It has been the ink on a crinkled sheet of paper, bound to a one-dollar notebook from Walmart, that has torn down the walls of my broken soul and bore the darkest parts of me.
When my eyes are clouded by tears and my heart is crying out desperately, screaming “why” with all the breath in my lungs, my hands still find their way to a fresh page and click-y pen to deliver the real me in letters that could never escape from my mouth on their own.
The truth is, you can’t know me until you’ve read me.
My journals and post-it notes and grocery lists and annotations speak more about me than I speak about me because vulnerability and honesty don’t, can’t, won’t exist in my head. So, instead, I’ve built up a fortress of scattered lies and false laziness that keeps me safe, tucked away under the cover of comfort, while my tattered insides pound and pound away—my skin its own drum.
Tomorrow, if you were to approach me about this letter, I would surely reply, “Haha, yeah. I was just bored, avoiding homework per usual,” Then I would use the skills I’ve built up over years of hiding and change the subject from me to you, avoiding all conversation that might expose the worn-down, fragmented pieces of my spirit.
But, I’ve never wanted to change something so much.
You’d think I’d be happy, my ten-foot pole barely touching you from across the room, keeping my secrets, well, my secrets.
But, I’m not.
Secrets are heavy.
Secrets are taxing.
Secrets are garbage.
I’m learning every day that God created vulnerability and community for a reason. With my own eyes I’ve witnessed communities of people so overcome by the weight of their own sin, by the weight of all their secrets.
Secrets are garbage.
God did not create you, his body, to fight your battles all alone. The fulfillment and relief that comes from sharing your burdens isn’t something that can be explained in words. While my hands and a keyboard can write a letter that tells more about me than I do, vulnerability can’t be explained in the same format.
When you are on your knees, a bomb strapped to your chest, you’ll cut any wire that’ll keep it from exploding. Your burdens—the bomb. Your lies and secrets and hiding away in the corner of your own room while your dearest friends ask each other where and why you are and their only answer is laziness and homework—the wires.
God wants you to put the scissors down and let the bomb explode.
Give others a chance to carry your burdens, to peer into your heart, and to enter the dusty gates of your soul.
You and I are worth so, so, so, so, so much more than a life in shadows.
Learning and Living With You,