I sat across from her and looked down at my lap before beginning. “I started counseling today.” I don’t know if I have ever spoken harder words. I don’t know what it is about women and why it is so difficult to be vulnerable with them. But in that moment I felt every guard I had so carefully built up around my heart come crashing to the ground. And the tears that sprang to my eyes came not from the pain of retelling my past but from the sheer relief of trusting someone again.
One season it seems I have my worst self beat and the next I find myself pinned to the floor under the weight of an insecurity that has no mercy. And a year ago I started this blog and I struggled with the same thing. Deliverance feels far away. Maybe this is my thorn to carry in my side. I have this fear of being too much and altogether too little, a fear of taking up too much space and at the same time not enough space. I look back over my writings and see the theme of a girl who is trying to pour out from a place of not having been poured into. I see a girl who is afraid of her own shadow. I see a girl who has no idea who she really is and who is small and fragile. But I also see a girl who is trying her hardest to be brave in the face of untiring, relentless waves.
Maybe the purpose of my thorn is that it’s the incomplete and broken that creates some kind of perfect imperfection, which could be the very best way for Him to receive the glory from my life. Maybe perfection is the truly crippling thing and my imperfection is the invitation for the One who is whole to rescue and redeem, to do what He does best. Maybe being brave means being imperfect and being okay there in that hope. Maybe being brave actually means finding your voice when the world tells you can’t, not by having the perfect voice but by trying it out in all of its imperfection.
I have spent way too much time allowing comparison to hinder my ability to support my friends and my ability to maintain joy. Because somewhere amidst the pain of insecurity, the joy of the Lord is my strength. And somewhere amidst the sea of distrust is a sharpening and a growing and a multiplying and a harvest. And somewhere amidst it all, the pain and the sea, He holds the future, my future, your future, and her future. Then I can lean into my friends, I can trust their tales of wild faith and add my own wild faith stories, watch them dance like fire without feeling less. I can sow with them, compliments and prayers alike.
I have this vision of the women we can be, women who give life through words, who breathe healing, who bend down with quick fingers to stitch up the bursting seams of broken hearts, who work with both humility and gentle confidence, unashamed to be loud when necessary, when bringing voice to the voiceless. I want us to find ourselves, to be the kind of women who scramble to our feet in defense of each other. I want us to be the kind of women who hold open our arms when the women around us are growing, because growing is tender. I want us to be the kind of women who see life as messy, who are okay with ourselves, who are friends with ourselves and who are building houses of forgiveness over ourselves and inviting those around us in for dinner.
And this is true freedom: to be at peace, to be both plenty and enough, both safe and wild. And we are meant to be free by the One who sings steady, unfaltering sweetness over our bones. Yes, we are loved and seen and plenty and enough and known and safe and wild and a wildflower.