I had a conversation with a friend this afternoon about how I've always feared failure and not being able to live up to people's expectations of me. I cringe at the thought of letting anyone down.
I want to be brave, however, bravery for me isn't tossing my head and saying, "To hell with what people think about me! I don't care." Instead it's cracking open the heart of who I am and offering it on trembling hands, even it means that I will be rejected. Bravery isn't the absence of fear but pushing through despite the fear, so I cast out these words hoping and praying they catch hold somewhere.
For my dear people know this, I am a textbook and introverted first born and I've always been told since I was a child that I have old soul. I'm overly analytical and self criticizing. I strive to please people, I like to fix things, I hold myself to an impossible standard, and I don't feel as though grace can reach far enough down to touch me when I fall.
I just want to be perfect, gosh darn it.
Instead I have holes in my character, gaps in my life, and scars on my heart.
However, those faults, holes, gaps, and scars are what make me who I am and I'm slowly learning that if I will only be brave enough to shed the mask and drop the facade, then...and only then will I be able to run and dive into the deep oceans of grace to swim as the beautifully complex character I was created to be; instead of wading around in the shallow end as the one dimensional, glossy, fake and superficial smiling character that I'm told I should be.
I want to immerge from that ocean so soaked and drenched in grace that I drip it all over everyone I come in contact with and that means I have to go diving in it, not wading. And diving means going deep.
For I am one badly broken, but redeemed, soiled but made clean. I have stood on mountains and I have walked through dark valleys.
And I wouldn't have it any. other. way. For I have never walked alone.
"But the grace of art is that it thrives in broken soil. " -Jennifer Trafton Peterson