If years of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has taught me anything it’s that when I start spiraling…I isolate. I recluse in all the worst ways and always at the worst times. When I need people most is when I tend to shy away and try to figure things out myself to try and make some sense of what I’m going through. Quarantine kind of made this acceptable and gave me a free pass to go inside and become a hermit for months at a time. I was overwhelmed and desperately needed to be around others. I stopped attending church because the thought of sitting through a church service with my strong-willed, short-tempered 3 year old was enough to throw me into a full blown panic… And all in all, I have felt so alone.
A few weeks ago we started having Fam Nights with our friends. We get pizzas and let the kids be as wild as they want to be while we spend some seriously needed time together. These weekly get togethers have become this balm I had no idea my heart needed. I have started to realize that there is still so much I need to learn about being authentic with others. I am realizing I am still desperately flawed and damaged…but that’s okay, I am learning and I want to do better. I want to be a better friend. I want to be the friend someone can call when they are having a bad day. I want to be the friend someone can depend on. I needed a starting place. I needed an example. I needed to see authenticity in action.
The past 2 years I have been in a tough spot with my faith. The fork in the road where the immediate joy of salvation has worn off and now I have entered the thick, overgrown, brush that has been trauma and sheer spiritual malnutrition. I kept trying to find the perfect verse to heal my broken heart when what I really needed to find first was the perfect relationship, the only one found in Jesus.
“Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die. Then they will hand him over to the Romans to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead.”
Matthew 20:18-19 NLT
Jesus told them everything he was going through even when they could not see it. He told them that things were going to look DARK but here’s the kicker… He would rise again. He told his story. He told the truth and he always pointed them back to the promise.
Jesus was radically authentic. It was everything he emulated. He was the Way, the Truth, and the Light even in the midst of everything he was about to experience. I hope that as I get older I get better with this. I want to get better with sharing and being transparent, letting others know what is really going on in my life… But above all else I want to reflect hope. I want others to see that even if this season is dark, rainy, and cold, Spring is right around the corner and the sun will shine again.