“Sometimes people that are not okay look a lot like people that are.”
– Glennon Melton (told ya’ll I was obsessed)
I’m starting to get this weird feeling.
This feeling that nobody really knows me.
I feel like such a fraud.
BECAUSE I AM A FRAUD.
I love writing through my pain and connecting with people but I very methodically dance around my actual life in order to not freak people out.
Like I can tell people what I’m feeling and how I’m coping without actually sharing the dirty details of my sorted adventures. Sometimes this is important. Sometimes I need to heal and work through my bad decisions and that does not mean telling you about them.
But sometimes it feels a little fake.
Because you guys see this girl who runs a non profit and goes to Kenya and loves little chocolate babies.
Or you see this girl who does makeup and must know everything about beauty.
Or you see this loud confident girl who just LOVES life and thinks of hilarious instagram captions (okay maybe only I think they are funny).
Or whatever you see I’m afraid that none of it is true.
I am supposed to be this girl and I should have it all together.
I mean my life IS AWESOME. Just not because of me.
I do run a non-profit (with like a billion other volunteers/board members/incredible humans) and I am recklessly in love with my Kenyan family. They love people better than anyone I’ve ever met and they understand faith in a way I’ve never seen before. THEY are the reason that anything we do works.
While I don’t know everything about beauty, I do enjoy learning. I love to learn about different types of beauty, color theory, and make up – it’s not vain to me. It’s just fun. I didn’t make these things up – you know how I learned all I know about makeup? Freaking Youtube. You could be just as good as me if you have an internet connection.
And if you think I have it all together, you haven’t read one word I’ve ever written. I am a sobbing, neurotic, dramatic mess.
I have a lot of things to be proud of and thankful for.
And yet, I still fell. Everything around me still came crumbling down. I’m not sure how and I’m not even sure when it happened but it did. My whole entire faith fell apart.
Everything I believed in just fell. Nothing made sense and all of it hurt. The verses, the songs, the religion I had known for so long – it all felt numb to me. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make myself believe it anymore.
For me, it was my faith that fell apart. Maybe for you it’s something else – your job, your relationship, whatever. Sometimes we are so tied up in what we are trying to make our lives look like that we forget what they actually are.
So I did what any normal and slightly addict prone person would do – I tried to find validation and worth in literally any other source. Alcohol, men, whatever. Pretty much anything because feeling this weight of guilt & shame from leaving my faith was too much. It hurt too bad.
I was not the same girl I used to be. I was different. I couldn’t unfeel and unsee all the injustice that I was witnessing. And I couldn’t make a case for the church – they were the ones causing the pain and my heart hurt too bad.
I had to become numb. Alcohol numbs your inhibitions. The attention of men numbs your loneliness. Anything to make those large, loud feelings of mine shut up and go away.
I just wanted to be numb. I’m a feeler. A big feeler. I am zero or and I am one hundred. Most of the time it’s one hundred. So when everything feels like too much, I have to shut it up. Addicts understand. Our addictions help us not feel.
I want you guys to know that before all of this – I LOOKED REALLY FREAKING OKAY. I went to work, I hung out with my friends, I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. I’m sure if you looked at my facebook, life seemed wonderful. I made sure that my life seemed wonderful. I made sure that I looked okay.
But I wasn’t. I was desperately lonely, I had painful questions about religion, and I was incredibly low. Just low. Not sure about what or why but I was.
All of these demons came to pass in one fail swoop. A few months ago, everything came crashing down. I realized that everything in my life was what I was DOING but not actually who I was. It took me so long to start to even feel like myself again..but like I said, I’m not the girl I used to be.
And I think that’s okay. I don’t have myself on a pedestal anymore. I thought that I wasn’t allowed to struggle because I ran a non-profit or because I was a Christian or because I did so many okay-persony things. That because I had seen Jesus be so good in my life that I wasn’t allowed to question my faith or my life or anything.
I THOUGHT SO MANY THINGS.
The gospel cleansed me and healed me and redeemed me AND THEN I THREW IT ALL AWAY.
YOU KNOW WHY?
Because the gospel cleansed me and healed and redeemed me before I even knew how much of I screw up I would become.
A lot of times as Christians we think our lives are whole after we accept Christ. That once we accept Jesus that we won’t ever question or struggle or whatever again.
That’s a load of crap.
WE ARE HUMANS, YOU GUYS. We are literally hard wired to mess ourselves up.
We just have to be human enough to ask for help.
That’s where I failed. Because I thought I was too good to fail. Too good to question Jesus and the bible and God. You guys, God is a pretty awesome guy or gal or whatever (I hate putting gender roles on God, God is too cool for that) and I think that God is big enough to handle our questions.
The church? Yeah I’ve got issues with a lot of the things that religious people do but that’s okay because I’m learning that those people are humans too.
And if I want grace then I have to give grace too.
I just wrote this because I want you to know that sometimes people who are not okay look a lot like people that are. That I hid my addictions, my doubts, and my fears underneath this layer of OKAYNESS and that it was all bullshit.
I wasn’t okay. And I’m still not okay. But I feel free enough to talk about it now.
I want you to know that if you were a Christian and now you are not and now life is weird and you’re not really sure what you are then that’s okay too. That sometimes we think we have to look all perfect and be all great and that’s just a load of crap. You are wonderful and worthy and your reality is YOURS and it’s true. No one can tell that it’s not. If it’s hard, if it’s easy, whatever it is – own it and be honest about it. Don’t be too scared to admit that you’re not okay.
Cause no one is okay. We’re all working through this messy life together and adding guilt on top of our mess is like way too much work. So stop all that.
I hope you give yourself some grace and know that no one is ever so well off to not fall of the train. We all fall off from time to time. Jesus knew that was gonna happen so He died on a cross for us and promised to unconditionally love us.
That’s pretty neat in my opinion.
Also if you’re reading this and you don’t believe in Jesus – you’re cool and you deserve love and respect because you’re a human being and I love you. We don’t have to share the same faith to recognize that life is hard and we need one another. If you’re struggling through something, that’s just fine and whatever it is, we’re here for you. Just know you don’t have to act like everything is perfect, it’s not and that’s life.
I’ll leave you with my favorite quote as of this week…
“If flowers can teach themselves how to bloom after winter passes, so can you.” — Noor Shirazie
You will bloom again.
Thanks for reading,