Seems pretty intriguing that I have spent most of my life trying to be as inconspicuous as possible-trying to fly under the radar-keeping those around me as content as possible so that no attention is drawn to me…and now I am here declaring that I was given the intensely edifying gift of being seen.
I grew up in a household where all types of abuse were not only acceptable but practiced and because of those circumstances I learned and embraced the ability to be invisible. Thankfully, a few years ago I had one lady in my life who was willing to lift the glasses of survival and lies and help me to see and accept the reality of what I was living in and accepting as normal. She will always be who I see in my own head as the beautiful beginning of my journey-
In this past year, I had been feeling God’s lead to step into more relationships that were authentic and honorable. Relationships that were genuine and where I could show up with myself-relationships that would allow me to be whom God made me to be-relationships that I didn’t have to be a chameleon to fit in with who I thought others wanted me to be.
In the spring of this year, I went to a Redemption Immersion. A topic that we touched on was relationships; specifically mentioning the good and right example that was set in front of us in the way of Jesus. At one point in time we chatted about his twelve disciples that knew him so well and the three that he shared the most with. I fail to recall the actual question, though in essence we were asked if we had a person or people that we had in that “inner three” capacity in our lives currently; people who knew us deeply and intimately in such a real way that the connection and closeness couldn’t be ignored. My page stared back at me…ominously blank. The question was posed even further…could we think of someone we would want to step into an authentic relationship with.
I hesitantly wrote a name who knew me well enough, though this lady’s personality was so strong that many times I not only feared showing up with what I really thought and felt but allowed my fear to stop me from sharing…in my heart I wasn’t sure I wanted to share with her further…it made me sad to realize that truth.
Without looking up I wrote another person’s name. Someone who I only I knew I wanted to know. Someone who I had watched and listened to and seen show up in an incredibly loving way and whose depth and love was like a magnet to my heart. I wrote this person’s name down…and desired greatly to enter into relationship with her…but I never spoke it out loud. I never admitted to anyone because this was a longing of my heart. Not even to the person whose name I wrote down. She was a prominent and charismatic leader-someone who drew me in as she spoke in front of groups, not anyone who I felt would be interested in knowing or want to take the time to get to know me.
Anyway, a huge gift that came out of that beautiful weekend was the realization that I didn’t have a group of really close friends who actually knew me! I for sure, didn’t have a smaller group of intimate friends that knew me and loved me anyway. I looked back on the relationships that I had at the time and realized that I didn’t have one person that I could say knew me fully. What’s more so was the fact that the couple people who I had shared much of my thoughts and had helped me to grow-I held back from. I was minimizing things that were gigantic in my eyes at the time so that the intensity of the way that I felt wouldn’t push those relationships away. It seemed strange that there were many people with whom I have shared parts of myself with and not one single person who I didn’t feel ashamed to cry and feel broken in front of-not one person who I felt comfortable with sharing the depths of my daily struggles and the heights of my every day joys…
Interestingly enough, even though the far majority of my life I struggled to not be seen…God placed a deep desire in my heart to be seen and known. I have gained beyond what I thought was possible since that intimate Redemption Immersion weekend. Relationally speaking, I gained an incredible friend who I now call my Besty-who challenges me, listens to me, supports me, keeps me grounded, sees me, wants to know what’s really going on, who laughs with me…oh my goodness we laugh! We get to live crazy together. She is so good for my heart…without a doubt she loves me as I am.
There is no doubt that I am seen and I am so thankful that God provided this incredible gift of a beautifully loving relationship-
Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Knowing her, and in all honesty, Jesus in her-has given me the courage to walk toward others with expectation and hope and at the same time given me the strength to share more of myself with those I have in my life.
One of the most amazing things was that God did bless me with the relationship that I longed for-the relationship that I desired with this incredible godly woman-the woman who I honestly thought would enter into relationship with me-the lady who I was too afraid to tell her that I deeply desired to journey with her-she is now one who teaches me, loves me, lives life with me and helps me to look more like Jesus…she is the one I call my Besty.