It was an early morning and I was sitting in an old medical clinic in Mexico circled around a group of humans all called there for different reasons when one of them jokingly referred to me as ‘the first lady’. 

Funny thing I didn’t even know who he was talking to. 

You see I’ve heard it before and every time it takes me for a loop. 

I don’t think of myself as that.

My husband happens to be a minister and that sweet soul was saying it as a term of endearment but for me it’s a tagline everything in me wants to lose.

We’ve been doing this thing for over 30 years. 

Not looking for titles or positions of honor,
just doing what we love the most.

The thing that makes our hearts pound the hardest…

Truth is the title had a nice ring-
but there’s too many expectations following that thing which I’ve spent a lifetime running from. 

I’ve always struggled with wanting to be seen, known and yet unseen. 

The strangest mixture of desires.

Truth is most people know my life as it is….
4 sons doing what we love,
passionately living out lives of purpose,
a man beside me who I’ve given my life to and

that day crossing borders to a place I’ve longed to travel and trading stories with people..
this is the ME they see and know. 

Yet there’s so much unknown to this view…
as we post filtered pictures of meticulous settings,
art linked with popular hashtags,
perfectly chosen moments of interaction
-what is it we expect people to see?

And not everyone’s ready to carry our stuff….
To know the realness of our pain.

For there’s really no space to live completely wide open when we only have seconds to exchange in our day. 

Whenever I’m referred to by a position rather than my name I am so tempted to open the pages of my story and share some of the disturbing details.

The ones which really outline who I am…

the fact I haven’t lived for Jesus for a lifetime,
in fact out of all the people in my high school I was the one leading people down paths of destruction,
how I spent years of my life harming myself in hopes to find beauty,

how I am the girl you would have kept your daughters from and your sons as well,
that even after I came to know Jesus I spent hours a day hating on myself,
that jealousy and comparing has owned a piece of my heart,
that I often said all the wrong things to my kids,
that I spanked them when I was angry, that my kids have carried a lot of pressure to be who others have expected them to be, that I’ve lived more of my life pleasing others than freely living, that I’ve said hurtful and hateful things during periods of pain and how loss has owned my life. 

Yet I know so many are not ready to hear the ugliness of this truth for I know how overwhelming it is to thrust such a load on others.

We’re not usually looking to know each other to this depth…. 

This woman who sat there in their midst that day was not the woman I am….a frayed child so often of times. 
A woman longing to be loved and to be fully known and although I know I am a child of God,
I continue to struggle so many days.

If only they knew,
I am nothing of the ‘first lady’ material…
for if others saw us as we are….
if we opened our hearts for others to see inside instead of posting polished portraits of lives we desire to live

-if we flashed unfiltered pictures of naked truth,
what would they see? 

Last night while scrolling away I saw a picture of someone gone viral exposing her scars for others to come alive where they feel dead. 
The kind of photo that sends chills down your spine and causes eyes to look away,
not the kind of beauty we’ve been trained to like….
the plasticity we’ve come to prefer instead
it was a body ravaged by suffering and pain…scars exposed and undone. 

I wonder what would happen if we came to life each day with this kind of exposure…
we’d see a different person looking back at us.
I’ve always been fearful of living like this and being unaccepted or rejected.

I’ve wasted years of my life anxious about what others think of me.

I’ve been more consumed with myself than others.

I hate being unliked. 

I speak even when I have nothing to say to end silence in a room.

I’ve spent many of my mothering days feeling inadequate and ‘not enough’.

I thought my husband could never find me beautiful for all the days of our life.

And I stand amazed at how many times he says I take his breath away!

I am embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve ached and cried over other’s perceptions of me. 

I once thought a suitable place for me was on the streets.

I spent years starving myself hoping to be noticed.

For years I did anything to be accepted and liked.

I am terribly afraid of mice and once unashamedly stood on my counter until my husband came home hours later. 

I wanted to become a psychologist because I couldn’t make sense of the mess inside my head. 

I struggled for years with God because of the broken people who followed Him. {and now I am one of them. Lol}

I hate being lied to and fear not seeing it when it happens. 

I have a heart that gets easily broken by hurtful words.

I love deeply and grieve even more deeply.

Titles can’t describe me. 
Taglines won’t follow me.
And none of this will probably give me a book on NY’s best sellers list.

Yet all of these tell my story that I will spend a lifetime trading. 

Helping brave souls find the courage to expose and trade their story regardless of how many followers they have or likes they get. 

Trading stories because that’s what we were made for.
To live our lives out loud and vulnerably. 

So, hit enter my friend on your story and let it get published…

No more standing in the dark, for you are not isolated or separated from the rest of us-your story matters and needs to be heard!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s