As I was preparing to share the deepest parts of me I decided to only share what I was comfortable with. So many of us go through life feeling misunderstood,alone, and broken. My hearts heavy for that hurt. Maybe because it’s my own too. Last week I gave a talk about suicide but I wanted to edit my story. A kind person told me that with God you stop caring what other people think of you. I thought about this and wasn’t too sure what I would do with it. I was still very reluctant to share that part of me. My friends, my family, my co-workers would be there I didn’t want them to know how recent my struggles are. I ended up showing up that night with all of me. Not just the deepest parts but the goofy ones and the ones who say ummm and like a little too much. When I was speaking up there to what had to be over 70 people, I was initially nervous. However at some point (after prayer) a calmness entered me and allowed me to just be present. It’s interesting to me that I had this struggle. To disclose or not to disclose. But letting people in opened up something entirely new . Before that day, I walked as if I ALWAYS had to be strong, I HAD to have it together , and I CAN’T let anyone see me struggling. I get this image of walking like a ballerina on her tiptoes 24/7 imagine how hard that would be. Even walking in them for shorts amount of time opens them up to excruciating pain. Hmm had I been walking with that much pain when it wasn’t necessary? I believe so. I know something big changed since I began developing the sermon. I went through books and books trying to find the right story. Only to land in Jonah and thoughts . God was with him in all his irrational thoughts and behaviors. That’s what I focused on that night. God being present and helping Jonah battle his mind. At the beginning of church I decided to pray and ask God that I be present and he be present with me, to be open and honest. That allowed all of me show up. I’m not sure entirely what you will get out of this blog. I hope it’s the ability to understand that you are not alone, there is a community who loves you, and that I’ve been where you are only wanting to share what you’re comfortable with.I’ve learned how only sharing parts of me was due to a hint of shame. I learned how showing up and being present gives shame no power. So I’ll be present, because I’m not walking alone. However acknowledge the truth this is a process not a destination. Like Jonah we can’t control what’s around us but we can control who’s with us. Love you guys

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