In the children’s story The Velveteen Rabbit, the long-eared nursery newcomer marveled at the lifelike qualities of the old skin horse. As their time together turned into meaningful conversation, the rabbit admitted his ignorance in understanding how one becomes real. The wise old horse then explained that it not only took a willingness to be loved and loved well, but it also took a great deal of time, and occasionally some pain. Rabbit decided that a lifetime of being real might be worth some temporary pain. I think I’ve decided that too!
As I began corralling my thoughts for this post, I received an email from my friend Wendy Kee who had just read Freedom for the Good Little Church Girl. (I continue to stay amazed at how well God loves me by sending me encouraging words at just the right time. I’m sure you’ve noticed that as well.) Wendy gave me permission to share some of what she had to say. Take a look at her quote, along with another one I “just happened” to come across this weekend. Do you see a pattern in what the Spirit’s been teaching me?
Becoming real isn’t just for children’s books. Learning to become real may be the catalyst for becoming exactly who God intended us to be. Maybe you’ve recently had your world shaken, your past excavated, and your beliefs sifted. You are not alone. The only difference between Christians who thrive and those who merely survive is their willingness to let the Holy Spirit do His job. He will hold your world steady, help you find healing for your past, and ground your beliefs in Truth.
Don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes. We all make them. You don’t have to tell everyone everything, but you need to tell someone something. Confession is indeed good for the soul. Sometimes, all we need to solve a problem is a good sounding board. And if that sounding board knows a few good questions to ask along the way, that makes it even better! Some of you might not need a sounding board right now, but you might make a good one for someone else. Be available to just listen.
As vulnerable as I’ve allowed myself to be with you, believe it or not I still reserve a few things that are only shared with my closest friends. However, one thing I’ve hesitated to share with you is the fear I’ve felt since February. I took four months off from blogging at Perfection Road because writing Freedom for the Good Little Church Girl took all I had, and I failed to take time to refill. Satan took advantage and filled that emptiness with doubt and fear. I’m embarrassed to admit that my faith caved when circumstances mounted shoulder upon shoulder stretching to the size of Goliath. Thankfully, the things I’ve learned during this season loom far above any Goliath-sized fear. Satan meant to harm me, but God used every tear-filled moment for good.
I’ve learned to trust God in ways I never have before. I’ve allowed people to love me and love me well rather than hopping away. I’ve learned to see grief as a way of being thankful for the good times while looking forward to a grand reunion. I’ve given up a 50-year old hurt and received healing. I’m slowly learning to give my friends and family more of what they need rather than asking for what I need. And I’ve learned to humbly admit that even though I hate to be carefully kept like a mechanical toy, sometimes that’s exactly what I need. Most of all, I’ve learned to recognize the help and comfort of a good God, a good family, and good friends!
What pain are you holding onto? What has the Holy Spirit been teaching you? If you are brokenhearted right now, dare to love and dare to forgive. Dare to become Real.
I am a living, breathing testimony that God does indeed blow the sawdust out of our hearts and fills us with abundant Life! He readily holds the brokenhearted close and is always willing to come to our rescue. Since He’s so good to do that, I’m thinking maybe you and I should get a little closer to the brokenhearted too! What say you?