Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just the Same

As a little girl, I would sit on the stoop of our front porch and pretend to be a movie-star.  I’d sit with my heart-shaped sunglasses, my baby in a stroller, with a purse by my side and I would imagine life as a celebrity.  I would make-believe to my imaginary friends, the ins and outs of my famous life, and I’d dream of happy-ever-afters.  When I look back now, my adult-self recognizes that I had a desire to be known.  I still do.  In fact, I believe that each of us wants to be known.  We yearn for a life filled with reciprocal relationships and interactions and exchanges that make us more than just a number.  We want to be known.

Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, when someone knows more than just our frame, we feel valued.  It surprises my husband when I can pre-calculate his response to a certain situation.  He is always astonished exclaiming, “How did you know, I’d say that.”  And each time, I smile at him and say, “…because I know you.”  I know that according to him there is a right way and a wrong way for the toilet paper to roll off its dispenser.  I know he likes to whistle in the shower and that he likes to drink water from his cereal bowl when he is finished eating.  He is very adamant about how he washes his face and how he dries it off.  I know that his face lights up when he sees babies or little children and that he worries about blocked arteries and cholesterol more than most.  He may find it silly that I can recall to memory the little things that make him who he is but I know that when I recognize all his unique parts, he is made more aware of how much I love him.

We desire to be heard, to go noticed, and to be known.  As much as we are frightened by vulnerability, we desire to share our secrets rather than live an anonymous life.  However, it is common that we want people to see our good, just not the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I know that for me, I want people in my life to know me, but probably only to a certain extent.  I would hate for them to see my ugly thoughts, my angry grunts, and my judging ways.

We’d be okay if being known meant that people had a photo-shopped image of us and were barred access to any paparazzi photograph that catches us in our imperfections.  It would be less stressful if we could arrange bouquets of words to describe ourselves and send them out in brilliant press releases.  Yet, the truth is to be known by someone means that they recognize your good and extend grace on your faults.  Few of us ever bask in the gift it is to be truly known because we are afraid to bring light to our dark spots.

In Psalm 139:1-4 it says, “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, oh Lord.”

My God knows me.  All of me, in fact.  He knows my thoughts and is familiar with my life.  The God of the entire universe knows me and in more ways than I can could ever even conceive.  He and I are on more than just a first name basis.  He knows my thoughts before they are even my own and He loves me still.  My God knows me completely.  He is aware of my jealousy, my impatience, and my frustrations and He cares about all of it.

Can you even imagine?  This God knows it all.  That’s enough to send me into a frantic sweat.  But the verses go on to say that there is nowhere we can hide from Him.  No place where we need to hide because even from the far ends of the earth He will guide us and hold us.  We are truly known by a God that loves us.  There isn’t a need to conceal the bad and the ugly because He already is aware and still has chosen to love us and call our names.

On a brave day, I let Nate in on one of my “keep it to myself” thoughts.  I start by stating that it will be very unattractive, I word vomit my blood boiling secret, and then I squeeze my eyes shut and hold my breath.  It’s like I am waiting for him to look at me in disgust, break his vows to love me, and walk away.  Instead, he finds a way to encourage me in my imperfections and loves me just the same.  Nate, like God, knows me and even still loves me.

My little girl dreams were built on being a celebrity.  I wanted my name in lights and for people to think that I was beautiful.  Those dreams have since faded and my desire now is to simply be known in the hopes of being loved.  I am blessed to have a man, a family, and friends who do just that.  But, the one who knows the whole truth- every treacherous thought and twisted logic, lifts my head from being hung in shame and reminds me that no matter where or what, He has searched me and loves me just the same.

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