real

Oh this feels wonderful. To once again write, after a season of, well, denial.

It’s no coincidence that my hands haven’t produced writing in a long time. For a long time, longer than I wish to admit, I was suffocating. The most brilliant part is, I had no idea. 
Now, fully back, and fully able to breath again, I want to share this story. I believe this story is one that can touch every person, if you let it. Pressure. We often hear this expressed as peer pressure, as in “Don’t give in. Think for yourselves.” Well let me tell you about a new pressure. A pressure that is sneaky and crafty. It’s so large that when we try and reach in the dark to lift it up we can’t even find it’s round edges. I’ll call it “The ought to be”. You know, the way we ought to be. The way we should feel, the way we should think, the way we should pray, the way we should worship, how we should mourn, the way we should write, the way we should coach…
“The ought to be”-it’s one of Satan’s biggest weapons. He does indeed have a lot of them, but this one is marvelous. It really is. The real trick is where we believe, “the ought to be” is coming from. This is his true weapon-we think it’s God. All too often I can overanalyze any situation…instead of drawing from my heart within, I stretch my mind to think of the best possible way to do…well everything. Ha! It’s almost humorous isn’t it?  Perhaps I am alone in this regard, but I highly doubt it. 
This has been my season and may be for a while longer. A season where I am surrounded by glowing faces, warm smiles and even warmer greetings-directly opposite of what my heart is crying out. I am connected to this hurt, it is mine to own. But I have not been owning it. I have masked it. I have overanalyzed every situation, every relationship and tried to be “the ought to be”. Ironic indeed. For what God truly desires is truth.
I am filled with more sadness right now than I can remember, but I am also filled with peace. Try that one on. Weird fit isn’t it? Peacefully sad. Only possible through Christ. I got rocked this morning.To be sure it hurt. I fell from a pretty lofty lie. I was somewhere in the fake clouds when God shook me. I could not be more thankful. 
I feel real again. I can breath. I was reminded by my Father’s voice-I just want you to know you can tell me everything…and I want to know everything. So now I am content and at peace. I know that this cold, hard bench of grief that I sit on is where I need to be. I know that while sitting here, with a gleam of unexplainable hope in my eye, those who sit next to me, with no such gleam, will question me. I also know that my seat is right in the mud, it is right near the hurt-it is a perfect opportunity to encourage. This is my “ought to be.” Right now, I cannot leave this bench, or simply act like I am sitting somewhere else. No. This cold bench, where many have sat before, and many will continue to sit is my place. It is not who I am but it is a part of me.
Peace comes from recognizing my identity is not found in any bench; no matter how hard or soft it is.

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