“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind, always.” – Unknown
There’s a world behind your eyes that you hide from everyone else, only known by you and God. That world may hold pride, insecurity, anxiety, depression, and dreams of the future. Whatever you hold deep inside your soul that no one knows, we are all hiding something behind our eyes.
For many years as a teen and a young adult, I was a master at hiding my anxieties and fears. Not only was I skilled at hiding my anxiety disorder, but I was also an Oscar nominee for my ability to hide behind my spiritual prowess. On the outside, I appeared like a strong follower of Jesus; on the inside, I was a complete wreck, completely consumed with obsessive fears about condemnation for my failures, being damned by an angry God, and never measuring-up to “more spiritual people” than myself. My actions and vocabulary expressed the heart of a strong believer, while deep inside the self-destructive skeptic was consuming my mind.
Have you ever met someone and the first thought that came to mind was, “This person has their life together, much more than I do”? Give that person a few months to become your friend, to talk about life, and to open up their soul to you. Over time you will discover aspects of a person you never knew existed behind their eyes.
When I was a kid, it was easy to think that the “cool” kids had “being awesome” nailed down. Yet, as years passed, it shocked me how many of those same people began to fall apart…I never saw it coming.
The human spirit within each person looks a whole lot different to me now than even 5 years ago. If we begin looking at one another in the proper light, we will recognize ourselves as broken, fragile souls amidst broken and fragile souls. The facade becomes easy to see past; the broken, eternal spirit is what we find when we truly get to know someone else.
Hollywood has lied to us with their portrayal of the “ideal life”. While celebrities award themselves with raging applause in the bright lights, their lives are often falling apart quietly backstage. I don’t even need to give examples, because they’re so frequent…We’ve believed the lie that other people are more “whole” than ourselves, when in reality, we’re all broken vessels, desperate for healing and hope.
Look, I’m broken and I’m tired of pretending that I’m all-together, like a perfect illusion. My guess is that you’re tired and worn out from pretending, as well.
Everyone is going through something. Everyone breaks in one way or another. No one is immune to a world that is fallen, decaying, and in confusion.
As a follower of Jesus, I’m very thankful that the Eternal God still loves me, even in all of the mess that I’ve made of my life…He loves the creatures who bear His image – the ones He created to know Him intimately. In the grace that comes from the blood of Jesus, there is no condemnation, shame, or eternal damnation. His love is too furious to allow our mess to keep Him from his beloved.
Even if you don’t buy into Jesus, something is for certain: you aren’t alone in your pain. There are many people who can walk with you, encouraging you on the journey towards healing. You’re not a lost cause. You are never too damaged to find healing, to know hope, and to create a better future.
We’re all broken. Give yourself some grace and stop pretending like you have it all-together to have a place in this world. It’s OK to admit that you’re not alright. We’re all under renovation.