I care enough to have the hard conversations.
I’ve been having several lately as a part of my quarter-life crisis, and it has me feeling incredibly vulnerable. It’s a bit paradoxical that I’m having such difficult dialogue both because and in spite of the vulnerability.
I love it because I want to be known more completely, to put my heart out there for people to see who I really am; vulnerability. I hate it because I run the risks of being misunderstood, criticized, avoided, silenced, rejected, etc.; vulnerability.
Despite the fact that those risks have become realities in my life, I keep on risking. Part of it is my commitment to practicing self-honesty. This encourages honesty with God and with others, so I continue leaning into the discomfort of difficult dialogue because I know the honesty of it all is worth it.
I’m either really foolish or really resilient. Perhaps it’s a bit of both—whatever it is, I still care and refuse to give up, especially when I’m in the middle of this crisis.
This quarter-life crisis has me questioning people, places, and things about which I had felt so certain. I wrote once about having a sense of belonging, how important that was for me, how sure I was about it. Now, many of those people, places, and things that were so motivating and reassuring for me are up in the air, and it sucks.
I know that there is a blessing in being able to change—the process of it still sucks. It sucks a lot.
It sucks a lot to have to question and evaluate what and whom I love, especially when I worked so hard to get to this point. Doing so has led me to think more about my heart and its inclinations. And thinking this way has led me to have a particularly challenging conversation about how I am stewarding these feelings and emotions of mine.
They can have me everywhere and nowhere all at once.
The tendencies of my heart have definitely influenced my search for new people, places, and things. In some ways, I have been desperately, vulnerably trying to replace this failing sense of belonging with all kinds of stuff that do too much and/or not enough.
Eventually, God grabbed my attention again (He’s good at doing that) and I began remembering that I believe God to be the ultimate satisfaction and considering that perhaps these people, places, and things are not as important as I have made them to be. I do think that they are important, and yet I know that they should pale in comparison to the important placement God deserves in my heart.
Admitting to myself that maybe I have not been loving God as much as I say or think I do was some real, worthwhile self-honesty. It humbled me to accept that I’m not as far along as I thought I was, and it compelled me to re-evaluate how I have been organizing my priorities. Again.
Again, paradoxically, I somehow trust that God is not so insecure that He, a loving Father, cannot handle the messy details of my life. I believe that God is the most trustworthy thing out there, so it makes perfect sense for me to entrust God with the most challenging and complex things. And yet, for whatever reasons, I want to act like some people and some causes and some organizations are the most trustworthy and dependable things out there. And sometimes, I do this and set myself up for absolute failure and disappointment. It can all really let a brother down.
I promise the human condition amazes and frustrates me sometimes. Lord have mercy on my heart because this thing is a trip!
Thankfully, God keeps on taking risks and giving me opportunity to accept or reject what He offers. The ways in which God continues pursuing me despite my own misgivings also motivate me to keep on caring and take my own risks to practice self-honesty and to have necessary hard conversations.
A prayer of mine lately has been that God would fill us full of His love. I’m realizing more and more now that that means being changed by His love, and that often happens through these hard conversations. When I’m open and vulnerable to be changed by His love, I’m more motivated to do what is necessary even when it’s hard. And when I close myself off, I’m less inclined.
Here’s to being more open, to continuing the practice of self-honesty, and to having more hard conversations.
Love Love Love,