To truly be yourself with someone, to reveal your weaknesses, failures, the dark and grimy side of you – to reveal that you are human – is the most frightening, yet liberating thing. It is an experience like no other, like a bond that runs deep.
When I wrote the sentence above nearly a year ago, I had no idea that I would be living it out. The last five months of my life have been like a dream and yet, I know just how real it has all been, because I have come back changed. I no longer view myself or this world in the same way. I have stripped away the masks, torn down all the facades, and allowed myself to be raw and vulnerable. For the first time in my life, I let people see me for who I really am, all of the hurt, all of the pain, all of the beauty, and all of the joy.
It’s a truly terrifying experience. It requires letting go of pride, ego, self-perspective, self-preservation, others’ expectations, and so much more. Sharing the raw part of yourself to a roomful of people you mostly don’t know and a few people you’ve just met is definitely not something this girl would have ever thought of doing. And yet, somehow, I found myself doing just that. And because of that one choice, I have found so much freedom, so much love, and so much acceptance for who I am. I found family, I found a home, and I found God’s heart for me.
I have learned just how much the Father loves me, how much I must love myself, and I am still learning how much love others have for me. Some days, it is easy to accept this love and live in the knowledge and understanding of it. There are other days where the old lies and habits want to creep in and steal the freedom that I have found.
It is a process, a journey, one that requires walking on water, allowing God to call me farther out across the surface of His ocean of love. It requires letting myself drown beneath the waves, losing myself in the depths of His love for me, so that I can find my true self in Him. It’s learning to let go of the lies, fears, regrets, shame, doubt, misunderstandings, depressions, and failures. It’s shouting the truths of the identity Christ has given me over myself every day, every hour, every moment, whether on my knees, standing on a chair, or out in the open for a waterfall and birds to hear.
We’re all human, aren’t we? We desire love. We desire acceptance. We have a deep longing in our hearts to be who we were meant to be. But we can’t become that until we learn to give up on the things that we hold us back, that keep us from finding out who we really are, that try to label and define us when, in fact, we are undefinable. There is nothing in this world that can tell us who we are. We are each so unique, so special, that our flaws and weaknesses can’t define who we are.
Being vulnerable is risky. Losing yourself to find yourself is terrifying. Giving people some part of yourself that you know they could then turn around and use against you is not a “wise” decision. However, when the chance arrives, don’t hesitate to take it. Regardless of what the world says, losing yourself is worth it. Because in losing yourself, you allow the Creator of the universe to show you who you really are and you allow the Author of life to pen your pages with perfection and love unimaginable.