This is a follow up to my latest post.
I read the message. Swallowed down my tears. It’s just social media, Manda Sue. Get a grip! I thought to myself.
The thing is, it’s undeniably a huge part of this world we live in. 2016 in America will undoubtedly be looked back upon as a year Instagram captured it all. For artists, photographers, writers, and business owners, it certainly is more than just a social outlet. It’s about exposing your art, getting new clients, creating a brand, and for some it’s a business in itself!
She was one of the people I noticed used to interact with me a ton and had suddenly cut ties, or at least it seemed. Though not a super close friend of mine, she was someone I ran into on a semi-regular basis and shared many mutual friends in our community.
Out of no where, I received a notification on Instagram that she began following me (When did she unfollow me? my mind raced) and a message on Facebook from her appeared that read:
“Hi love! Wanted to confess something to you and apologize. Recently, Jesus has challenged me to celebrate other women (and men too ha) and their gifting’s instead of grumbling and wishing I had _______ that they had. Wanted to confess I’ve done that with your writing, and I’m truly sorry. I let insecurity and baggage get the best of me. What you are doing, who you are needs to be celebrated. Because God is using you in amazing ways through transparency and being brave with your struggles and triumphs. Women feel empowered by your posts, I feel empowered by your posts, and that’s Jesus! So again, I’m truly sorry for being the worst. For not supporting you fully, even if you were never aware. It was wayyyy deeper than you, and you are not the only one Jesus is calling me to confess this to, so He can redeem it and begin fixing this darker place in my heart. Hope coffee can be in our future soon. Thanks Manda.”
WOW. Where to begin? I was tangled up in my emotions for a hot second and then reread the words on my little cracked iPhone screen.
How hard must that have been for her to type up and send me? How long has she been feeling this way? God must really be speaking to her heart! This is beautiful. I have to respond in grace, just like I want others to do for me.
Here’s a girl who I respect (even more after we’ve gone through this awkward grace together!), who I absolutely adore for her spunky personality, who I watch belt out the most beautiful voice you’ve ever heard in front of thousands every Sunday at church, confessing to me her junk. A girl who so many envy; her boldness, uniqueness, and vocal talent.
And so I replied. I told her I was grateful for her message and that I forgave her and welcomed her support and encouragement back into my life. I, too, apologized for ever subconsciously pushing her away when I felt she no longer had my back.
It’s easy to drop people who don’t fit your “easy to love” or “too difficult to understand” compartments. But Christ didn’t call us to live easy. He called us to live for him, knowing that life would not always be easy.
I took a breath; feeing lighter.
Why for even a second had I worried that I had done something wrong when I first noticed she re-followed me? Why couldn’t I have given her the benefit of the doubt, that it wasn’t about me? I felt silly and selfish and relieved all at once.
We exchanged a few more words, then texts, bumped into each other accidentally, and are meeting for coffee later next week.
When we unexpectedly ran into each other, there was a fleeting beautiful moment for me. I can’t speak for her, but I’m anxious to know if it happened within her soul, too. It was the awareness that we were both exposed, fully known, yet fully accepted and loved and forgiven. Oh how I wish I could match words to the beauty of this instance that took place inside of me, but I’m afraid no words suffice. You’ll have to experience awkward grace for yourself. 🙂
Confessing our shortcomings or when we’ve wronged someone (especially when they wouldn’t have truly known otherwise) is a big, bold sign of maturity.
Every time I reread our exchanged messages I feel my heart getting more tender and compassionate.
Owning these yucky parts of our sinful human nature and reaching out for reconciliation is part of the whole grace picture you hear discussed so often in churches and Christian-affiliated places. The thing is, grace is beautiful because it’s undeserved. However, before this incident, I didn’t think of grace as being awkward…but it is just that, awkward. Especially when it’s between two believers. Grace is awkward, messy, and beautiful.
She’s obeying The Lord, swallowing her pride each time she confesses her yuck, and intentionally choosing a better way. If that picture of awkward grace doesn’t wet your tear-ducts, I’m not sure you fully understand how gigantically awesome this was for the both of us.
I realized 3 things from her brave act of sending me that confession and my prayer is that they will speak to you, wherever you are in your journey with Jesus.
- Grace is awkward.
- Even the girl you think has it all together doesn’t have it all together.
- Just because you’ve been “saved” doesn’t mean you won’t need saving over and over again. Redemption isn’t a one time deal.
Thank you for letting me share this story, friend. Your confession to me and willingness to allow me to share it here has blessed me tremendously and I have no doubt it will speak to many women just like us. You’ve sparked a little fire in my heart to begin confessing my yuck as well. In the name of calling each other up, not out…I love you!