The Day Jesus Wore Pink

I got a pedicure the other day. I had to withdraw money from the ATM in advance because I didn’t actually know if I had enough. And cash is safer than debit when you’re in that situation. Because what would I have done if it was time to pay and my card got declined!? I would’ve been like: “Uh… do I have to give you my toes now? Is that how this works? Or… do I work here until I can pay off my debt? Or, hey, how about this, can’t we just call it good if I pinkie promise you I’ll come back when I get paid Friday?”

Sorry. That’s not actually the point of the story. But I still have my toes. And I’m still unemployed. So, hurrah for all the small victories.

Anyway, this is the point:

At the nail salon, I met a woman who was probably in her eighties. She was sitting next to me and smiling down at her bright pink toes as the manicurist (er, pedicurist?) painted them. And we made small talk about traffic and Puyallup and the color pink, this woman and I, but what struck me wasn’t our conversation, but her. She looked so happy. Just… like, deeply okay. She wasn’t giving off an “everything is perfect!” vibe, (because, y’know, traffic and all), but she just seemed so glad to be alive.

She seemed a little like Jesus.

And I have been thinking about her since. Because eighty. Eighty and glad for life. Not bitter or depressed or disillusioned or mean, but smiling and making happy small-talk and painting her toenails bright pink.

And I wanted to ask her, “How did you do it?!”

I also wanted to ask if she was a Christian. Although, I suspect she was because sister had Jesus all over her- especially in those kind, smiley eyes.

I wanted to ask how she did life. “How are you still here? How are you glad to be?” But I just sat silent instead. And after the small talk fizzled out, I leaned my head back in my chair and closed my eyes. And I prayed for her. I prayed that whatever measure of the Holy Spirit is in her, it would grow even more. I prayed she’d feel, every single second, pursued by Love.

And I thanked God for sending her to cross my path. Her, who gently and kindly made me question my outlook on life. Because eighty. And not emotionally worn out, ready for the grave. Just joyfully soaking up every moment of life. At eighty.

When I try to picture myself at eighty, (which is really hard to do right now), I can’t imagine anything but grief and boredom. Because life is hard, so, grief. And by that time I’ll have had eighty years of sunsets and conversation and pizza, so, boredom.

I wonder what she was like at my age. I hope she was a freaking mess. (Rereading that sentence made me laugh. What a horrible thing to hope!) But I’m just gonna go ahead and assume she was, in fact, a Freaking Mess. Because I feel like I need to make her my inspirational “comeback” story. Because if she can do it, maybe I can too.

She was probably not even human, but an angel. 😉 Jesus was probably totally punking me, all up in heaven like: “Lenore? (#madeupname) Tamara is just leaving the ATM. It’s time to get down to the nail salon. Be sure to give off a peaceful, happy vibe, mmmk? Think WWJD.” 😉

Regardless, human or angel, Jesus is probably super proud of “Lenore”. Because peaceful/happy? The gentleness of Jesus? Yeah. She nailed it. (No pun intended.)

It’s funny to me- I don’t even want to be alive at twenty-nine; I can hardly imagine fifty more years of this nonsense. I have no idea what was happening in the world eighty years ago. For real. You could be all: “Holocaust” and “Baby Ruth” and “The Hand Jive” and then throw in “Christopher Columbus” for good measure and I’d be like, “Okay. Sure. Seems legit.” But regardless of her actual past, Lenore certainly also had pain in her life. And somehow she stuck it out. It didn’t ruin her. Maybe, even, it softened her.

And when I close my eyes, when I ask Jesus to speak, when I stop allowing my pain to skew my perception, when I refuse to allow my pain to speak over my Jesus… I hear this: “Don’t give up, child. Give Me a chance to redeem this.”

Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of That Night.

And I thought I’d reach this day and be so proud of myself for the fight, for my life. But instead, I’m looking at everything else I’ve lost over the past year. I’m looking at the ongoing fight. And I feel so, so deeply: “What’s The Point!?”

I don’t want to do it anymore.

But maybe there’s an eighty-year-0ld version of me fifty years in the future, beckoning me to keep fighting. And promising to treat me to a pedicure.

*

(Alternative titles in consideration for this post: “How Many Times Can I Use The Word ‘Eighty’ In One Post?”)

