What If We Were Real?

Hmmmm?  What if we were real?

Well, if we were real, than we would all be willing to admit that we look like THIS in the morning…

IMG_1593

I know, it’s not a pretty picture, but these days, I am about being real.  I work with children and youth daily, and I adore them, but I look into their eyes when we share our “POWS and WOWS” (ie: highs and lows) of the week and I know they have things they want to share, that have settled deep down in their hearts, but they keep them there, unseen and unheard.  For some reason they are anxious to unveil the “week from hell” realities for fear of what their peers might say.  And that isn’t to negate that fact that we have lots to celebrate in our lives, because we do, and we should talk about the positives often, but I think society has taught us that pretending is the American way. Maybe it is because everything is about competition these days.  We have a winner and a loser, so if I have a bad week and talk about it, there is probably someone out there secretly laughing, “Ha, ha! You had a bad week, and I didn’t.  Finally! (fist pump) You deserved it.”  

I remember as a kid going through a year where I don’t believe I smiled.  I am not being facetious. It wasn’t that I had something tremendously tragic happen (thankfully I didn’t), but it was just how I dealt with things, or in my case, didn’t deal with the difficulties in my life. I was a “stuffer” and then a “there she blows” kind of girl, and I was pretty miserable, inside and out, but I didn’t honestly talk about it.

Why is it, that we walk around in life hiding behind masks, pretending that we have it all together, when we know, deep down inside, that we don’t?

While watching “The Bachelor” this week (yes, I am a reality show junkie) I was very impressed that Juan Pablo, this year’s bachelor, snuck in early to the bachelor mansion to get a glimpse of all of his “girls” before they, as he put it, “put their faces on.”  He wanted to observe what they were like for “real,” before they painted their faces and put on their Spanks.

A few minutes ago I saw a post on Facebook about Justin Bieber.  Up until this point he has been portrayed as a “wholesome, sweet young man,” a “golden-boy” but guess what? He was just arrested for drag-racing and DUI charges.   I am not condoning his behavior.  It was wrong, but now, suddenly, he is a scumbag, an awful person and soon he will be a castaway.

justin

Photo borrowed from https://www.facebook.com/955wifc

People are slamming him up one side and down the other, as if to say, “ha, ha, you goody two shoes. I am WAY better than you.  I have never had a DUI.”

Why is it that we feel the need to bring others down to build ourselves up?  Why?  

Please note that this message is for myself, especially, and not just for my readers. I am embarrassed to admit that for a lot of my life I dealt with my insecurities in this way.  I am going to slap you down so I can build myself up. It is this competition, win/lose, mind-set that is affecting our relationships, and it is incredibly wrong and extremely unhealthy.   

NEWS FLASH – NO ONE IS PERFECT

So stop waiting around to see your enemies fail.  In fact God commands us to do quite the opposite:

 “‘You have heard it said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:43-44

Well, I am a child of God, but I certainly don’t want to that, do I? Before you answer, be real.  Our initial instinct it to “go for the jugular,” but as a Christian, we must do what Jesus says here.  Not because our actions will somehow save us.  They won’t. We are NOT  saved by what we do.  “We are saved by grace through faith.” (Ephesians 2:8) Rather, we love our enemies and pray for those who are on our last, flippin’, nerve.  We love our enemies and pray for those who are, God-forbid, in the “other political party” or whom we don’t understand.  We love our enemies and treat with respect those who have sinned against us and caused us great grief and sadness. Why? Because Jesus died for the sins of ALL, not just you. “And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. “ 2 Corinthians 5:15. Don’t throw someone under the bus, just so you can have a moment of victory. I pray, on this day, that God would give us all the strength to do just as He has asked, “love our enemies and pray for those who hurt us.” 

So, what if we were real? Here are some “real” things about me that you might not have known.  I would LOVE to hear about yours too. Please share below, and thank you in advance!

1. I can eat an entire large supreme pizza in one sitting. (It hurts, but I can totally do it)
2. I have pretended to be my twin sister more than once.
3. My parents argue and fight (but they still love each other and have been married for 37 years)
4. I love any TV show/movie having to do with dating, weddings, a love story, etc. (Bachelor, Bachelorette, Say Yes to the Dress, etc).
5. I love weddings and I cry at them always.
6. I hope to have a child of my own one day, and if that means that I might be 50 when I have a child, then that is what it means. (but I have to be prepared that it might not be in God’s plans)
7. I go #2 – I mean, I know some of you are appalled, but its about being real, people, and it is a part of life.
8. I have been very angry with God.
9. I have loved many people who never loved me back.
10. I broke someone’s heart.
11. All I ever dreamed of being was a Director of Christian Education (ie: youth director; while many people have changed their major or dreams along the way, I have always, always wanted to be a DCE).
12. I failed at math miserably, and still do.
13. I have a large chest and it has caused me much embarrassment over the years and is no fun, at all, to deal with.
14. I am really bad at counting money.
15. I am an extremely slow reader.
16. I believe Jesus is my Savior, and don’t know how I could live if I didn’t know and believe that.
17. I have done things that I regret.
18. I am not perfect. (Sadly, I disobey God and hurt people by what I say and do on a regular basis.)
19. I cuss on occasion, and am working on kicking the habit.
20. I have had moments in my life when my faith in God has been very, very weak – almost gone.
21. I talk loudly and a lot, and often interrupt people, and it probably annoys you – I am so sorry, and am working on it.
22. I am a very random person and you should expect for me to talk about something that doesn’t have anything to do with our conversation.
23. I have deep wounds as a result of some of the words and actions I have experienced from others in my life.
24. I have said and done things that have damaged people, probably even more than I could have imagined.
25. I have prayed at meals numerous times only to realize that I prayed that many times because praying is sadly so “rote” that I often don’t even pay attention to the words, nor remembered if I had prayed.
26. My dog Zacchaeus died because I accidentally left him in my car one Sunday in June, and I have to live with this consequence of my actions every single day of my life.
27. I have wasted far too many days of my life waiting for happiness to come to me, or waiting for my life to “start,” and I am done with that. I am more determined than ever to live life to the fullest!

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