What If…?

I’m overwhelmed….really.
After my post the other day, I sat at my computer in disbelief as I read your responses.
I love hearing your thoughts and stories. If you emailed me or left a comment, please know that if I responded to them today, my sheets wouldn’t have gotten washed, the laundry wouldn’t be folded, and that pile of sand wouldn’t have gotten swept. And you know now that I had to get all those things done today only cause people are coming to my house tomorrow!! :)
So even though I can’t respond to each one, I read every single word. And I thought about them. And I appreciate them…more than you know. I feel honored that you would entrust me with your stories…stories of struggle, heartache, loneliness. It is a privilege to get a peek into your lives.
But you know what overwhelmed me the most after reading all your responses? How are heartbeats are very much the same. How very much alike we all are. It shouldn’t surprise me…but don’t we live as if we are the only ones who struggle?  but your vulnerability made me want to be even more real!
I have to write this post today as a follow-up to my last one, because your responses taught me a few things.
it first off showed me how much we need each other.  we are bombarded in this world, and sadly even in the “church”…that we need to put on a pretty face and make sure everyone sees just how put together we really are.
I am ashamed to admit that i’ve spent way too much time and energy trying to create an identity for myself, one where people are convinced that i’ve got my stuff together. It seems as if we might all be in the same boat. In the past, i’ve been terrified to show people the real me…
What a shame. You know why its a shame? Cause when I’m covering up, I’m convincing other people that they need to cover up too. And there is nothing about that that is making Jesus famous. Its really just an attempt to make me famous. And that is in direct disregard of the Gospel.
Quite possibly the thing I’m learning after your responses is that we just might all be exhausted of doing that.
We are seriously doing a disservice to each other when we are living to make everyone think we’ve got it all under control. I am sorry, so sorry, if i’ve done that, given that message. It couldn’t be farther from the truth.
But isn’t there something in each of us that wants that…to make everyone think we’ve got it all together? The problem with that…is that its a big fat lie. I don’t care who you are…the President of the U-S of A, Emily from the Bachelorette (I’m a big fan of her’s, btw), Beth Moore, the Pioneer Woman…not a single one has it all together. Not one.
Blogs, Facebook, Instagram…they all do that. They make us think we are the only ones with dirty houses, dirty children, and dirty hearts. there is one blog in particular that I cannot read. It ruins my heart, and makes me strive for things that I cannot possibly ever do. i know for sure that its not the author’s intention, and that it has WAY more to do with the state of my own heart.  But she is just so pulled together, so in love with Jesus, everyday, all the time. And I’m not. And it makes me feel like Crud. With a capital C.
there is not an ounce in me that wants you to come here and feel that way. Not an ounce. Which is why my last post was SO necessary for me to write. I had to get it off my chest! Cause I do want to show you fun things…recipes, sewing projects, house stuff, photos of my kids, but I want you to see all those things all the while knowing that the one showing them to you is jacked up…big time!
You know how I mentioned that there is a story going on right now, that is not mine to tell, but that has devastated me? Even though I can’t tell you the details, I can tell you what its done to my heart. Its convinced me that living in secret isolation is not only not what we were created for, its absolutely the kiss of death. I am afraid that when we live as if we’ve got it all together, we are isolating ourselves and pushing away those who need to see that we are, in fact, big time screw ups. Its shown me that this world needs us to be real with each other. We need to know that we all struggle. We need to know that we all are desperate, no more and no less than anyone else. we need each other’s vulnerability. When we show the world the real us, maybe it could prevent a lot of loneliness, a lot of heartache, a lot of striving and maybe it could be the vehicle that God uses to redeem our stories.
What if we lived in a world, or a church, where everyone just let their guard down? Then maybe we wouldn’t feel so lonely.
as I read back over my last post, i realized that I left out a very important thing. Its one thing to be vulnerable, but its another thing to tell you why I feel the freedom with you to expose the real me.
I felt free to write that post the other day for one reason, and one reason only, because:
“God made him, who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of Christ.”
My favorite verse…ever.  2 Corinthians 5:21.
Cause it says this to me:
I, God, sent Jesus, who was perfect, the only perfect human to have ever lived, to take on all of your sins, my daughter, so that when you believe, all of your sin is covered and is now counted instead as righteousness.  Jesus’ righteousness.
In other words, Jesus switched places with me, took on my sin, my personal sin, took the punishment that I deserve, once and for all. But there’s more. And that more is what has allowed my soul to feel more freedom than anything else in the whole world. 
The more is that in place of my sin, Jesus gave me His perfection. So when God looks at me, as His Daughter, He sees me covered in Jesus’ perfection. Therefore, He will never ever ever deal with me as my sins deserve, but only as if I had lived, myself, the perfect life of Jesus.
(this pic makes me laugh!  the hubs used it as apart of a seminary project he did a few years back.)
think of this…if Jesus came as a Rescuer, then why in the world would someone who has it all together need rescuing? When I see myself for who I really am, I become desperate for His covering. Like…every moment of every day. I screw it up all the live long day. I really do.
The reality is: the laundry piles, and sand piles, the fighting kids, etc…are only an outside picture of what’s in my heart. That might be too much for you to handle…if I got real about how my heart operates. The thoughts that run through my mind. My doubts. My massive insecurities. Maybe that will be post someday…then i’d for sure send y’all running for the hills :) I am a desperate person. but when I rest in the covering of Jesus’ perfection, it makes me want to live exposed before y’all.
I heard someone say once that spiritual maturity is not measured by how holy you are, but instead by how much you recognize your unholiness. We get it backwards. We tend to think we’ve mastered it when we can show the world how holy and pulled together we are. How much we’ve got it together. Let me tell you…i spent way too many years trying that one. It doesn’t work. Its like running on an exhausting hamster wheel, that never ever ever ends. I’m done with it, cause truth is….I’m cannot make myself holy. And most often, my life doesn’t display holiness. It displays a person, who outside of Jesus, is rotting away.
So you wanna know why and how we can live authentically, exposed, vulnerable? Its because, in Jesus, we are already covered. We are already seen as perfect. Forever.
So when I’m trying to cover up my junk, I’m spitting in the face of the One who did it already for me….not to mention what that does to other people.
That’s the disservice I’m talking about, that we are doing to each other. Isn’t it true that when we are running, striving, covering, it often makes other people feel the need to do the same? Why don’t we just let each other be free, maybe by first being free ourselves? What would happen if we did?
What if we were honest about it? What if we were honest about how short we fall?  What if we saw ourselves as ones who are desperate for a covering other than the one we try to create on our own?  What if we lived as people who are desperate for freedom…freedom to live exposed…freedom to let down our guards…freedom to let other people see the real us?
Exposure feels like death sometimes. But what if we took the risk? There is a song by David Crowder that says, “Let’s risk the ccean…there’s only grace.” in other words, its a big risk, but what have we got to lose??
Could it possibly be that other people might be attracted to our weaknesses and exposure and vulnerability more than they are to the things that we display as perfection and all under control?
What if???  i’m SO desperate for it…are you?

ps:  i’ll totally be switching gears and coming back with a recipe that I recently made with my new dehydrator.  :)