You know who you are.
I haven't gotten to see you yet, but in the few conversations we've had, you seem like you're doing pretty good. We've never actually gotten to hang out without an agenda, only for the couple hours every few months when I come in to see you. But even though those times are few and far between, I still feel like I know you. I think you might get me. I don't know, some people are more transparent than others, and you are one of those people that I love because you are real and transparent and honest and everything in between.
When our friendship first started, I had heard that you were the best in town at your job, and you know what? They were right. I hope you know how much confidence I have in your abilities! You are blessed with a gift, because let's face it, there are people who do their job and there are artists, and I think you fall squarely in the second category. As we got to know each other, me sitting in your chair, you doing your thing, I started to learn more about you. Your past. Your present. Your future.
It's a cool thing to get to know other people.
The last time we got together, your words healed my wounded heart just a little bit. Because, and you already know this, I have, as you said, allowed other people to define what is beautiful for me. And I've listened to them for too long. The things I had used and leaned on and grasped tightly in my hand, those things that defined beauty for me, I slowly had to let go. Not that they were mine to begin with, but I slowly started to separate myself from the definitions I had so long held with a white-knuckled grip. And you know what? I'm beginning to be my own person. That doesn't mean I don't have my days where I'm more concerned about what other people think about me than anything else, or I slip back into my old mindset. But I've grown.
I'll never forget that conversation.
Expand your horizons, I always tell my kids. You just might find you appreciate something new.
But old mindsets can wreak havoc on growth. I know this personally, because sometimes I am so emotionally tied to what I used to know, and I'm terrified of change, of the unknown. Sometimes it's much, much easier for me to stay complacent with the habits than to try to work to change them. I mean, heck, I just managed to PO both my kids, at the same time, and it wasn't even something I was initially involved with. Sometimes, with them especially, I just need to step back and let them work it out. And then I made a comment to my daughter about ruining her relationships. She looked downcast as she walked away from me, but, I reasoned at the time, at least the smirk wasn't on her face.
I think I hurt her feelings.
Mistakes. There isn't a single person on the planet who hasn't made one. I've made my fair share, thinking I was either above getting caught or too emotionally weary to care. It's just a part of life, I guess, and the thing is, I suppose I'll continue making them. But hopefully, eventually, I will learn from the past and I won't continue to make the same mistake over and over.
This is something I'm currently working on. Understanding that the definition of insanity, according to Einstein, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
I looked in the mirror this morning and thought about how I don't even come close to the girl on the cover of the magazine at CVS. Moving back. Then I remembered that I am my own definition of beauty, made unique by Christ. Moving forward. The rhythms of daily life.
You need to know that I'm thinking about you more than I say, and I want you to know that you have my support. When we fall, it's always such a relief to know that there are people, whether they are far away or right next to you, that will help pick you up and dust you off.
People who will tell you that you were made for more than living with your face shoved in the dirt, allowing past mistakes to force you to look down, wrists chained by the oppressive lies you believe. You--and me--we were made for more. We were made to hold our head up high, basking in the forgiveness of Christ, knowing that as soiled as we come to the foot of the cross, he cleans us white as snow.
Stand for something, or you'll fall for anything. I tell that one to my kids, too. I think I may have heard it in a song or something.
But I don't want to fall for anything. I want to stand firm for what I believe in, because when I don't, all I see is mud.
And I'm done with mud.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
That's Galatians 5:1.
We were made for more. Freedom. It has a beautiful ring to it, doesn't it?
And freedom came, in the form of a baby, who was ultimately headed to a brutal death on a cross, to take on the sin of the world, so we could finally be free.
Freedom. Forgiveness. Love.