I was sitting at the car dealer waiting on an oil change, scrolling through Facebook when I saw it. Several comments on something I had posted about the Monday we were having. I don’t remember the exact details, but do remember it wasn’t good. The comments were mostly from other moms, sharing their relief that they no longer felt alone, and thanking me for being real, admitting they thought I had it all together…. and they were no longer worried about that.
Ha! I really wish I could remember what exactly that post was about.
The very idea that any of them ever thought I did have it all together is hilarious. And it made me realize that we women really are watching each other. Comparing. Critiquing. Feeling defeated and like we will never measure up.
That’s not how it’s supposed to be. If these ladies had a glimpse into my home right now, here is what they would see: piles (and piles) of laundry. A car that wouldn’t start this morning. A teenager who overslept, took a 30 minute shower, and was late to school. A mom who started the year making delicious, healthy, organic lunches with homemade cookies, but now is clearly phoning it in (hello, Doritos and Little Debbie!), doing good to remember to pack lunches at all.
My family is tired. It’s been a rough 4 months and we’re a little weary. That’s the honest truth about how things are during the valley times. On the inside we’re hopeful and trusting and believing God knows best… just not always representing that very well on the outside. I know He understands. I’m thankful that He’s patient.
If I give the fake perception that I’m okay when I’m not, that’s a problem. It’s anything but authentic, and what do I have to prove anyway?
I’m still in hermit-mode. I’ve built a tall, strong wall around myself and have only let a few inside it with me. Stuff was just too raw and I needed it to be like that for awhile. Now, I’m slowly starting to remove the bricks, one at a time. The people who have been inside with me have seen a darker side of me, a side that was really hard to show, but they’ve hung in there and we are all better and stronger for it.
Here is what I know: we girls need each other. Your people need you – the real, sometimes ugly, brutally honest you.
Perfectly polished perceptions create distance. Honest, transparent reality invites community.
Your friends need you. Your special brand of you – your quirkiness, your sense of humor, your insight, your story. You – the good, the bad, all of it. It’s when we understand this truth we begin to develop deeper friendships. We start to see that maybe we’re not so weird after all. Trust is built. There’s no fear that when they see the ugly underside of us that they’ll bail. It’s in those strong friendships that God reveals why He created us to need each other – it’s to encourage. To build up. To pray with and for each other. To look up and realize that God, in His great wisdom, has given us these people for a very important reason. When we have honest friendships to walk this world with, we gain a special kind of security, carrying the assurance that there are people who have our backs no matter what happens.
It’s one of my very favorite gifts that the Lord blesses His people with, and I no longer take those friendships for granted.
Think about who those people – your people – are in your life and take time to thank them for it. And the other friends who might be watching? Let them see the real you too, or at least parts of it… you never know much they need to see it, and you’ll make a difference you may never even know.