One evening last summer I had dinner with my best friend of 20+ years. I love saying I have a friendship that’s lasted that long. I love that every time we talk on the phone or see each other we can just start a conversation without having to give a lot of context. We just know each other and our families extremely well. However…
Over the few months before that dinner with her that God had been so gently revealing His truth about grace to me and exposing the lies of the enemy that I had chosen to believe instead of receiving His grace, I was very guarded about what I shared…with anyone. Normally when I have some sort of huge revelation or sense something from the Lord I talk incessantly about it to anyone who will listen. This was different though. The more God showed me about myself during those months, the more exposed and naked I felt and the less I shared with people. I assure you, avoiding naked is a top priority for this girl! So I was very reluctant to discuss it with anyone, even my closest friend.
I was also processing all of this on the down low because I was not sure what TO DO with all this truth about myself staring me in the face. I’m not comfortable being the one in the room who hasn’t figured it out. I like being Solution Girl, not Needy-Broken-Doesn’t-Have-It-Together-Girl. My needy brokenness has really overwhelmed me in a lot of ways.
Back to our dinner…so I decided that night to take some first steps and begin uncorking the bottle for my BFF on what had been going on in my life. I had even sent her a rough draft of some things I’d been writing before dinner so she could get a peek at what had been going on inside my head. We talked, we laughed, she listened a lot. As we were walking to our cars we hugged and she laughed and said, “I really had no idea this had been going on with you all of these years. I just thought you were wonderful and your stomach problems were genetic.”
Now this is THE girl friend in my life who I would say knows me better than anyone else and loves me no matter what. In that moment it hit me what a tremendous deception I had managed to perpetrate on her, and honestly on everyone else in my life, for over 20 years. I had managed to completely hide my true self from her. I got into my car totally stunned.
When you live your life trying to hide who you really are, you keep people you love the most at arms-length. Until recently it had never occurred to me that in order to be close to someone you have to be willing to be vulnerable before them. Exposed. Naked. Honest. It never once crossed my mind that it is not only ok to have problems, but in order to have close relationships you have to share them with others (believe me, I am just as shocked as you that I have been this slow most of my life).
The same thing is true with our relationship with God. His invitation is to come as we are. He doesn’t want only the pretty, smart, well-put-together parts. He wants our mess. He wants our sin. He wants all the ugly we want to pretend is not there. Why? Why does He want EVERYTHING? It’s the same thing He’s wanted all along…He wants relationship with us.
How about you? Do you find yourself holding back in important relationships? How well are you willing to be known? Does being known frighten you? Do you make it easy for others to share their brokenness with you?