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Umbrellas and Shadows

If you were to ask me, in this moment, what I wanted more than anything, it’d be this: I want everyone to just stop talking. I want silence or actions. I don’t want to hear another word.

People are quick to speak. [I’m quick to speak.] They agree with you when you champion a cause. They talk of collaborating, of understanding, of partnering. And then the time for real work comes, and not a single soul is to be found. It’s easier to talk, easier to nod your head in agreement, easier to spout off some seemingly sincere words.

I grew tired of insincere words once. I was prepubescent and learning to deal with the fact that the people who said they loved me not only turned their backs on me, but had actively hurt me and continued to do so. What’s a little girl to do with that? I decided it was safer to not believe people until they proved their words; to keep them at arms’ length until they earned my trust.

I’m not that little girl anymore, but man, it still hurts like hell today. I’ve learned to lower my walls, embrace vulnerability, tell people the truth. And sometimes, I am not alone in doing that. But these days, I feel like I’ve been wielding a sword on behalf of things and people I believed were are worth the fight. And I am all alone. No one is fighting with me. No one is fighting for me.

But there remains that incessant chatter, the unending words of agreement and discontent and everything in between. And there remains, still, no follow-through. So my pain says, “I just want silence. No more words.” But, really, my heart says, “Fight for me. Fight with me. Don’t hold my hand in private and abandon me in public. Don’t ‘love’ me only when it is convenient for you.”

I’m tired of convenient love. Of people who claim the name “Christian” but don’t ever stop to think about God’s world or the broken people in it. Of people who claim to desire authenticity and depth in relationships yet never tell each other the truth. Of people who claim to love me but only as long as I act like everything’s okay. Because love and community and following Jesus have been reduced to a matter of convenience. But of course that’s what it’s become. When we’ve reduced the Almighty God to a pocket-sized boyfriend or Valentine, or reduced His word to a collection of inspirational quotes and Facebook statuses to help us get through tough days, of course this is what we’ve become.

You say that you love rain,
but you open your umbrella when it rains.
You say that you love the sun,
but you find a shadow spot when the sun shines.
You say that you love the wind,
but you close your windows when the wind blows.
This is why I am afraid;
you say that you love me too.
– A Turkish poem

And more than all of that, this has opened up a window into my soul and showed me how I am what I despise. For as much as I loathe the empty words and convenient affection, I have embraced those things in areas of my life as well. I watched the video below and sobbed uncontrollably because I want to be her. I want to say that something is my thing and that I’m giving up my life to fight for it. And I think I know what that thing is, but fear has kept me stationary, stagnant. And it took getting hurt to see that my dreams are bigger than the box I’ve placed them; bigger than the place I’m currently sitting in.

So I’m, finally, getting off my ass and doing something. These steps are so small they can’t even be called baby steps. But they are steps. And I’m going to move. And I’m going to choose to be inconvenienced and uncomfortable and real. I’m done with buttering people up and accepting that from them. I want to grow and change and evolve into a woman of character and substance and depth. And that doesn’t come through convenient love. It comes through hard conversations and real life with real people.

And to my real people, you know who you are, thank you. You pulled me out of this ditch of sadness faster than I could’ve made it out myself. Because of you, I am challenged to stop complaining and just move. It’s my move. I’m taking it.


About thehonestbrave

tending the space between where i am and where i want to be.

2 responses »

  1. I love this. What you just said is my heart right now as well. And that video was inspiring. Thank you for sharing Chich.


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