Sunday, November 22, 2015

bare naked heart-to-hearts

As my sisters and I married off, my dad kept saying, "You're gonna miss each other. Just wait and see."

We started our lives, each of them quite different from the other. Some of us had kids and some of us still don't. Some of us were working and some of us were in school. The only real thing we had in common was that we were lonely. So. very. lonely.

My dad was right: We started to miss each other.

Even then, when we began reaching out to one another, the conversations were short and polite. We were talking now, but we were still alone: wrestling with parenthood alone, struggling through our marriages alone, crying over growing up...alone.

One day--thank the Lord--we worked up the courage to strip away our quaint facades and show each other the mess of a life we really lived.

And from then on we were lonely no more.

We cried. Over new-found friendship, the deep and restorative kind. Over our less-than-perfect lives. Over no longer being alone.

True friendship heals and nourishes the soul.

As parents, one easily overlooked way we can help our kids become more like Jesus is to develop friendships that make us more like Jesus. To connect with others without the fear of being known.

When we let ourselves be known and loved, we give our kids permission to do the same.

I went from trying to keep my mess together to putting my mess on display. I started talking about my insecurities, weaknesses, and flaws. And I learned something incredible: There are amazing people out there who love me just the way I am.

As anal as I am.
As selfish as I am.
As prideful as I am.

And to top it off, there's a God who knows the junk I haven't confessed even to myself--and He still loves me with a never-ending, too-good-to-be-true, I-don't-deserve-you kind of love.

Just as we want our kids become the best they can be, so God wants the same for us. The ideal is Christ, and relationships are a one-of-a-kind setting for personal growth.
When we let ourselves be known and loved, we give our kids permission to do the same. [tweet]
Authentic relationships with God lovers keep our vision aligned with God's. They divide burdens, making light the yoke. They facilitate the transformative work of the Spirit.

My prayer for us is that we experience life in greater abundance by inviting others into our lives and moving towards Christ-likeness because of it.

in this together,