They say friends are the family we choose.
For many of us family hasn’t always been easy. For some of us friendship hasn’t either.
We’ve had wounds and disappointments and prayers unanswered. Perhaps we’ve longed for the approval of our father or the unwavering love of our mother. Maybe we wish we could have a sister. Not just one of flesh, but spirit too. Or maybe we long to have a friend who truly gets us. Who knows us for who we are and accepts us not in spite of, but because of it all.
Because deep in the strands of our DNA is the hardwired need for relationship. To know and be known, to love and be loved in return. To share the intimate places of our truest selves, and find the unrelenting arms of grace.
The threads of family cut deep. The tapestry of our lives is very much told in the story of family. Broken, mended, patched or threadbare; each of us hold a story carved on the walls of our hearts, and we carry the burden on our backs.
For many, our wounds come from the family we were given. For others, the ones we have chosen. But the truth is we all have a story. Whether a broken dream, a shattered life, or a wounded heart. We all want to be known, but we’re afraid to be seen.
Afraid to have the same painful story of our past repeat itself in our present or future.
So the question becomes: How can we love well in a world of broken, hurting people – hurting other people? How do we live fully and well in a world full to the brim of pain?
There are no easy answers, but I know one thing for sure: we must find our courage.
Because we’re going to need it.
When we live deeper than a superficial life, we discover the reality that our healing lies in truthfulness with ourselves and others; in removing our masks; cultivating courage to be bold and authentic; and discovering strength in the very act of reaching out in healthy relationship.
Only through our brokenness and vulnerability can we find, examine, and mend the pieces of ourself and put them back together whole.
Courage gives us the ability to push past our fear and look into the face of pain. It pushes us to reach out to community, believing there is grace, even though it has been the very thing that has hurt us in the past.
Courage is the ability to do something you know is difficult or dangerous because you have a faith that is bigger than fear; you know a God who is a healer of hurt; and you believe in a love that is deeper than the pain you have been through.
Too often we live on the surface of our lives, afraid to go deep.
Afraid to tend to the wounds in our spirit that cause us to live a life less than we deserve. Paralyzed by rejection, abandonment, cruelty or unworthiness we’ve bought into the illusion that if we live on the surface, we can protect ourselves from suffering.
But we were made to go deep.
And living on the surface only separates us from the very spirit that lives inside. The one hardwired for intimacy and depth and purpose.
I’m calling out the illusion of a superficial life. Refusing to live in the false security that keeps us from knowing the deepest truest places of our soul, finding the courage to be real, and setting our hearts free from the things that try to hold us back.
Do you hide pain, bitterness and brokenness behind the veneer of a pretty exterior? Do you find yourself covering all that is real under layers of distractions, addictions and a critical spirit? An assortment of pretty? Do you want to live deeper than a superficial life and find your identity in God instead of your relationships?