A Tapestry of Grace

I know it has been awhile...

I am sorry.

I have been working through some stuff...and sometimes writing isn't always how I do that...oddly enough.

Friday night I wrote a post on a private blog that my C7 women have together. I was raw, open, embarrassed, troubled, searching, and spent.

They responded.

I am here today to write that I am a woman who is becoming truly known...

I started writing more and deleted it. I want to let that statement simmer in me...and in whatever readers I have....


I literally just laughed, smiled, cried, and relaxed my shoulders...all at the same time.

You know when you think you know how much something means to you, and then you learn how very much something means to you...and it is MORE?!


Let me just say that the family that I have....the friends that I have....the church that I have (and that does NOT mean a building)....the community that I have (and that is not geography)....the tribe that has been created around me (that means tribe ;) ).....the work that I feel a calling for (never, ever, EVER had that before).....the causes I feel drawn to and the "community" they each bring with them....the people, strangers, that are becoming my allies (and that means champions of my heart)....all of these....All.....are helping me to let go and allow myself to be known. Known.

We are all such frauds in our lives. I put myself out there as having been a huge one. We hide from who we are, what we believe, who we love, who we don't love, our standards, our sins, our strengths, our wins, our gifts, and on and on. We are frauds because we don't want to get hurt....because we have already been hurt, and we don't want to feel that EVER again. We are frauds because we have built marriages, families, careers, and social media profiles around who we believe we are supposed to be. Who are parents told us to be. Who are church told us to be. Who are friends told us to be. Who are employers told us to be. Who do we think we are supposed to be???

I lied to myself for years that everything in my life was completely dependent upon me. I was then consistently surprised when things did not work out. I was also consistently surprised when they did. Hmmmm....

I had this encounter Friday night that shook me to my core. Who I once was met who I am becoming, and I felt shame. Had I done anything wrong? No. Sinned? No. Lied? No. Changed. Yes.


We are not allowed to change.


....and now it just got real....

We don't give ourselves the permission to change.

Now sometimes others don't either, but the shock for me Friday night??? Was that I hadn't allowed myself permission to change. I struggle desperately to be comfortable in my own skin. It is a huge failing in my own eyes. So when someone says something to me that is an observation (positive or negative) on something that is distinctly "Heather"...I tell you....I freak. Don't worry...only on the inside. ;)  I am so...SO....much better today than I have probably ever been (ask my Sis...even she has noticed), but I have miles....I tell you honestly...miles before I am where I need to be. It is a battle for me. Truly.

So.....to be "known" for someone like me....is beyond difficult. The difference today is that I realize that I have to fix my own issues with being comfortable in my own skin before I will ever be in a place where I can be truly known by others. That has been a year's journey in the making...I am actually coming up on my anniversary of that a-ha moment. (just realized that as I was writing :)).

So what caused me to start writing this....well it has taken me two days to become brave enough to sit down and write in my "regular" blog...this is me being BRAVE. Writing has saved me these past few years, and it is here, writing, that I sort out the rumblings in my head, my heart, and my spirit. I also know that I am not the only one out here battling....not the world, not God, not society....but battling ourselves. The demon within.

....and *Sigh*....

I fly to Colorado this Thursday for a four day Advanced Captivating Women's Ministry Retreat. It is the "advanced" version of the one I went to last October. This is the first "advanced" one Ransomed Heart has done...I know, I know...First Edition. ;) :)  I am equal parts terrified and beyond ecstatic. Five of my C7 will be there, and just the thought of the hugs we will share, the connection, the joy, the safety of being with five people who "know" me and love me and encourage me and allow me to do and be all of that for them....Well, it is breathtaking.

In just one year, my whole life has changed....from the inside out.

It hasn't, and isn't, always comfortable for me. It isn't easy. It has been lonely at times. It is a journey that I don't want to ever repeat. I don't see that I ever will...my tribe would not allow that. ;)

Allowing ourselves to be real, to be known...is to be vulnerable, to stand up to shame and regret...it is SO worth confronting all of that ick. The journey is worth it. The work is worth it.

I am not where I want or need to be...I am a work-in-process if ever there was one, but I am putting in the work. Change is not for the faint of heart...

I'm just Heather. Nothing more. Nothing less. I am a crazy, jigsaw quilt, a beautiful tapestry.

Friday night I was searching for something to soothe my spirit. I was rattled. I tripped over (read that as God sent) this song Tapestry by Hillsong United, and it did just that...as it rocked me...because in letting go of what I believe other's expect of me...in work, in life, in church, in friendships....it means I have to stop striving....and I can't give up one type of striving for another....because then I am just switching out addictions. My name is Heather, and I am a striver. Bless my heart. I want to be good. I want to be liked. I want to be loved. I want to be the best at my job. The best friend. The best daughter. The best sister. The best aunt. The best Christian. The best organizer. The best at sculling. The best facilitator. The best board member. The best partner. The best at being vulnerable (dang you Brene Brown). The best...the best...the best.

I am exhausted.

Friday night the women I have allowed in my dark places met me there when I cried out....I am not the best. Sh*t. Now what do I do??

Now...now, you live.

I am a recovering striver.

I battle it every day. Every. Day.

What would our day look like if we weren't all "striving"....if our churches didn't strive, our businesses, our government, our world...what if we just lived? Relaxing in the goodness of a moment, a day, a lifetime? What would that look like?

I have no idea. {Laughing here. Nervously.} I really don't, but I know that I want to know what my life would like if I wasn't striving to be so stinking (not really the word in my head) perfect all the damn time.

Our lives are tapestries of grace...Grace. No matter your beliefs, lives, shortcomings, or a multitude of other caveats...it doesn't matter. Your life...my life....our lives are tapestries of grace. We have to learn how to show it to each other more and ever more each day, but my lesson...THE lesson....is that if you don't learn to show grace to yourself...in the moments, in the days, in the years of your life. You will not...you will not EVER be able to show grace to others. You cannot offer others what you do not offer yourself.

....and now I need to lay down....because that just took me out.


Maybe I am growing...maybe I am learning to believe in grace for myself...Whoa.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)