How many of us feel alone in this self-critical tendency? Feel like we are the only ones who have not met the mark today – as parents, wives, husbands, colleagues, daughters, sons and friends?
I imagine that there are more of us than you think. That beyond the smiling, posted and effortlessly unposed candid shots that we (myself included) post on Facebook or Instagram, that we are, all of us, spending the other 23 hours of our day feeling particularly human and flawed.
Just to offer some proof, I’ll spend a moment now confessing some of my not particularly Facebook worthy thoughts and a moment later sharing some of my own personal outtakes.
There is, for example, the ‘being intentional,’ OCD-lovers dream of a spreadsheet that has been hanging on my fridge since 2013 – that’s right 2013! Hidden now underneath three weeks of dictee and other random notices or artwork. Sitting there full of things I have wanted to accomplish. Full of possibilities, good intentions and perfectly achievable goals – staring at me evoking equal parts anticipation and regret. Up until today I have felt like it was an embarrassment. A reminder of the ways I have fallen short – the farthest thing from the feel good type of news we usually consider for Facebook.
But, in my quiet time yesterday morning, something else struck me. It was a song I found on an old, trusty Sony mp3 player from the 90’s, a short verse in Psalms and likely the Spirit’s prompting on my heart.
“I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.” Psalm 31:7
God knows me – He knows my heart. Psalm 31 says that He sees my affliction.
He sees the anguish of my soul and yet He loves me. He knows each days disappointments, He is fully aware of my unmet expectations and short comings but, oh how He loves me.
That is beyond encouraging. That is hope-giving. That is freedom inducing and, if I was prone to dancing – that would set my feet in motion.
So, today, as I look at that chart of intentions, I’m going to first remember His love – a love that exists not because of what I do but in spite of what I don’t do and I’m just going to get started. To try. To venture. To risk. But to do so fully aware of the safety net of God’s love that will catch me when I fall short.
And I’m going to do it in community – with a like minded group of incredible individuals who are all on their own unique journeys – a group of people I call friends, family and encouragers. With you.
I am going to choose to participate in authentic community and I’m asking you to join me, or at least listen to me. To share the highs and the lows so that we can love and support each other in our affliction and our anguish and share in the tiny victories along the way. So that we can step out of the silence and out from behind the facade of perfection or togetherness and, in doing so, be reminded that none of us have it all together, none of us are the sum total of our social media feeds and none of us are alone.
Would you join me? I would love to support you, laugh with you, cry with you and pray with you if I’m not already doing so for I have found that life’s joyous highs and painful lows are almost always more manageable when shared, first with Christ and then with community. To those who have already shown me this truth thank you and to any who want to know me, flaws and all, and who want to be known, I would be honoured to expand my community.
(an imperfect, over-anxious, somewhat controlling Child of God who wrestles with keeping her voice down when talking to her kids, her emotions in check on a daily basis and her identity solidly anchored in Christ lest she feel like she is simply doing life just to keep up with those she thinks have it all figured out)