To Be Seen and Heard We Need to Show and Tell

I don’t want to undress my heart and show others what I carry because vulnerability is emotional nakedness. And like physical nakedness, it feels embarrassing. The imperfections come spilling out. The not enoughness of my virtues. The too muchness of my issues. It’s an insight God has brought to my attention gently over the past few weeks.

Although I noticed it in my writing first, where I began to hear my own guarded voice, I slowly saw it present in all spaces of my life. My heart wears a heavy wardrobe. I am still processing. So, this is me, sharing with you, my reader, for accountability, and to process with you what God is teaching me.

We fear rejection, or best-case scenario, judgment. “Best” because you may judge some parts and still let me in. Rejection feels more final. Like red ink letters stamping the word “rejection” on an application for example. It’s the whole effort being rejected, no parts approved or wanted.

Because we all long to be accepted. We want our whole person to belong, not just the likeable interesting pieces, those we intentionally let out, as the business card of emotional interacting, here’s the better worthier part of me in a nutshell, but all of it.  

I do not mean we should wear all our emotions on our sleeve all the time. But to connect deeply, depth is required. And keeping a tone that floats on the surface, to ensure the heart stays afloat in others’ company, is sinking any possibility of serving and being served. I’m still figuring out what that means for my writing voice and the things I share. That fine line between fearing making it about me and humbly sharing my stories that bear His writing, that it may bring Him glory and that it may serve you. Connect with you. Draw us closer to Him and to one another.

My humanity and the limitations thereof are meant to need Him. And so are yours. The not enoughness and the too muchness, are indeed so. Not nearly enough to measure up, and too much to overcome alone. Yet I am gloriously created with limits because I was made to be complete with my creator. In and through Jesus, limits are made into enough and lack is completed with his provision. Like the fish and the loaves of bread, which although were just barely the lunch of a kid, were made enough to feed thousands.  

The tension we feel in our deficiencies is an invitation to step into the sufficiency of our Maker. This week’s post feels a lot like that for me. An imperfect string of letters I offer, knowing full well their value won’t be measured in literary quality. But hopeful that they are good enough to plant a seed in someone who may need to look at their long list of lack, considering God. Sounds lovely, and in my heart profoundly true.

I realize it also sounds hollow on days when deficient is all I see in the mirror. And I don’t have an answer for that and I think we’re not meant to have one. There are occasions when we are to go through the feelings. Because it is in the hard place where we can be comforted. Taken in. Understood.

And how healing that is, in the presence of the One Who holds our days and every tear we shed, in his hands. We skip on the hard feelings; we miss the healing. We deny the weaknesses we carry; we reject the power by which they are made strong in His strength.

How hard, dear reader, it is for me, I confess, to grapple with all of this, in terms of sharing and digging deeper in this space. I pray these words that feel spoken from my fingers to the keyboard, unto your screens, may help connect us a little more to one another, and to Him who wants all of you, and all of me. The good parts, and the ones wearing too many layers. Making them heavy to carry.

The next time someone shares more than what you are comfortable with, imagine how you would want to feel in their shoes, and offer them that. We all yearn for the same thing. We want to belong. To be seen and heard. But how can others see and hear who we really are, when few of us want to show our true selves and tell our stories? How else are we going to build the Church if we can’t serve one another, in the offering and receiving of what we carry, the way Jesus did for our sake?