Sometimes on Fridays, I join They Gypsy Mama and her friends for Five Minute Friday. She gives us a topic and we “write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.” Today’s topic? Bare.
I wrote this post in my head while I was taking a shower. An appropriate place to think about the word “bare,” don’t you think?
I was always the modest one, hiding in the corner of the girls’ locker room to change clothes for P.E., marveling at those girls who could pull their shirts over their head mid-sentence, seemingly unaware that they were exposed to the rest of us.
I remember the day I became less modest: January 20, 2001. It was the day my first born son made a scene when he entered the word, displaying for the first, but not last time, his strong-willed tendencies when he refused to take that first breath on his own. I’d had a perfectly blissful and boring pregnancy, so none of us were expecting any problems. I’m not sure if it was the shock or the fact that I had been a NICU nurse, but as I watched the doctors stick a tiny tube down his throat and saw them press on his little chest, I felt like this craziness was happening to someone else’s baby. This surely wasn’t happening to me or my child. From my cloud of surreal surprise, as I watched nurses and doctors flood into and out of my hospital room, the most out-of-place thought popped into my head:
“I’m lying in this bed with my feet in stirrups and the door wide open, totally exposed for the whole wide world to see.”
And I just as quickly realized that the baby they were working on and had been waiting to meet for over nine months was in danger and I could not have cared less who saw all of me at that moment. All of my attention and energies were focused on that little boy and praying like I’d never prayed before that he was going to be okay.
The crisis passed almost as quickly as it had began, and that little baby is now a 12-year-old boy who still has strong-willed tendencies and a flair for the dramatic at times. But I’m not as modest as I was before that day.
My emotional modesty wasn’t lost in a moment or even a day. I think I’m still losing it in stages.
I lost a little the first time I shared a little bit of my story to a group of ladies and was overwhelmed by the number of new friends who came up to me after to say, “What, you, too? I thought I was the only one.”
I lost a little more when I married a man whose job requires us to move a lot and make friends quickly. I don’t have time to hide myself under layers and layers of pretense for potential friends to dig through and uncover. I have to be who I am right from the first hello.
I lost more when I decided to start a blog, not knowing that this would be the place I processed how I was feeling about my dad’s cancer and the fact that God decided it would be best for him to be healthy in Heaven but not here. I’ve bared my heart and soul here even when it wasn’t comfortable.
I lost even more on the blog that I didn’t make public and in my heart-felt prayers that I didn’t put into words. The places where I spit and spew and wrestled.
Bare is only one letter away from brave. It takes a lot of courage to say, “Here I am. This is me. This is my truth.” But with that openness comes freedom to be who we were created to be, not some cheap facsimile of ourselves that we don’t even recognize in the mirror.
I’m learning to bare myself to my Maker. Although He knows me better than I know myself, something happens inside me when I’m completely, unashamedly honest with Him.
Just as I am,
though tossed about
with many a conflict, many a doubt.
Fightings and fears, within, without
O Lamb of God, I come.
I’m still modest. Inside and out. And a little modesty is good, both inside and out. Some things are just not meant for the whole world to see.
But I’m still learning to be dare to be bare (just inside) to myself and to the rest of the world, discovering who I am and who I’m supposed to be.
Okay, that was a full 15 minutes because I got interrupted twice and was in the middle of a sentence and thought it rude to not let myself finish a thought. But I’m pushing the “publish” button without editing, which still makes my insides hurt.