I’ve noticed that when I’m not at my best, I tend to hide away. Those are the days and weeks that I delete social media from my phone, stop returning calls and texts, and disappear from the world a little – silencing my voice and sinking back into the shadows where no one can see me.
The truth is that I want the world to think well of me. To build a good image. To put on my best face, to show the prettiest…maybe even slightly over-edited parts of my life to the world. And when I do not feel at my best, when life gets hard and stops humming along as I believe it should, when I’m failing at the things I put my hand to, I start to believe that my words of truth hold less weight – that my right to speak life into the world is diminished by my own inadequacy.
But does our imperfection really make us less worthy or credible or powerful?
It could be that what it actually reveals is the truth about our own insufficiency within ourselves. One that strong people don’t like to admit to.
For example, most of you know how passionate I am about marriage and speaking life into marriages around me. But the truth is, what do I do with all that truth on days it feels like I want to throw in the towel in my own marriage? The truth of things are that I have days and weeks where my marriage doesn’t measure up to the standard of my own words… I know because just this weekend was one of those times.
I won’t go into the nitty gritty details, but to put my end of things in a nutshell; I was discontent, irritated, sad, and mostly unpleasant for a few days on end which doesn’t exactly make for the lovely relationship I believe in and write about. I have days when all my head knowledge on motherhood is overcome by a much lesser kind of mamma to my littles…a version of motherhood that wouldn’t be likely to find it’s unfiltered little way onto my Instagram feed.
And so, I hide and wait for a day when I can share more palatable, picturesque version of life; afraid to share the dark days for fear I will be labeled by them.
I say I want to be real, to show the world who I really am, but do I really? Do I share who I really am on days when who I am isn’t praiseworthy or admirable at all?
The reality is, every time time I hide, I am hiding the truth about myself from the world, and I am hiding from the truth about myself.
The rough around the edges, not so polished parts.
The “her house is a hot mess” parts.
The “her bank account was overdrawn that one week” parts.
The “she doesn’t have it all figured out” parts.
The “she doesn’t have a perfect life” truth.
The “she’s a terrible mom and wife somedays” parts.
The thing that blows my mind about myself is my ability to be both wonderful and awful all in the same day. Some days my attitude is just horrible…so horrible that I know it’s wrong but lack the power or the desire to even change it. I mean,
One day I’m talking about kindness and the next hour I’m yelling at my kids over something ridiculous.
One week I’m writing about making your marriage a love story, the next I’m wondering if I even want to stay married!
One moment I write a post on motherhood alongside a great picture of my kids doing something wonderful, the next moment I’m doubting that it’s even worth it to sacrifice the extra income to stay home with my kids.
One week I’m writing and talking about giving grace to people who are hard to love, the next I am writing someone off because they disappointed me!
One week I’m talking about making wise choices and discipline, the next week my bank account is overdrawn.
I convince myself I don’t feel shame over this stuff because you know, grace. But then I hide…proving that I am indeed punishing myself for my own imperfection by believing that all the goodness I promote is erased by my personal failings and inability to hold myself to an exhausting standard of perfection.
And I close myself off to the world.
Maybe the real problem is that I have believed myself to more capable of being good within myself than I actually am.
When we have believed that any of the goodness and light we have is within our own power, we become dazed and thrown into an emotional tailspin of sorts when come face to face with the realization that there is also the immense capacity for darkness within us.
We are human, and even the reality of Jesus in our lives doesn’t ensure that our lives are wonderful and perfect, because it just doesn’t work that way.
“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Maybe we should be less pre-occupied with our darkness and more pre-occupied with the opportunity for the light to shine through it. IN our mess. IN our failure. IN our shattered dreams. IN our worst days.
I can face my own darkness, come to grips with and get willing to tell the truth about the cracks and holes in my life because without them, there would be no way for the illuminating light of Christ to shine through and light up all the dark places.
There will be days we all want to hide away from it all, but resist the urge.
We don’t have to run from, or be surprised by, or hide our darkness anymore because The Light has come for us.
I sure hope you experience bright rays of hope through my darkness.