Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Advocating Vulnerability


                " A real woman advocates 
                           vulnerability
                   instead of invincibility"

                                                           Lucy Swindoll


I used to be a Type A perfectionist.  Everything had to be in it's place... at all times, or else I felt my world just might fall apart.  And then God gave me children.
Yes, this is how I used to organize our colored pencils.  Sigh.  



It is amazing how the Lord refines us and grows us through our children.  Trying to lead a life of perfection is exhausting and it means you are probably covering up something messy in your life that the Lord is trying to heal. 



It took me years but I finally hung up the Super Woman cape when I realized I just didn't want to be "Super" anymore. It is too hard.  I am okay with being "Average Woman" who depends on my Super God.  



As Super Woman, I tried to do everything myself.  I was in control and if something fell apart, it was all my fault, I had failed, I would own it and was determined to make it right.  It was hard for me to admit that some things are just out of my control.



I have been a Type A person for as long as I can remember.  Growing up I was a neat nick, everything was tidy and orderly.  I obeyed the rules, was on the honor roll, and played peace maker whenever there was an argument whether it be at home or at school.  I was the "go to" person when people needed advice or a pick me up however I wore a mask that said "All is well" and therefore, when my life came crashing down around me there was no one to pick up the pieces.  People were used to me picking up their pieces and asking me for guidance, no one asked how I was and I did not volunteer the information for fear of showing a sign of weakness.  


  The day my parents decided to separate,  I watched my Mom drive down our gravel road and I realized that everything I did, everything I tried to be, did not matter. 

  I did not matter
(at least, that is how I felt)


It was several months before Mom moved back in.  Mom and Dad had counseling, they worked through their problems and are still married to this day, 34 years and counting... and guess what?  It was not dependent on me!  I was not the glue that held them together... it was the Lord who brought them through.

  The Lord worked on their hearts and brought them to a place of healing.  As an adult,  looking back at my parent's marriage now and their separation, it was the best thing that happened to them because they realized just how much they DID love and need one another. 

I wish I could say I took my mask of perfection off when I was a teenager but I chose to keep it on for several more years.  It was not until I was married and later became a Momma that I finally grew tired of my mask and cape.  It took going through depression (you can read about it here and here)for me to wake up to reality and see that it is okay to just be me.  I desired authentic relationships with others yet I was not being authentic myself.  


Once I realized that I was my own worst enemy, everything changed.  I took off the mask and allowed people to see crazy, messy, insane, goofy, beautiful, and not so beautiful, me.  There are some friendships that have not lasted and others that have endured, and that is okay.  When you are yourself and you make yourself vulnerable you need to expect to get hurt once in a while.  You end up finding who your true friends are  and you value them all the more because they love you for who you are in spite of yourself and that is a beautiful thing.

Occasionally I find myself grabbing that "Super Woman" cape out of the closet... I place it about my shoulders and realize just how heavy it is, so I return it to the back of the closet waiting for the moment when I am ready to throw it away forever, or better yet... burn it!  Instead I grab the comfortable sweater, the one I wore yesterday with the smoshed banana on the sleeve where the baby rubbed his grubby face on me.  The one with the letter "A" on the front...
                          "A" for "average" and "authentic".  
Keeping it real,
Dawna

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