😉

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I Love You

The number of times a day I whisper “I love You” to heaven? I don’t know, but it’s a lot. I

Every time my mind or heart starts to head in the direction of thinking I need anything more than I need Him, I whisper, “I love You,” reminding myself that it’s all about Him.

He is, even if I can’t feel that right now, the fulfillment of every need, every longing. He is the holder of my heart, the dryer of my tears, and the one who delights in my smile. He watches me sleep. He watches me play Solitaire on my phone when work is slow. He watches me eat lunch alone in my car. And He doesn’t get bored.

He’s always there.

He’s so deserving of a thousand “I love You’s.” And even that, obviously, in an understatement.

I am so desperate for Him, for His breath to fill up my heart and soul and make me alive in all the places I thought were dead.

And Satan or my own heart would love for me to put that hope, the hope of being loved and alive, in something or someone other than He who can actually fulfill it.

And I know, I know through trial and error, that this life is beautiful and amazing and the people in it are magical and so dear to me, but putting my hope in anyone or anything apart from Him is a mistake. No one, no thing, can be what my heart needs.

But oh, my heart is a slow learner.

And so I call to the Holy Spirit within me. Every time I say, “I love You,” I am trying to get my heart right. I am begging heaven for help- “Be Lord of my life, Lord of my heart. Help me find satisfaction and life in You. Don’t let me be misled.”

And on the good days? The days when I go to sleep feeling loved and secure and grateful to be alive? I pray the same prayer then. “I love You,” I say. “Help my joy not be dependent on life circumstances or the people in my life, Lord. Help the fact that You love me be enough to help me go to sleep every night feeling loved, secure, and grateful to be alive. Thank You for the blessing of today, thank You for this gift of happiness that comes easy. Thank You for every hug and kind word and how it represents You and reveals Your heart to me. Help me to turn to worship you, not the gifts You’ve given me.”

The more I learn to live in a state of worship and love and adoration for The King, The Great I Am, The Good Shepherd, the more alive I’ll feel. I suspect they’re linked- when I pray for love and aliveness, what I’m really asking for is more of Him.

And still, we need each other. He designed us that way. We are all connected. Brothers and sisters in Christ. We will spend eternity together as family.

Family.

*happy sigh*

This life is fleeting. There’s so much more going on than what we see. We MUST cling to what He says is true, even when life and our hearts are telling us something else.

For instance, I’ll trust that when He says “do not fear”, He means it. And I suspect that if I had His perspective, I’d throw my arms open wide, even in the midst of the sorrow and tragedy–in my own life and in the world–and worship Him.

We are held.

And the “I love You’s” I whisper to heaven? They’re numerous. But they don’t even begin to compare to how many times a day He whispers that to me. Or you.

Lord, give us ears to hear.

Eyes to see.

Hearts open and submitted to You.

Open

This morning I was stretched out at a coffee shop, my bottom on one chair and my feet on the other, a steaming cup of tea before me and a book in my hands- John Piper’s “Battling Unbelief”.

I have a raised-eyebrow approach to John Piper, but the book was recommended to me, and thus far has proven to be full of wise words, undeniable truth, and even–surprisingly!–some comfort.

I was reading about being unashamed of the gospel when an older gentlemen came by my table and said, “It’s so nice to see someone reading an actual book!”

We bantered back and forth about that for a while, about how I’m a die-hard actual, made-of-paper book fan, and about how he doesn’t know how to use a cell phone or how to respond when the barista greets him with a “yo!”

And then he said something I thought profound, although I know he didn’t mean it to be. He was simply referring to technology, but his words spoke to me about life. He said, “People just keep moving forward. They throw away the things of the past. They just want to move on to bigger and better things.”

I nodded at him and added, “You’re right. We have to build on the past, learn from it, not move on and act like it never happened.”

A little bit later in our conversation, he asked me what book I was reading. I don’t know if he was a Christian or not, but as I talked to him about the book, I prayed that the Lord would somehow use our interaction. Maybe he was just a friendly guy in a coffee shop, but maybe our lives intersected this morning for a reason- he, John Piper, and I talking about paperbacks and Christianity, while we indulged in our early morning caffeine, and the sunlight reflected off the dew on the windows of the coffee shop.

And the baristas fought in the backroom.

There was also the two men, one of whom I think was interviewing for a job. The interviewee called to the barista, “God bless you!” as he left. I also heard him talking about extending the same grace to others that has been extended to him in the past.

