In my community I have always had people who would say that they love me. I know that I am so fortunate to have lived around such loving people. There is nothing like it.
Yet… it is difficult for me to accept that I truly am loved as people say.
Having fought relentlessly to hide my pain and turmoil (and any expression of either) for all of my childhood, I ran myself into the ground as a shut-down, voiceless mess. The last several years I have been working to reverse the devastating effects.
I have been on a become-known adventure especially these last few months. It has been wild. In being more open and vulnerable with others about my story, I have had taken both baby steps and uncertain leaps with a fair amount of set backs mixed. It has been both difficult and freeing, exhausting and invigorating,
I want to share with you a quote that has influenced many of these major decisions in the last year by Timothy Keller:
To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.
Hiding feels safe. But in hiding, we are also confined.
I could only accept love to the extent that I was known.
Living honestly does make me feel more vulnerable, but because of it, I am beginning to experience acceptance and belonging in a way that I never before deemed possible.