To believe we are seen and known intimately by an invisible God is the craziest of beliefs. It’s honestly, well, it’s unbelievable. And yet, I don’t know about you, but to let go of that belief would probably make me crazier. I’d lose my anchor, my lighthouse, the beauty I see even on the darkest of days.
Last week was a strange rollercoaster: a reunion with some high school friends (I feel old.); a contest to attend a conference (I feel like I lost a popularity vote. But thank you for voting for me anyway!); my book being shipped to endorsers (I feel vulnerable, but sooooo thankful.); a boat outing in Chicago with my friends (I feel blessed.)
And so I remember that I am seen by an invisible God, because in the middle of a week where I am weak–
Am I special to you? What do you think of who I turned out to be? Do you like what I am saying? Can I please have your approval?
— I get to go dancing on a boat with my silly besties. Girls who know me. Girls who have vowed that if I’m ever unconscious in the hospital, they will take care of any unsightly hair situations before other visitors are allowed in.
God sees us and has given us the gift of friendship to help us move out of ourselves and into further freedom from shame.
As a new writer I’m trying to learn how to silence the critical voices in my head — real or imagined (and yes I have imaginary voices in my head) — by thinking of them as little bugs. I place those nasty critters into mason jars and then metaphorically throw those jars out the window. If they are especially hairy and obnoxious, I imagine them burning in a bonfire.
It sounds crazy, but as previously established I believe some crazy things.
Lately I’ve tried something new. Those insecurities. Those shames. I don’t think they want to be stuck in a jar anymore. I don’t think they need to be strangled. I don’t think they should be responded to with hate. Because the hate and the imaginary burning actually causes me to hold on more tightly.
I’d rather let go of the I am not enoughs the way a child releases a balloon to the sky — with moment of sadness, but also wonder.
I want to watch my insecurities float and dance gleefully away towards the clouds and the birds. I want my perceived inadequacies to travel to another city, another state, another country–maybe even to another planet–and then fall to the ground as something new–a discovery for another metaphorical child in another place, a treasure.
Not destroyed, but made new.
I know the Christian life isn’t primarily about my emotional health. It is about justice for the poor, a Father for the fatherless, food for the truly hungry, forgiveness for sin, and the upside down Kingdom of God for this world.
But this is the crazy thing I believe about the gospel — even on the cloudy days, an invisible God, who sees all things, actually sees me too. He helps me let go of my balloons and dance on a boat with the gift of friends.
When I can’t see clearly, Christ gives–and is my–visibility.