And the mother and daughter, who I stopped as they got straws for their coffee, to tell them I envied both of their outfits.

Sometimes it’s so simple to bless people. To be Jesus to people. To smile at the small child wearing bright pink sunglasses, her head tilted slightly upward to keep them from slipping down on her nose. To wave at a baby. To tell a man his dog is cute, even if the dog is barking indoors and the man looks embarrassed.

Life is such a mixture. Beautiful things, and imperfect things.

For instance, even as I overheard the coworkers bickering behind the door to my right, I prayed for God’s presence to fill up that coffee shop. I felt like I was doing something important, inviting Jesus there, encouraging Him to speak to me in that public place, among strangers with complex lives and varying struggles and beliefs.

Maybe sometimes allowing the Lord to use you is as simple as opening up your heart and a paperback.

Eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart open to receive, for these things I pray.

When Sadness Becomes Your God

I laughed at work today. The kind of laugh you laugh when something is funny but you’re also kind of embarrassed and so you can’t stop laughing.

The office manager had come into my office this morning with donuts and he asked, “Would you like a diet doughnut?”

But that wasn’t what I heard.

And so I asked him, “…Did you ask if I wanted to buy a doughnut?”

And he laughed and told me what he had actually said, and I laughed too.

And I know it’s silly and not even that funny, but later while I was driving I thought about that and I sat there in my car at a red light and smiled. Alone.

And then I realized I was smiling, and how incredible that I have enough joy within me to smile- and not just to smile, but to smile for me.

No one else was around. I wasn’t smiling to keep up appearances or make other people feel good and I wasn’t even smiling about something that someone else said or did. I was smiling, without even realizing it, because the joy within me bubbled up and a smile is just a human’s automatic reaction to feeling your heart fill with lightness.

I was alone. And I was smiling.

And usually when I’m alone I struggle. I battle all sort of thoughts and feeling and it’s fierce and exhausting and scary and I have to live that time in a constant inward posture of being on my knees at the cross.

But that moment alone in my car was easy.

I was surprised by my smile, yes, but even more than that, I was surprised to find that I was actually just enjoying my own company.

And I turned to Jesus and said, “Do you see this, Lord? I’m smiling!” And I know He was smiling too because yes, of course He saw.

And yesterday on my walk, I cried. I walked and walked and at one point I felt my chin begin to shake and my eyes filled with tears and I just let it happen. Because I was safe. It was safe to feel, walking alone down that neighborhood street as the sun set, with Truth coming through my earbuds and into my soul. It was safe. And important.

And I got home and I was tired. It wasn’t even 9:00 yet, but I showered and went to my room and I slept. I slept really well.

And that’s life, isn’t it? To make space for yourself to exist as a person with physical and emotional and spiritual needs, and not just as a doer- the one responsible for getting out of bed in the morning to an alarm and making it through your to-do list for the day.

I’m having to consciously take care of myself in this season. I don’t have another choice. I have to over and over again sit my heart down and say, “You matter.”

My job matters, yes, but that’s an easy fact to accept. The world won’t try to convince you that your job doesn’t matter because your job is how you get paid and keep a roof over your head. And I’m blessed to have my job matter for much deeper reasons than that. But still, believing my job matters isn’t the struggle because my job is where I am a doer. And doers, productivity, those things always count as far as society is concerned.

It’s the heart stuff, the feelings and experiences that the world shrugs at. Because it’s there that you are just you, not as a doer but as a human being.

And if you wait for the world to say, “Yes, that thing you experienced? It matters! And the things you’re feeling? They matter too!” you might be waiting a long time.

And even if you’re lucky enough to have someone in your life to say those things matter, as I am, having someone to validate your pain is only one of the steps in healing it.

And there’s danger in that, too, I’ve come to learn. Wanting people to validate your pain isn’t a bad thing, I don’t think, but it can become a hiding place. A source of comfort. And when that happens, you keep running back for the reminder that it mattered.

And that makes people tired. And it makes them sad because they love you and they don’t want you to get stuck in that place of self-pity, of needing them to take care of you. And so at some point you have to tell yourself that it mattered, it MATTERS, but other things matter as well.

And that’s when the Lord mercifully will open your eyes to Joy.

