I’ve had many almosts in my life.
I almost died when I was 3 because of a rare heart virus.
I almost transferred to Moody Bible Institute my freshman year of college.
I almost flipped my car that one morning on the way to work.
I almost missed some of the best years of my life.
He almost fell in love with me.
He almost came to see me that night.
Sometimes I think about the life that would have resulted if the almosts had happened. Especially in relationships. Where would I be now if he had fallen while I was falling? Would we be married? Would we have broken up? Would I be happy? What about if he came to see me that night. Would he have been certain? Would he have chased me after I moved across the country? Would he have followed through with his proclamations of wanting to marry me?
The word almost has so many variables to it. The things I could have done better. The things someone else could have done better. The things outside both our control. It used to madden me. If only I could figure out the formula for almost to become always. And yet. I couldn’t and I still can’t.
But one thing I have learned is that sometimes my almosts come from my failure. My walls. My fear. My anger. My lack of follow-through. I’ve missed out on some pretty great experiences because I wasn’t willing to give up one thing to move my uncertainty to certainty.
I don’t like to admit this but I keep high walls around my heart.
I let you in, dear friends, on my terms. I let you in to my mess because for the most part you can’t hurt me back. There have been times the words I’ve written have gotten me in trouble, or someone vehemently disagreed, or I said too much. But I allow the stuff I want to leak out to slowly come through. Giving you a picture of my life. I don’t hide the messy and the broken. I don’t try to put a mask on the ugly moments of my life and how I wrestle through it.
In all that I am authentically myself. Maybe more so than I allow myself to be in real life. But when it comes to face-to-face interactions with people around me, I’m guarded. Cautious. Always waiting for a rejection or someone to hurt me. Sometimes I wonder if I’m so preoccupied with waiting for hurt that I forget to live and miss the chance at deep relationships.
I want to be better at that. The way I love and let others love me. I’ve experienced deep life-giving love. I’ve known what it’s like to be known. Seen and known and fully loved. But sometimes I get so caught up in playing it coy or not revealing too much or worrying about how I’ll be seen that I forget to allow myself to just be.
So here’s a confession: I try too hard. If not all the time then most of the time. And I want to be the type of person who is so at rest in herself and who she is in Christ that I invite all those around me to rest.
This holiday season I’m going to try less and love more. I’m going to stop living in a world of almost and be confident in the always. I’m going to let my guard down with those around me in my day to day community. I’m going to be brave and selfless. I’m going to love hard and probably a bit recklessly. I’m going to let myself be known.