The collision of mess and hope
This is a re-post from a blog called The Distillery which grew out of a beautiful faith community based in Colorado. It was written by Kristin Good (MDiv student in North Carolina). Link to original post: https://www.werevel.org/distillery/2021/11/22-collision-of-mess-hope
I was sitting in class a few weeks ago and a professor said this about identity: “People change when the pain of staying the same is greater than the fear of change.” That struck a deep chord in me that gave language to what catapulted me into the bravest journey of my life - setting aside the performance and discovering who I really am.
For all of us, we have been partaking in specific roles for most of our lives - the one who keeps the peace, the one who provides levity through humor, the one who holds it all together. Some of those roles just naturally unraveled, some of those roles were picked for us as little kids and have become the expectation to maintain as adults.
The problem isn’t the role itself, some of those are beautiful gifts. But the problem comes when that role becomes the basis that I operate from - If all I am is the one who keeps the peace, what happens when I cannot suppress my needs any longer and frustration builds up? If all I am is the funny friend who brings levity, what happens when I go through a season of depression and can’t grit my way to bring the humor? Do we see how continuing to play into these roles is asking us to be unaffected robots? Good news here - WE ARE NOT ROBOTS.
A few years ago, I hit a point where I couldn’t do it any longer. My incessant need to be unaffected by everything around me got so exhausting that I just numbed out. The fear that my mess would scare people off, that the moment I didn’t have it all together is when people would decide they would leave was actually the thing that kept people at an arm's length, even though what I craved most was to be fully seen in my tenderness. So, I decided one day that there had to be more to this life, more to me than a disconnected human that had a large capacity to handle hard things.
That became the starting point of uncovering my heart and all the complexities of who I was made to be. I’ll be honest, starting this journey did cause a chasm in the order of things that was hard for some people around me. I won’t sell you a light and fluffy story: the honest pursuit of my heart and my identity did scare some people off, and that was really hard. AND, for most people, the honest pursuit of my heart actually invited them into knowing and loving me deeper and in ways I didn’t know was possible.
The way I went about this was I began to allow the collision of mess and hope.
All of a sudden, I realized that my mess became a stunning invitation for The Father to work some magic. Because I believe He loves who I truly am, He is in it with me in the process of discovering what that is. I am able to bring my mess because I have the sweetest hope that exists: Him. This process is not for nothing - it is the bravest and most breathtaking journey that I continue to go on, and will continue to go on for the rest of my days.
Who you truly are is worth knowing. Maybe it's time for that truth to overpower the fear of change.