It’s not entirely up to me to know how to balance Joy and Sadness, because He is a good Father. And indeed, He is my Father. I am an adult and I am a child, His child. And I don’t always know what’s best for me or how to cope. But He does. He seems to know how much Sadness I can take, and when I keep my eyes open and my heart soft, He also surprises me with Joy. Joy rushes in like a Labrador Retriever puppy.

And Sadness? It used to feel like a heavy wool blanket, but not anymore. Sadness, when it arrives, sits down beside me and places a hand on my knee, offering me a small measure of comfort even in the midst of its presence. With its hand on my knee, it reminds me, “I’m not here to hurt you.”

Sadness? It’s work. It’s spiritual warfare, and healing the brokenness within me, and grieving what was lost and what isn’t and what may never be. It’s work. And if I try to stuff it down and ignore it, or if I run to other people and grasp onto them like a drowning person, pulling them down too, then I’m missing the lesson in the sadness.

Sometimes Sadness requires professional help or medication, yes. And we DO need people. But ultimately, our sadness is between us and the Lord. We have to learn to sit with it rather than run from it or hide beneath it in surrender.

I’ve used that word a lot lately- surrender. And oh, what a mistake I’ve made (and still struggle not to make) when I’ve surrendered to anything other than the Lord- when I’ve surrender to Sadness, or Fear, or my hopes, or other people. How many times I’ve exalted a thing above the Lord.

It’s so imperative, not just because He is Lord, but also for our own well-being, that we keep Jesus on the throne. It is to Him that we must surrender.

And when Sadness comes and the Lord is on the throne, it doesn’t come as a blanket. When I let the Lord use my sadness, when I trust Him with it, Sadness almost comes as a friend. Gentle. Tender. Apologetic. It exists for a reason, after all, and it’s my job to allow it to sit down beside me when it comes.

It’s much easier to sit side-by-side with Sadness than to allow it to cover me like a blanket. And that’s what happens when you don’t make room for Sadness to sit down when it arrives. It becomes a wool blanket.

At first it comes uninvited, and you struggle to crawl out from beneath it, but you can’t. And so you give up. And it’s easy, tempting even, to say, “Okay. Come. And I’ll hide under here because nothing is fair and I can’t fix it and I quit.” Because Sadness is on the throne now and you can’t see anything but the darkness or feel anything but the weight of it on top of you.

One way or another, the matters of your heart will demand your attention.

But if you listen. If you remember that you’re Someone’s child and that your Father is the Ruler and Creator of all, you’ll hear the Lord gently beckon, “Bring that to me.”

For me, Sadness comes with most force when I’m alone with my heart, not being my Doer self, and without anyone to say that my heart, or that I, matter. And I have to tell Sadness, “Yes, you can come, but my Lord is still on the throne, so have a seat beside me please. I’m not going to hide beneath you, curled up, bowed down to you as if you’re bigger than my God.”

And then I have to sit my heart down, me and Sadness side-by-side and Joy panting at my feet–not demanding my attention but still there, present, breathing–and I have to tell my heart, “Yes, we know. It hurts. And it’s going to take time to feel better. Let’s go for a walk. Let’s smile at the rising moon and the setting sun and breathe deeply. And if you need to cry, if you need to talk about what you’re feeling, that’s okay. The Lord will listen. We’ll all listen. We’re not afraid of big emotions or circumstances beyond our control because the Lord will be there with us, rising the moon and setting the sun and reminding us that He’s bigger than anything. He’s bigger than Sadness and Circumstances and He is the author of Joy. And He’s bigger than you, too, Heart. In this world we’re a tangle of emotions and thoughts and it’s hard, but it won’t always be this hard. And we don’t have to be afraid. When it’s hard, we just have to admit it, accept it, and surrender it to the Lord for Whom nothing is hard.”

I am my Father’s child.

And I am the parent of my heart.

I am both child and adult.

I am Sadness and I am Joy.

And that’s okay.

My Testimony

I’ve known the Lord since I was a child. I grew up in church and, from an early age, had an interest in the Bible and prayer. I remember praying in my bedroom when my parents were fighting, and praying during a thunderstorm when I couldn’t get the gate unlocked to get back inside, and I prayed before I got into a car again after experiencing an accident when I was twelve. I prayed for silly things, too, like that my Tigger stuffed animal would come to life. However, somehow, I’d always known the Lord as Mighty to Save. More than my parents or teachers or anyone else I looked up to, I knew the Lord could rescue me when I was in need of rescuing.

