I won't say awful because there were some amazing moments, and I won't say horrible because even though I've had headaches all week and those were horrible it wasn't that either,
I'll just say it's been hard.
Physically hard, emotionally all over the place, a spiritual struggle.
Today I posted on Instagram about my struggle, and it started me thinking about the conversations I've had with a lot of different women throughout this week who are going through their own, unique week of hard. Over and over again I've talked to other moms who are struggling with one thing or another. All of us are exhausted. Physically & emotionally maxed out.
So I was driving around this morning, running my errands, and I was thinking about the importance of showing our mess. It's the opposite of what feels natural - I want other people to see me as someone who has it all together but I need people to see me as someone who struggles, just like we all do. I need to be a part of a community of women who are not afraid of allowing others into our mess. Whatever that is.
As someone who is a small group co-leader and has a little influence and especially as a mom who has older kids I need to be willing to show other people, especially younger moms, that I don't have it all together, that I have bad days. Not just as a pat on the shoulder or as a strategy to appear more approachable but as a living breathing walking around example that yes - I'm a mess, just like you. I have bad days, just like you. I struggle with my kids and get mad at my husband - but we're going to be okay.
Here is the thing I find the most challenging about the idea of letting other people see my mess: it is not going to just happen. I have to live this way on purpose I have to let my guard down and talk about the things that make me feel uncomfortable and vulnerable and that takes a lot of intentionality.
It also takes grace. Because we've all been around the negative nelly who has no problem talking about everything that's going wrong in her life - we desperately don't want to be her but we aren't doing much better if we put on the plastic face of everything is fine and nothing is ever wrong in my world and heavens no I never struggle with that. Let's be real. Yes, I do.
I want to be the kind of friend who is honest about struggle, but isn't defined by it. I want to be the kind of friend who is real, even if that means admitting the thing that I don't want to even admit to myself. I want to be the kind of person who is speaks truth but also speaks grace, even if it means letting go of my insane desire for everyone to like everything I do all the time.
It's a lot about taking off "the church face" mask, it's a lot about not just saying "I need grace" in some type of abstract way but knowing, deeply, truly, desperately I NEED grace!!! Just like we all do.