. And then selfishly eat all of the popcorn] Today she spoke truth into my lie by sitting with me.
Becca and Toby proof read this for me because they know my heart. They show me that I am lovable my reading my disjointed thoughts when I need it and picking up my weeping, complaining, or happy phone calls. [sometimes our phone calls are all of these emotions at once.]
Audra loved me today by picking up the phone and speaking words that I maybe didn’t like hearing but needed to hear. She told me that I was lovable by speaking difficult truth wrapped in love and grace [Audra is a total pro at that….it’s kind of awesome]
I have countless friends that show me I am lovable regularly. Most of the time I don’t think they understand the gravity of their actions and how they ring true in my heart. I don’t always see their love. But they are always showing me that I am lovable.
The problem is, that when I begin to tell myself that lie that sounds like truth. I begin to push the very people who I need to speak truth into my life away. I begin to retreat into the solitude that I think I deserve. And for that, I am sorry.
I live into this self ordained prophesy. I think I am alone and unlovable. So I pull away, distancing myself from others. Thus making me alone. It’s a cycle that I recognize and struggle to break free from. It’s dangerous. I am thankful for friends, and family that love me and don’t allow me to run from them.
They chase after my heart, in the same manner that God is constantly chasing after my heart. The God whose love pursuit is seen throughout Scripture.
“Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand” Psalm 73:23
“Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the very end of the age” Matthew 28:20
and finally, a favorite:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10
Scripture is like one giant love letter constantly telling me how not alone and lovable
I am we are.
Lovable enough for a death on a cross. Not alone because of a resurrection.
I don’t know if you are like me and you lie to yourself more than you lie to anyone else. I would guess that this is the case for most people. Walking around looking whole, while our brokenness sounds clearly within our heads and hearts. For me it is the lie that I am alone and unlovable. For you it may be something else. My prayer is that we would all find truth that rings louder than the self spoken lies. That you would find yourself in community (and allow yourself to stay in the midst of that and not pull away like is my temptation) and hear the value of your life from them and through Holy Scripture.
For me the risk analysis of even writing these words is that there are three options 1. no one reads this because even I forgot I kept a blog. 2. I cry (welp, that has already happened.) or 3. You hear truth.
I guess it is worth the risk. I’ll be courageous.