scary close

{found via pinterest from amazon}

i spent most of the kids' nap time reading last friday. after finishing culture care i moved on to don miller's newest book: scary close. thursday night i read the first 4 chapters, and despite wanting to keep reading i knew i would end up reading the whole book if i let myself. i put it down and went to sleep. but friday. friday i finished it.

i could not put it down.

granted don miller is one of my favorite writers, and i've read most of his books fairly quickly. this one was about intimacy though. not just intimacy with your spouse, but real relationships with people. it's about opening up and being your true self, the person God created you to be underneath all the masks and the pretense.

he's really honest about his tendencies to perform, and how his wife, and some of his friends helped him see that and are helping him change it.

{found via pinterest from}

we are beaten down by life. we're taught that we shouldn't be our full selves. and often we're all just performing because at one point or another we were taught to act a certain way, and not to act other ways. we are taught that we are not enough as we are. we are taught we are not enough as God created us. and we are imperfect - don't get me wrong. i'm not advocating we all start acting like toddlers, and understood that temper tantrums are not the best way to express ourselves. but we shouldn't go through life feeling like we need to hide.

{found via pinterest. source unknown}

we've all been taught that we only matter if we accomplish certain things. we've been taught we're only successful if we have the things that make us successful. we've learned that fame is worth chasing, and other people can control our own worth.

but i don't matter because someone else says i matter. i don't matter because i have x amount of friends on facebook, or x amount of followers on twitter, or x amount of likes on instagram. i don't matter because i have x amount of readers, or any other "x" you can think of.

i matter because i am created in the image of God. period.

that doesn't mean that i should embrace all of my faults and weaknesses. that doesn't mean that i shouldn't try to look more like Jesus in how i live my life every day. it's not an excuse to just do whatever i want to do.

i don't have to play the game. i don't have to put on some other self when i go out into the world. i don't have to perform for anyone else because at the end of the day - no matter what i do, no matter what you do - some people will like you, and some people won't.

our job is not to impress everyone we come into contact with day in and day out. our job is to love people. as they are and where they are.

too often people are living scared. too often i am living scared. scared to open up and be vulnerable because we're taught that vulnerability is weak and shameful. but vulnerability is incredibly courageous.

being rejected when we're putting our real, true self out there is incredibly painful. but when we don't put our real, true self out there we are never really, truly loved.

{found via pinterest, source unknown}

have you ever heard the quote, "in as much as you are known, you are loved."? i don't remember who said it, but man is it true. if people do not know you for who you really are then they are not loving you for who you really are. they are loving some character that you play.

we've all been hurt by others. we've all retreated inside of ourselves because we thought we'd be safe in there. but now we're just lonely.

putting yourself out there is scary. {hence, "scary close."} and you may get hurt, but that's one of the many reasons we're called to love people well. everyone is hurting. some more than others. but quite often - hurt people, hurt {other} people. i think we are called to love people in part because everyone needs to know they are worthy of love.

i'm realizing more and more how much of an impact it has to know - to really know - we are created in the image of God. that sometimes they're obvious, and sometimes they've been dusted off, and dusted off, and dusted off, but we can see the fingerprints of God in each other if we look for them. if we look for them.

are we willing to look for them? in yourself? in others?
are we willing to courageously, and vulnerably, put our real selves out there?

i hope so.


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