I appreciate art. I love seeing a beautiful picture or a moving documentary. I understand the importance of angles and negative space, but what I can’t figure out is why we are so afraid to identify these places in our real lives. Why are we so afraid of being seen unfiltered? Why do these things that absorb our hearts, minds, and wee hours of the night never get center stage?
I told a friend the other day, “Why are people so scared of being ‘in process’?
If you really think about it, we are all constantly in process, so it just completely baffles me that we pretend like we are not. We want to be manicured, edited, and show worthy. I understand the desire, but my heart grows weary of that kind of living—it leaves me tired, lonely, and robbed of joy.
That is why authenticity and gratitude are the twin peaks I am willing to die on. You’re not going to see me writing about my faith in a way that cuts someone else off at the knees. I’m going to write about the things that make my heart beat fast and the things that bleed out into my life. You’ll read it, but more importantly hopefully you’ll see it.
When was the last time you told someone else something brutally honest? Something like this:
I know it will be okay, be right now I feel desperate.
My surgery didn’t heal me the way I thought it would.
I go to bed, but I never really sleep—my mind races.
We’re struggling with infertility.
My kids have been sick for a month and I’m worn thin.
I hate my job.
Cancer has stolen so much from me and I am angry.
I want a baby and my body keeps failing me.
I don’t want to be single anymore.
So, what do we do with this kind of honesty? How do we receive it?
With bravery and love. We ask the hard questions, we don’t shy away from the messy spaces, and we offer our kindness like life blood to each other.
Sometimes the space between the lines holds the best story, but we can’t live there forever. Like any powerful narrative the details unfold bit by bit. So be careful how you read each other because a chapter is not a story.
Time is fascinating to me. Maybe it’s because I am typically late or awkwardly early, but very rarely right on time. A few years ago I read this article about the top 10 things people regret on their death bed and you know what most people long for—more time.
Today is Alana’s Unbirthday. It’s a sigh of relief. It’s a day for joy restored. It’s a new chapter. It’s the day my girl came home from the hospital after a weary chapter of our story.
I don’t live in these paragraphs, but a day like today reminds me of my own realness. It reminds me that it is possible to experience joy and loss in the same moment, to taste death and life, to rise from the ashes and begin again.
I’m not afraid of being in process and I hope after reading this, maybe you’ll feel more at peace too. I hope you’ll grab the sweet when you taste the bitter, you’ll chase the light in the dark, you’ll be okay with the words you’re living because you are so much more than one chapter.