If we don't acknowledge pain, strife, and imperfections, how can we relate to a hurting world?
There are some people whom I know but don't really know.
They always seem upbeat and positive and thankful.
They are fun to be around because they seem to always see the glass as half full.
They have a way of making others feel discontent, without even trying to because they never reveal a struggle, a need, or a wound.
Yet, the ones dearest to my heart are not these ones with shallow smiles
and lives of perfection on display.
The dear ones aren't afraid to tell me that they totally blew it and yelled at their kids or that they are struggling in their marriage, or feeling faithless, depressed, hopeless, or over-tired.
The ones close to my heart are the ones who know their humanity to the extent that they don't need to pretend that everything is always wonderful.
Because we all know that it isn't and won't be...until Heaven.
It has been said that friendship begins the minute someone says, "No way! You too?"
If you are looking for a true friend, a bosom buddy, a kindred spirit...someone who is truly going to rock your world, don't hide behind a perpetual smile or build a wall of pride and independence. Don't be afraid to cry sometimes, or rage, or let them see you in your pj's, with dirty dishes or a bad attitude. Ann Voskamp talks about how the walls we build to keep others out, (yes, even with a smiley, happy facade), become our prisons that isolate us. I know that well, having lived through a time in my life where I refused to open up and overcome shyness, only to have people think I was snubbing them in pride when I was really just afraid. True joy comes from being vulnerable, letting people know and love you just as you are.
Authenticity is where awesome begins.