Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hold on, let me tuck in my love handles.

Do you ever have those days where you just feel ridiculous? Or those weeks? Or maybe longer. I feel like my life has been one long... well, lifespan, of trying not to look ridiculous. Will everyone look at me if I walk in late? I think I'll pass on ping pong - I'm horrible anyway.

On a side note, I just realized the other day that I'm pretty sure I have never played a legitimate game of ping pong. I just tell people I'm really bad and let them play with people who are less bad than I am.

It's really hard to keep up a facade of perfection. I would know; I've tried all my life. And a lot of the time, I think, I've been pretty convincing. I'm the girl who always got those yearbook autographs that said things like, ‘Reagan you seem so nice. Wish we could have talked more.’ Really? You don't know that I'm nice. You just know that I only said 3 words in the entirety of my high school career.

I'll be giving my testimony at Aftershock in a few weeks. I think this is what I'm going to talk about. The lifelong angst of pseudo-perfectionism. How, really, you're not perfect. You're just invisible.

I go to great lengths to shield my crazy and broken and flabby self from the rest of the world. But I don't understand why it's so important to me. Over the last few months, I've gotten to know some pretty cool people. And they're cool because they're authentic. They're REAL. And every time someone has walked up to me and said something like, 'REAGAN, what's wrong? No, you're not fine. What's the deal?' it has been such a punch in face and yet... a relief. Oh yeah, they're not idiots. They know I'm a human who doesn't have it all together.

This scenario happened (again) this week, actually. The Bridge staff went on a 26-hour retreat, just taking time off to relax, cast a vision, talk about where we are, and learn about Jesus. I had been feeling kind of off that day, but since I'm the bottle-it-up-and-don't-tell-anyone-unless-they-threaten-to-crucify-me type, I tried to be pretty low-key (which isn't unusual anyway, I guess). One of my friends caught me and demanded (after the "I'm fine" spiel, of course) that I talk to her about what was going on with me. So I did. And it was embarrassing, and vulnerable, and freeing. Because, really, we keep people at arm's length when all we want is to be known. To be heard. For someone to see us be ridiculous and still think we’re incredible and worthy of love and grace and things that are beautiful.

That same freedom – only better – is found in the grace of Jesus Christ, though I’m just as hesitant to embrace it. I so often forget that I’m saved, I’m righteous, I’m already purified. I don’t have to hide my crap from Him. I don’t have to live ashamed. I don’t have to be good enough for Him to love me. I don’t have to be a pretty wallflower for Him to think I’m nice. He delights in me. And if all my worth is in Him – in His salvation, His sacrifice, His love, and the only real satisfaction that exists – I don’t have to feel alone anymore.

I wrote this in my journal during our study over Galatians:

I am plagued with the thinking that if I could just get it together/right, God will see that, reward me, and value me more. He’ll see that I’m “ready.” I’m not motivated by grace – God is in me; I am righteous; I’m okay. I am motivated by shame, greed, [and all that is encompassed by the kingdom of Reagan]. I am not free. My identity is based on all that I will someday attain. When I accept grace – that I am righteous through salvation – I am convicted when I sin – I can be corrected for growth – but I am not ultimately devalued as a human being – God’s child.

Don’t forget that I am already good enough – purified.

Grace leads to obedience.

Oh yeah, God’s not an idiot. He knows I’m a human who doesn’t have it all together.

I can’t explain (and I usually forget) how much freedom there is in dropping your defenses. How much beauty there is in true community – people who love you because of God’s love for them.

So much better than being a pretty wallflower.

Image source.


  1. wow. i love learning about you. i love when you let me into what's going on and give me a glimpse. i look forward to your testimony. and i look forward to the next time you tell me about things.

  2. p.s. your background of graffiti is flippin great.

  3. Wow. This is so beautiful. Its a monument- a stone at Gilgal. Thanks for sharing this in your incredible way of sharing.