And yet, even with 20-something years of gradually maturing faith behind me, I still seem to be continually learning that the places within me that ache can be filled only with Him.

I’ve sought reprieve from the ache in alcohol, by getting straight-A’s in school, by only eating x-number of calories a day, and I’ve sought it in people. I’ve tried to find life in so many different things, and every single time I come back to the Lord, exhausted from trying to be okay on my own apart from Him, and with a fresh awareness of how He’s the only one who can save and heal and redeem and love me the way I need to be loved.

For me, accepting Christ wasn’t a one-time event. I was nine when I consciously made my faith my own, when I accepted the Lord as my Savior who died for my sins, but I’ve had to accept Him many times since then. I had to accept Him when my mom died, and I had to accept Him when I’ve stood all alone in this world with nowhere to call home, and I had to accept Him when my hopes and dreams have seemed far away.

And yet, even at the times I’ve been the most mad at Him, even when I attempted to rebel by saying I doubted His existence, I’ve also confessed to my closest friends, “I don’t know if I even believe in God anymore, but I love Him. Deeper than my consciousness or understanding, my heart aches with love for Him. I can’t stop loving Him.”

Once I invited Him in, He took over my heart. I’ve still struggled with sin and faith. I’ve battled hopelessness and feeling defeated by life. But my heart is tied to Him. And I know that—having a heart that is bound to Him–is not something I could’ve willed into existence. Rather, it’s His doing. It is proof that He exists and He loves me and He will never leave me, no matter how far I stray.

He’s been my patience when people or situations in my life would’ve normally elicited anger.

He’s been my comfort when I had no one to wrap my arms around.

He’s been my strength on the days when getting out of bed truly feels impossible.

And He’s my provider. He gifts me with reasons to laugh and moments in which I feel loved and significant. He has given me a roof over my head and an income and a job I love. And all that I feel like I’m still lacking is forced to sit down and recognize how much the Lord has already provided. He is my reason for gratitude. And He is my joy.

And He’s my hope. There is nothing in this world safe to hope in but the Lord. That’s a lesson He is still teaching me. The Lord doesn’t ask us to abandon our hopes and dreams and follow after Him desire-less. Instead, He asks us to put our hope in Him as opposed to things the world can provide. He beckons us to come near, to speak with Him, to come to know His heart, and realize that we can trust Him.

I’ve tried to do life on my own. I know what that looks like. And I know how hard it feels. When I try to take control of my life, everything falls apart. However, when I submit to the Lord, I stop feeling exhausted, and I start seeing His hand in things. I start seeing what He’s doing in my life, and that inspires an excitement for life. I want to see what else He’s going to do and how He’s going to take all the broken fragments of my life and make them something beautiful. When I give Him control, I can breathe again. I have the blessed freedom from trying to hold together what only He can hold together.

Life with the Lord is an adventure. He is my best friend, my Father, and my Savior. He defends me when the world is cruel and promises to redeem not only what’s been done to me, but the mistakes I’ve made as well. He is the holder of my heart, hearer of my dreams, and keeper of my secrets.

And I don’t think I’d know Him as all of those things if I’d walked an easier path. If I hadn’t hit wall after wall in looking for wholeness apart from Him, I wouldn’t have found myself on my knees at His throne, so acutely aware of how completely dependent I am on Him.

And that’s the most beautiful thing. No matter how many times I fail or get lost on this path, when I fall to my knees at His feet, He is never angry or bitter or cold. He never says, “I told you so,” or rebukes me for not having enough faith. Instead, He reaches down, cups my chin in His hand, and lifts my face so that my eyes meet His. And when I look up at Him, I see that He isn’t angry or disapproving, He is smiling. Because He is Love. And I am home.

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Twelve

Below is a list of twelve things I learned in February.

Chatting at the Sky likes to do a monthly collaborative wrap-up of things that the month taught us. I’ve never before felt compelled to join the festivities, but tonight I shall- partially because I’m feeling sentimental and emotional and contemplative, but mostly because I don’t want to go to sleep.

1. American Idol is so much better now that they focus more on helping people realize their potential and less on making fun of those who probably shouldn’t have auditioned in the first place. I cry every episode, without fail. When you see pride in the eyes of someone’s dad or grandma, or when the judges speak life-giving words to the contestants? Tears. And it makes me think of God and how He looks at us with even more pride and tenderness and love, and how if we could only hear Him clearly, we’d be even more assured of our worth and value and of His good plan for our lives.

