So I did a thing today. For me, a very brave thing indeed! As I was scrolling thru the Netflix guide, my eyes landed on ‘The Long Goodbye’ – the documented story of Kara Tippitts. A seemingly average woman, who wasn’t the least bit average. A young mother’s story of love and grace in the midst of the enemy – cancer. You can read more on her restored blog, Mundane Faithfulness.
I don’t generally watch cancer movies – I know how the story ends. I don’t want to see my life in someone else’s and measure where I’m “at” But today was different…. and I watched…. and of course, the tears flowed like rain. But they weren’t tears of fear – they were cleansing tears as God pressed on my heart, “I see you, My sweet girl. It’s okay to let others see you too.”
You see, I love to write. I love to share… but I absolutely cannot authentically write without being vulnerable. And with vulnerability, comes pain exposure. It’s hard to share the hard stuff…. and what I admired in Kara’s story was her ability to be so lovingly real and graciously raw.
God’s been pressing on me for a while and yes, I’ve been dodging Him (as if that’s a real possibility!) It’s so much easier to be lazy, but there’s no value in a wasted life. Watching the movie today reminded me of a group on Facebook that’s led by a friend – Fight Dirty by Loving Big. She always ends with “go forth and conquer – that means I love you” And no, I don’t usually actively participate – that requires more authenticity than I’ve been brave enough to muster.
You see, in many ways, I’m the proverbial duck… calm on the surface and paddling like mad underneath. Folks…..when they see the girl….. they get to see the girl who loves Jesus and talks about the gifts of cancer. She doesn’t talk about the hard parts – why? She doesn’t want to make people sad or feel sorry for her. BUT she’s been slowly exiting far left…. for fear of showing pain or showing fear itself…. hiding from the day to day….all the while not realizing what she’s doing.
And here’s the real beauty in writing…. God shows me what I’m really doing…. or not doing, as the case may be!
A few weeks ago, I started a group study called The Wellness Revelation being hosted by Stephanie Ackerman – it’s a God first study focused on losing what’s weighing you down – and yes, physical weight is a big part… but for me, I knew it was something much deeper – I just didn’t know what. And to be quite frank, if I’d had a clue where God was leading me, I obviously would’ve run the other way! But I suppose God usually has to work that way with me – at least when He’s trying to get my undivided attention.
f.e.a.r. who’da thunk????? But that’s how fear works, isn’t it? Well, thank ya Jesus! Now that it’s been identified, it’s up to me to let God do His thing and work it out of my life. I’m not afraid of death – I know to whom I belong. I’m not afraid of cancer… at least I don’t think so (time will surely tell!)….could I be afraid of living? That sounds pretty weird to me, but again…. time will tell….but where I landed today was realizing and acknowledging that fear has been dictating the extent to which I’m living and loving.
And selective living and loving isn’t really living at all, is it? Where is God going to take this? No idea. But I’m committed letting Him do a work in and through me and to being real – raw – and open. Intentionally open to my inner circle, outer circle, and whoever is out in cyberland that God chooses to touch with His message of love, hope and redemption.