Welcome to our mess.
To the Unpinterest party.
To my paper plates and nonvaccumed surfaces self.
To our, yes my kid is watching more Sesame Street kind of day.
To the yes my dog just ran around the neighborhood kind of feeling.
To it is nine o'clock and I still have a towel head, but I'm gonna snap chat you anyway.
Welcome to the exposed, found out, un-put-together person that I am, that you are.
We can meet in this place. We can reach one another. We can even put each other's dirty underwear in the washer.
I want to really see you. All of you. And I want you, although I'm terrified, to really see me. Really.
Last night, the gals from my house church met at my house. At one point during the day, I got a text. "I'm really stressed about this Bible Study. I only got half way through the week and don't have time to finish before tonight."
Oh, I know that feeling. Of behind. Of upcoming judgment. Of being exposed.
Immediately I texted back, "COME! DON'T STRESS! We are going to celebrate the time God did give you!"
After she arrived, immediately another friend said, "ME TOO!" And I saw, before my eyes, the beauty of the "me too" life, the "me too" kind of healing we can give one another. When we step over the barrier of who we are supposed to be and show people instead who we are. When we stop trying to be God and start allowing others to see His grace upon grace in our life.
This morning, I hosted a freezer meal swap. One of those crazy adventures where we all cook a billion of the same thing, freeze it, and trade so none of us have to cook for two weeks. Unless you are insane and you actually space them out and save them. I'm just not that kind of martyr.
One friend, who struggles with some health issues, came in with bags half assembled and clearly distraught. "Help!" she asked, and help we did. Right in my kitchen, we put them all together. What would've taken one person with chronic pain and one largely pregnant person an hour, instead took us twenty minutes to do together. I'm so incredibly proud of her for coming. I'm more indebted to her, not for her meals, but because she let me see her unassembled. She came anyway.
The truth is, I was eager to help. Because I was helped. My spaghetti sauce and noodles was entirely made with another house church sister who wasn't even participating in the swap! She just stopped by to bring me coffee one day, and when I started cooking, she pulled out the cutting board and began chopping.
Yesterday, my friend and I were supposed to meet at a coffee shop to get some famous "Luke's coffee" to celebrate the Gilmore Girls Netflix series. We were going to brave the morning with our toddlers for the momentous occasion. When we realized the line was two blocks long, we quickly changed plans. "I want to see you, so I'm coming over with Starbucks." Her reply, "I'm putting in some muffins." So I came into her work from home, toddler explosion home, and she had the grace to let me in after almost no warning that we were coming. And we had the best morning, just being together, in the middle of the mess that I knew all too well, because I had just left it at my own place. We sipped coffee and let our toddlers throw muffin crumbs. And we saw each other.
We are all scared to death of being seen, but desperately want to be at the same time. We all want to hear "me too." So many authors have been teaching me the concepts, but this past week I've realized I've been testing them in my real life. And after the testing, I'm happy to announce, I'm better than alive. I'm seen. And I think I'm starting to see people too.
Sometimes we have to be brave and let down our guard first. Sometimes we have to test the waters first by sending that text that says, "I'm stressed" or saying "help!" And sometimes we have to say, "I'm coming over." Sometimes we have to be the ones to start chopping onions or throw a load of laundry into the washer when our friends can't bring themselves to ask. And sometimes, we have to sit, sip coffee, and chat, to recognize in complete peace that finding community in the chaos is more life giving than trying to calm the chaos itself.
Come as you are. Christ sees you and loves you, yes, exactly as you are. Really, He does. And we can show each other this, prove it to one another by just. coming. over. My door (heart) is open to you. You can see me. I hope you allow me the privilege of seeing you too.
*For some helpful reading on this, I recommend Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist, Uninvited by Lysa Terkheurst, Wild and Free by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan, and Rising Strong or Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.