“I’d have to know myself and be known.” – Donald Miller, Chapter 1, Scary Close.
I’m, of course, not accusing Don of plagiarizing me. That’s ridiculous. But when I read this, my heart stopped. Because it’s what in learned in 2013 after a very long and intense bible study. (Click HERE to read that story) and then became the subject of the workshop I did at the 2014 Women2Women conference.
And, subsequently, became the reason 2014 was one of the worst years of my life.
Not because I let myself be known, exactly. But because those people, to which I loved the most and I let myself be known, left. There were only a couple of people that it really mattered to for me, which is why I chose them.
And then it got too hard. I screwed it up. They screwed it up. We tried to move on, but it hasn’t really worked. Because when someone knows who you really are and they decide you aren’t worth it, that open heart you laid at their feet is no longer protected. And that’s why it hasn’t worked to move forward. Trust was gone. Pain rose to the surface. And like Don shares about his wife, she is wired to withhold trust until it is earned. The problem was that I thought those I chose had earned my trust.
I’m apparently a pretty bad judge of character in this arena.
[Or, you know, maybe I need to just learn how to offer more grace to people and accept that relationships ebb and flow.]
[But, like Don’s wife, I lay a foundation with trusted friends and family. And to those people I am ferociously loyal. I don’t like to give up. When I love someone, I need to fight for them. But then when I fight too hard without getting signs from them that they still love me, I start to feel desperate. Then I withdraw.]
Do you see how confusing this is for me?
Don opens up in his first chapter about how he was afraid that people wouldn’t love who he was while he was in process, so the real him hid backstage, and he pushed another part of himself forward to perform for the world.
In chapter two, Don took me down with his authenticity about his own brokenness. He shared about a painful broken engagement, and the realization of unhealthy patterns he had. Patterns so careless, “it could level a heart.” (pg 11)
But he encounters someone who defines friendship at its very core. He finds someone who could speak truth to his heart so much so that his patterns are revealed. He begins to break even further so that he can be put back together. And that friend showed up and was willing to wade through the mess of Don’s soul with him.
[We all need friends like this. Don’t we?]
I won’t tell you the story, because, well, I think you should read the book. But also, because tears.
Seriously… guys. We’re just done with chapter two. I’m exhausted.