LAID OUT

I am laid-out.

Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually.  I am lying on my couch vulnerable, reliant, and dependent.

Several days ago, it wasn’t the couch I was laying out on. Instead, it was a small patch of ice and a pillow of snow. My ankle had broken my very pregnant fall as I slipped on the sheet of ice below me. With a loud pop – my tibia, fibula, and dreams of a normal holiday snapped me into a new reality.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a story I shared until its end. When all the revelations and lessons learned had sunk in hard and deep. When I felt triumphant and out of the woods. When I could claim some sort of this circumstantial territory as mine, conquered.

How many of us find ourselves here?

We hide our circumstances until we find a truth to cling onto. We hide our desperation until it’s masked in a façade of choosing joy. We hide our tears with waterproof mascara, 24 hour long lasting foundation, and a chorus of “I’m fine’s”.

When did we become people who are only defined by our endings? Our taglines? Our missions? Our status updates? We pretend to be unfiltered and real – sharing Instagram photos of messy kitchens, offices, and lives but then with one fell swoop we use our words to convey that even in the middle of it all – we have it together. I think somehow, we’ve confused struggle for negativity and authenticity for oversharing.

And I’m tired. I’m tired of pretending that I have the answers right now. That I’m not struggling and that at all times I can convey some sort of profound message in the midst of my own learning. Our job isn’t always to convey the message, but to actually live it out. I'm finding that words aren't so important as practicing them. 

After all, that’s how the one true message began.

When we open up God’s word we read the stories of people who would never claim they were fine or that they had it all together. These were people who were laid-out too. Just like me. Just like you.

Over and over in the bible, people’s lives were on display for all to see – messy, raw and desperate. Their stories weren’t summed up for us or even filtered through a clean and non-offensive lens. God chose to display every detail, every tear, and every dysfunction.

As people, and most significantly, as leaders, let us begin something new. Let us be willing to be vulnerable. Not just vulnerable with our stories as we are finishing them, but as we are in the process of writing them. God made it so that every part of our story could glorify Him. Hard beginnings. Messy middles. Fumbled ends.

Rather than attempting to edit His holy work, lets just soak in the process. 

Tabitha PanarisoComment