Being Real is Always Beautiful

How can two weeks go by so quickly? I wish the speed of my days might just slow, just slip into a pace I can manage. But no.

I realized as last week shuddered and sputtered to its end, I failed to hit post on a single blog.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t thought of you. You are my people. My tribe. I don’t ever stop thinking of you, wondering how life is taking you through. Are you riding on waves or slumping and soldiering through quicksand?

One phrase, one thought has driven me wild over the last two weeks. Wild with fear. Wild with purpose. Maybe it’s why I’ve hesitated to touch the keys and stamp out words.

I just don’t know how to write this one…

Maybe if I just start, it will come?

The wild and unruly sentence? Short and sweet: If you think I’m perfect, I have failed.

See? I don’t know how to frame this thought. Because with that one statement I’m making the assumption you think I have it all together.

Maybe you know better. I’m relieved if you do. I hope you do.

But maybe you hold me up on a pedestal. I promise I will topple off.

My biggest fear as a blogger, a writer, as someone who deeply desires to minister to the hurt places of your soul?

That you would believe my life is somehow perfect or brighter than yours. That my marriage is fantastic all the time or my children are always so obedient.

If you think I’m perfect, I’ve failed you. I’ve failed myself.

Because this faith journey is never about perfection and mostly I’m held together with scotch tape, paper clips, and prayers.

And perfection is a façade. It’s fake. An illusion.

Perfection isn’t real.

I sat in church this morning cutting my daughter with my words as we received the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion. While remembering the brokenness and blood of the cross, I was slashing words out of the corner of my mouth.

And with that I know I need the Grace offered, am desperate to breathe it in deep. Sweet girl, forgive me I whisper with the touch of my hand smoothing back her hair.

I go to church, not because I’ve got my life together, but because I’m desperate to know how to get it together.

I sometimes get life right. More often I get it wrong.

In our world of social media, with our highlights on display for everyone, mine included, we are left comparing our shredded, barely held-together existence with the sparkling glitter of filtered images on our smart phones.

I don’t believe we should stop sharing our triumphs. No. Joy is in the celebration of our put-together moments.

But what if we started sharing real our struggles as well? Could we, would we find joy there too?

What if we put on brave and no longer displayed a façade to the world, but the realities of broken lives teeming with triumphs and failures?

I want to walk this road together—with you. And more than that, I want us to be real. Not because we can suture the split places of each other’s souls, and maybe sometimes we can, but rather because I want to touch the real in each other.

The mask of perfection only ever hides our true beauty.

Margery Williams paints this image of Real in The Velveteen Rabbit:

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.

Once Youre Real

I want this space to be a sacred dwelling where we can love each other fiercely enough we can be Real. Where our love is so strong we soften the sharp edges and refuse to break each other with our criticisms.

Let’s understand our sisters so we may see the beauty of our souls.

Do you want to live free? Stop trying to live up to your perceived perfections of others.

Start being you. Start living up to the expectations of a Jesus who freely loves and who only asks wide-flung love in return. His expectations are far more attainable than those of our Pinterest-perfect society.

Start believing grace applies to you.

Perfect lives do not exist. But real lives full of clutter and sin and grace and beauty do. We are sisters who get life wrong. The only part we ever need to get right?

Love Jesus. Love each other.

Let’s love each other real.

May you never see me as perfect. May you only ever see me as real.

“And once you are Real, you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

This entry was posted in Beautiful Life, Joy, Struggles and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Being Real is Always Beautiful

  1. Liz says:

    God came to heal the broken.

  2. Zelma Dodd says:

    Great blog. If we would all let down our masks how truly wonderful this would be. We would see that everyone at sometime has problems, needs scotch tape to hold us together and we would find such acceptance and compassion for each other. . Me personally, I need duck tape because the pieces just won’t stick together. I am glad God has a warehouse of duck tape. Thanks for a great blog that ministers to so many.

  3. JoAnn says:

    Heather, during a particularly painful time of self examination I decided to make my first tattoo (gasp, yes, I have one, more than one in fact) the theatrical masks – comedy and tragedy. There’s more to the art than just that feature but the reasons for that piece tie in directly to this blog. Yes, I really enjoy theater, but more than that, I realized I had been acting parts in my real life based on what I felt others wanted or believed me to be and I knew that to be my authentic self – who I was created to be – I had to take off the masks. There is also the musical score for the line of a song whose lyrics are “take me for who I am, who I was meant to be” as part of that piece. It’s on my left shoulder blade, behind me, and most people don’t have a clue they’re there. But they remind me of the road I’ve traveled and where God has brought me, and how far I have to go! Thank you for encouraging “real”. It’s scary, but a wonderfully peaceful place to be!

    • I love this JoAnn! I appreciate your transparency and your honesty. God wants so much for us to be ourselves–you know, the people He created us to be! 😉

      BTW…I may or may not a have a secret Pinterest board filled with tattoo ideas. LOL!