Storms and Honesty

It’s late.  And I’m tired.  But my mind is full.

I have been amazed lately at the total, raw honesty on one of my friend’s blogs lately.  (I bet you know who you are. :) )  She’s totally exposed herself, her insecurities, her fears, her frustrations.  She’s made me think a lot.  And she’s made me feel so much better.  She’s incredible, and yet so human.  It’s made me feel like it’s more okay to be as human as I am.

So maybe it’s just because it’s late.  Or maybe it’s because I spent an evening with incredible women and their heart-wrenching honesty tonight and realized yet again how much we need each other.

But I’m going to be really honest.

I’ve really had a hard time lately.  A really hard time.  I’ve really struggled with bouts of depression, but it’s been different than what you might think.  Yes, I know my hormones are realigning themselves right now, but it’s been more.

Soul-wrenching questions about myself.  Doubts of my abilities, far greater than I have ever experienced.  Sadness about everything I am attempting.  Fear of total, ridiculous failure.  Fear of really being nothing after all. 

Ever since I announced our Congo event taking place in the fall, I have undergone a furious storm of criticism and doubt, both external and internal.  It has caused me to question everything I ever thought I was or thought I could do.  I have tried so hard to stay positive, to keep pushing my head back up, but it has been so. very. hard.

I’ve been trying to “fake it till I make it.”

“But what if I never make it?” says the incessant voice inside of me.

Thank goodness I have had a sweet baby to hold, and a kind husband to hold me.  Truly, gifts of God.

It has been an interesting time.  I have truly felt caught inside an agonizing storm.  But as much as it has been a painful time, it has probably been one of the most incredible times of my life, as well.  Enlightenment, inspiration, and life-altering guidance have burst upon my mind.  Love has abounded in my life.  My family is so happy, patient, and full of goodness.  Friends have been there for me in a way I have never had before.  And my own heart has changed.  But something is constantly trying to squash all of that goodness.

So I feel that one minute, I am crushed beyond reason, and the next, I remember all that I have, and I am soaring.  It is a constant up and down.

It’s been exhausting.

All week, I have been feeling unwell, and it’s made it that much harder to keep trying.  I’ve been praying a lot for help, and I know I’ve had a lot of help.  But yesterday found me tearfully, desperately pleading for help.  And in the middle of it all, rain pounded the house and tornado sirens started wailing.

How appropriate, I thought.

(No, I didn’t take that picture, fyi) 

At first, I watched the storm numbly.

But then something happened to me during that storm.  Something special and so very personal.

A reminder, even during this huge storm in my life, of who I really am.  A reminder that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or feels or says about me.  Because that isn’t who I am.  I remembered to listen to the One person who does know who I really am. 

This morning, when I went outside, after storm after storm raged yesterday, the world was new.  The air was clean, bright, and so very sweet.  I felt the same in my heart. 

And tonight, as I spent time with women who were truly hurting, I remembered the real me.  I listened, loved, and hopefully helped.  Regardless of what anyone else says, or thinks, the real me is someone who wants to do those quiet things.  Because they are what matter.

I feel again like the world just might need me.

And I don’t say that in a boastful way.  Believe me, not after how I’ve felt.  It’s all I can do to write it at all.  I say it, because if I, small, insignificant ME, can feel and know that somehow, the world needs me, like I have a true purpose, then maybe, just maybe, someone out there will read this and know

the world needs you, too.

You’re worth something.  You’re good.  You’re special.  You have a place and a purpose.

You’re needed.

So hang in there with me.  Don’t give in.  Because there are storms to weather, and I know we’ll both be weathering many, many more.

But was anything worth doing EVER easy?

No.

But always, always worth the storm, to see the beautiful, clean morning.  “Cast not away therefore your confidence.”

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