2. My love language? Touch.

3. I worry way too much whether people want me around or not, when really what I should be doing is just fearlessly following where I sense God leading. When I stop worrying that people are going to look at me and think, “Ugh. Why is she here!?” it makes it a lot easier to just make loving them my primary goal. And when I’m more concerned with being loving than with whether or not I belong, social situations are way more enjoyable.

4. I am straight up addicted to green tea lattes. And I would say I need a twelve-step program, but I’m not yet ready to do my life without them. They’re a hug in a cup. I swear, every morning as the barista hands me my drink, my drink actually smiles at me. And it says, “I’m so glad you got out of bed today! I’m proud of you!” And a girl needs that kind of encouragement in her life!

5. You can shop TJ Maxx online now. And I cannot be trusted with this information.

6. This book is seriously dope.

7. Even though it’s hard to be financially generous, it feels better to spend my money on other people or put it towards tithing than it does to spend it on a shopping spree. Sometimes I think all I really need is more sweaters. That’s such a lie. My closet is full of sweaters and I don’t feel like they’ve done anything to heal my soul. I get much more from seeing the sweet face of my sponsor child on the mantle than I do from looking over the contents of my closet.

8. Having a clean house isn’t the most important thing in the world. In fact, I don’t even think it’s second. Or third.

9. If you’re struggling to love life, the answer is very rarely to withdraw from people.

10. When I make comfort the primary goal for my life, I make huge mistakes. What appears to be comfort is often a liar. Staying in bed all day, calling in sick, cancelling plans, skipping church, ignoring phone calls, binge-watching episodes of Teen Mom, eating an entire pan of brownies, eating nothing… Those options might feel like comfort in the moment, but they actually just take us one step closer to developing addictive behaviors. I think addictive behaviors always start as comfort seeking. When we allow comfort seeking to become our primary decision-making-strategy, we’ll discover a life less full and meaningful, not more. Usually, the path towards genuine life and comfort, which only the Lord can provide, requires that we go through something quite uncomfortable. But it’s always, always worth it. “Go,” He says. “Go to church and work and leave your house and love people. And you don’t have to feel strong enough or social enough. You don’t have to be well-spoken or witty. It’s okay if your hair doesn’t look the way you want it to or if your pants feel tight or if your eyes are red from crying. You just need to go. Where you are weak, I promise to be strong.” And He always, always comes through. Even when I’m cranky because I’m doing the hard thing and all I really want is a blanket and some Pad Thai, God goes with me when I follow where He’s leading. And I’d rather be where He is than anywhere else, even if that means being scared and uncomfortable. When you can lay down in your bed at the end of the day and say, “I did the hard thing and I’m so glad I did,” that’s genuine comfort.

11. I think we all need to be hugged more often. We all carry within us brokenness. Life is hard. That’s why God gave Adam a partner to do life with. We aren’t meant to do it alone. We need someone to share in our joys and our sorrows and see our messy, genuine selves and say, “I love you.” We need to know that our hearts and lives matter. We need to know that the details about us matter as well, that someone notices and loves the way we smile or the sound of our laughter or the way we mispronounce the word ‘pillow’. It’s all so beautiful. We reflect Him. It’s incredible. We, our existence and the thought and love our Creator put into us, is seriously awe-inspiring. It makes me feel like donning a sundress, running to a sunny, flowery field, and twirling in circles with my arms outstretched, a smile on my face, and my head tilted towards heaven. No joke.

12. My favorite people are the messy, authentic ones- the ones who love the Lord passionately, who are quick to laugh, quick to cry, and who carry kindness in their eyes. I want to be that kind of person. I want to be the kind of person who trusts God fully with my life and my short-comings. I want to live with complete authenticity, fearless of rejection or failure, because I know He is in control and I could never be, not even if I hid behind a self-protective facade. Choosing authenticity not only helps us form deeper, more genuine relationships with others, but I think it also helps us draw closer to the heart of God. God put His entire heart into creating us. He knows the hairs on our heads, after all. He didn’t do that, He didn’t pour His love into us and care about everything from the way we walk to the size of our hands to the shape of our ears, only to advise and encourage us to hide who we really are. We are His masterpieces, and where we fail, He is even more glorified. He wants us to be exactly who we are and trust Him with the outcome. And I want that, too.