"Other's expectations are a constant barrier to finding ourselves. Having something to prove and something to lose gets in the way of clarity" -- Will Mancini
This quote is from the first break-out session I attended at Exponential. I have been turning it over and over in my mind since.
Nothing to lose....Nothing to prove
I haven't lived this way in a long time. In fact ever since the day my world shattered I have worked very desperately to prove myself, and very desperately to not experience loss the way I did during that time. Honestly, it's been exhausting, and it simply doesn't fit. My life felt like a tight pair of jeans that holds you in in a few places, but eventually what you are trying to conceal keeps spilling out in the most awkward ways. It's not comfortable for me or for anyone else near me.
I worry, often, what other people think of me. How they perceive my words and my actions. I guard myself and tuck unsightly things away in shiny boxes on high shelves and pray that no one goes looking in those spaces.
Then last fall I began a physical process of cleaning out and purging. What I didn't know at the time was that the physical process would be the catalyst for a spiritual process as well. With less physical junk around me to consume and distract, I began to sift through the mental junk as well. When everything is stripped away, you can really see what needs to be discarded, what needs to be repaired, and what is actually a treasure. After having spent almost three years feeling that I was fundamentally broken in a way that I needed to hide from anyone and everyone, I finally began to see that some of who I am isn't actually junk at all. It's who I was divinely created and purposed to be.
I did lose a lot three years ago. I lost friends, a community, a house, the beach, my reputation, my plans for the future. Lots of things. I lost still more due to my own bitterness, hurt and anger. Though I truly believe that was a process I could not have sped through quickly. It was road that had to be walked step by weighty step, filled with a thousand choices on how to think and feel and let go. There were lessons in losing. Some of them I messed up, but many of them? Many of them I got exactly right, over time and with so much love and support from all the blessings of things and people God sent to fill the empty spaces.
Shame and embarrassment have been the longest lingering feelings, because I have felt I can't be honest about what happened. I speak of it in veiled phrases and hints, like a suppurating wound that you don't want anyone too close to. Darkness weighs more than light ever can, and I am tired of dragging around those lies that I may have deserved what happened because of my own mistakes, and then needing to prove I won't make the same mistakes twice.
Because I might, though I pray I am wiser now.
But I certainly will continue to make mistakes. I am flawed. Emotional. Human.
I didn't somehow make it into this life because I tricked a Sovereign God, and now He can't figure out how to get rid of me. I am not a liability to my husband's calling but an integral part of it. I was invited, chosen for Kingdom work in some ways in spite of, but more often because of who I am. I don't have to prove it. I just have to live it.
As for loss, well, what is loss compared to everything I have already gained that cannot be stolen?
"Clarity isn't everything, but it changes everything" - Will Mancini.