High school girls just seem to know.
I think that special “sense” intuitively arrives when they hit their first teen year, and it’s honed to perfection as they get older.
They sniff out a fake, even if they might be one themselves. They sense when other girls create facades, even when internal struggles reflect an opposite reality.
While girls don masks to cover their own insecurity, self-doubt, and even false pride, they still crave authenticity. They yearn for sincerity and desire grace-filled honesty. There’s kind of a mixed-up, hypocritical hierarchy of emotions that develops during the teen years, and often, continues into womanhood.
So when this seventeen-year-old girl brushed past me on our last day of VBS, I expected a courtesy smile, not dialogue.
She stopped, turned to me and relayed, “I really like you. You’re honest. I just like that, and I wanted to tell you.”
That’s it. That’s all she said as she continued onto her next VBS assignment.
She’d been on the outskirts of multiple “mom” conversations that occurred throughout the week, and I couldn’t help but mull over what she had heard me say. I also wondered why her words meant so much. I think it struck me down deep because in our society of keeping up of appearances, I want to be known as true and honest.
My desire is to be known as a woman who’s on a wild adventure of following Jesus, a woman who loves her family and lives life well spent, but also, a woman who isn’t afraid to have the curtain pulled back for a peek at her continual struggle to Balance Beauty and Bedlam.
In the context of these VBS conversations, someone questioned, “How do you do it all?” while another wanted some parenting advice. Before I continued, I pulled up this picture.
Some of you will look in morbid curiosity, while others may want to kiss me right now. This was my laundry reality during VBS (and many other weeks, if we’re truly being honest).
So while I shared passionately on the challenges of raising teens with integrity, pornography and social media, lack of modesty in the church, and a host of other topics, I reminded them that I was just one extremely exhausted, imperfect, Kingdom-building mom, doing her best to point her imperfect children toward Jesus, while trying to figure out how to get the laundry fairy to stop over for a visit because something wasn’t working. (I may have even shared the fact that I downed four chocolate chip cookies for breakfast that morning.)
Can we all just exhale and be honest with each other?
This is real life. This is my life, and quite frankly, it’s not always “pinnable,” yet He woos me regardless.
Jesus is calling the weary, the hurting, the uncertain, the unorganized, and yes, the gifted.
He is calling the procrastinating mom who celebrated her daughter’s 10th birthday by convincing the sweet slumber party girls that making their own birthday cake was like bringing the Food Network right to their party. (And they loved every minute of it.)
Jesus, the Great I AM, doesn’t need perfect people.
He just wants us to come. Available. No strings attached.
When will we realize that the Gospel is complete without us? We aren’t called to perform to Pinterest perfection. We don’t have to work at pleasing others, so let’s just BE.
Let’s mentor and share when He’s granted us wisdom, but also acknowledge help in situations where struggles simmer. Let’s be free to rest and abide IN HIM! (1 John 4: 13-21)
When that occurs, freedom abounds.
I invite you to open up your heart and just BE in Him. The Spirit of God has anointed all His chosen. He dwells with us and in us and ministers through us. Yes, He even uses those with messy houses (although I’m really working on that stewardship issue.)
On that final day of VBS, when that girl said I’m honest, her words marked me. I yearn to be true to them.
The older I get, the more acutely aware I am of how little I know, and my desire to Learn of Him grows. With the increased understanding of my weaknesses, as well as my strengths, the more I’m aware of my desperate need for a Savior, and I’m not afraid to let others know it.
I understand, it’s scary business, this “getting real” before others. There may be hurt from the past, but being vulnerable is the only way that others will truly see Christ in us.
Are you ready to be authentic? Are you ready to be honest?
I invite you to join us in the comments and share one breakthrough that’s occurred in your life as a result of being authentic, or maybe how honesty or lack thereof impacts your relationships?