Relatable at Just the Right Time!
I don't know how you feel but I really appreciate someone who is "real". I know, I know. We're all real, but I think you know what I mean.
We've all met people who we suspect are putting on an act and, admittedly, I myself could be accused of that a time or two. Okay ... maybe even more than that. (Like ... too many times on Sunday mornings. Are you familiar with this story? You run around like a mad woman getting everyone and everything ready for a day that certainly can't be considered "restful" but before you grace the doors of your church you take a deep breath and paste that Sunday smile on your face. Yep ... me too.)
I think this is why I love it so much when another person is "real" about how they feel and about how their life is really going. I'm not necessarily talking about completely falling apart (although I've unfortunately done that too) but someone admitting that their circumstance may suck sometimes makes me feel great empathy for them while giving me ... hope.
Janice Thompson, a well-known author who has written a plethora of awesome books in many different genres, recently posted something on Facebook that I could completely relate to. (If it wasn't for copyright regulations and laws against plagiarism I would simply paste her whole composition here and leave it at that.)
The title of her FB post was Everyone's Invited, wherein she writes about some of her own personal struggles with body image. It is honest, raw and relatable. My heart, in fact, skipped a few beats as I read my own feelings, written down in her words. Of course, the encouragement at the end was just what I needed too!
Don't you LOVE when that happens? There is nothing like reading someone else's thoughts and feelings, that happen to exactly mirror your own. (Unless, of course, it's an excerpt from a book written by ... say ... a serial killer or some such. I'm guessing that's a different matter.)
Whether you, like me, have body image feelings of inadequacy, feel anxious or mad some days and don't know why, feel you have no more patience for what you deem stupidity in others, or just wish you could curl into a ball and cry -- know that you are NOT ALONE. I have, or have had, all of those things going on over here.
I'm not discounting a decent and moral life. I think we should strive for that, but as Christians, more-so historically I hope, there has been (but still is) much pressure to look a certain way, act a certain way, say certain things but certainly not others ... and the list goes on.
I think what's important to remember is that we can't hide our true selves and feelings from the One who really counts. We may fool some people some of the time, but we can't hide anything from God and someday we'll be giving an account to Him. That may sound weighty but ... I don't think it is. Personally, I feel even more free to be my authentic self, knowing that God loves me in just the way He made me. As well as the gifts He knows He's given me, He is fully aware of how bereft of substance I so often am.
Remember ... Jesus walked this earth too. He gets us ... so I think we shouldn't be shy about relating, in truth, with those around us. We all struggle and we all feel low sometimes. Being "real" is nothing to be embarrassed about. Someone else in our lives may need that honesty and we may need to be relatable to them ... perhaps at just the right time.
Janice's timely post got me thinking of other authors and podcasters who I also find to be honest and real. Their messages come in different ways and from different perspectives but they've each touched my life with something I needed, at the perfect time. You might want to check them out.
Only a few of these special people, unknown to me personally but unknowingly so helpful, are:
Julie Lavender - not only do I like her name but she has given this very uncreative person some terrific ideas of activities to do with her grandchildren. I was very privileged to hear her speak on a webinar a few weeks ago. She was a great encouragement to me. I recommend her book 365 Ways to Love Your Child. She's written others too!
Dr. W Lee Warren - When I read his book I've Seen the End of You, I'll admit I wished that I had read it prior to finishing my "Someone of Substance" three-novel trilogy. Here is a man who experiences glioblastomas up-close-and-personal in his practice as a neurosurgeon. (For real!) He has overcome numerous personal challenges and hardships but, suffice it to say, his writing and podcasts have touched my life in amazing ways. If you want to know what "Self-Brain Surgery" is all about, check out this phenomenal author/podcaster.
AND NOW TO THE TWO FREE DRAWS FOR A FREE BOOK ...
This month's winners are: Pat B from Saskatoon and Jackie G from Yorkton!