Monday, March 30, 2015

Making It Look Easy

I’ve always prided myself on my strength.  I can push through just about anything in such a way that those around me don’t even realize I’m having to push.  I find it almost impossible to cry in front of others (except for my sweet husband- God bless him) and I’m an expert at putting on a happy face.  At times, my strength is genuine as I rely on God but at other times I’ll admit it’s more of just a really good acting job. 

This strength has allowed me to keep my pride intact these past few years.  I’ve attended and planned baby showers with perceived ease, stoically congratulated countless friends once they’ve worked up the nerve to tell me they’re pregnant, and warded off unsolicited advice time and time again with as much grace as I can muster.  I’ve developed a persona that I’m comfortable with, as much as a coping mechanism as anything else.  During a time when so much was being stripped away (my dreams, my womanhood, my naivety) I was determined to at least hold onto my pride… and for the most part I’ve been successful, for better or for worse.

There’s been little “in-between” for me.  While the bulwark of strength may have been a feasible approach for my public life, personally I could’ve afforded to let my guard down once in a while.  There’s a fine line between private and unapproachable, between dignity and conceit, between self-reliant and alone.  I’ve realized perhaps too late that my strong and steady façade has built walls that may never come down.  Pride is a dangerous thing.  In making it look easy, in some ways I’ve made it harder.

Don’t mistake my outward silence for inner peace.  Sometimes I can’t speak because there are no words that I could make you understand.  If I walk away or withdraw in a moment I can’t handle, it’s not because I don’t care- it’s because I care in a way that cuts to the core.  If you feel distance, it’s not that I wanted it to be this way- it’s that now that it is, I’m not the same person you once knew.  I might make it look easy, but it’s anything but. 

I realize now that I should’ve come right out and asked for more grace along the way.  We rarely get it right the first time around in this journey we call life.  I thought that by making it look easy, it would make things less difficult for my friends and family.  In truth, all they wanted was the real me, not the strong and steady persona I developed.  But there’s no going back now and at the time, I absolutely did the best I could.

A word of caution: if you’re surprised at how well someone is holding it together in light of their circumstances, it’s probably a façade.  If their outward appearance is strong, there’s probably another corner of their heart that’s unraveled completely.   Even if they’re making it look easy, it’s not.  Love them gently, with grace and forgiveness; I promise they’re doing the best they can. 

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” 
–Proverbs 16:18 

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” 
–Galations 6:2

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