Friday, I read this quote.
“Friends are people with whom you dare to be yourself. Your soul can be naked with them. They ask you to put on nothing, only to be what you are. They do not want you to be better or worse. When you are with them, you feel as a prisoner feels who has been declared innocent. You do not have to be on your guard. You can say what you think, as long as it is genuinely you. Friends understand those contradictions in your nature that lead others to misjudge you. With them you breathe freely. You can avow your little vanities and envies and hates and vicious sparks, your meannesses and absurdities, and in opening them up to friends, they are lost, dissolved on the white ocean of their loyalty. They understand. You do not have to be careful. You can abuse them, neglect them, tolerate them. Best of all, you can keep still with them. It makes no matter. They like you. They are like fire that purges to the bone. They understand. You can weep with them, sing with them, laugh with them, pray with them. Through it all—and underneath—they see, know, and love you. A friend? What is a friend? Just one, I repeat, with whom you dare to be yourself.” — C. Raymond Beran.
I immediately sent this to Megan.
I said, “so you.”
I was overwhelmed. That isn’t saying much, because according to this test, I’m 24/27 highly sensitive. (Not that I need a test to tell me..)
Anyway, she sent me a box. Not just any box, but a box with a tree that looks straight out of The Lion King. With a Cookies n’ Cream Hershey’s bar. A leaf ring. A locket necklace with charms surrounding. Stouffer’s chocolate. BACON flavored lipgloss..
Let’s not forget the #bestiefortherestie necklace. (It’s really a leaf with the word “BEST” in the corner.. But, MEGANNN, we need a #bestiefortherestie necklace, kayy?) And her book.
I’m in a real difficult place—this place where I want perfection, but I’m curled up in fear because I want to let go. I’m tired of not being me. A child. Who isn’t asked to do everything right the first time around. Or the second. Third. Fourth. Even beyond.
This morning, my mom and I were talking about mistakes. Today, I was published in the same magazine where I sought approval in October. I sat there crying when it didn’t go how I expected. I didn’t think I deserved it. I thought it was a mistake.
This time, the happiness I felt the first time, wasn’t there. When I saw the email saying the issue came out today, my heart stopped. There’s a word in the poem they chose, I feel changes the whole meaning. I asked if I could edit. I was told to wait and “don’t get your hopes up.”
I did though. Then, I worried. I’ve been a teeter totter. God, no way!! Why would they pick me again? You’ll come through! What if they say no?
And you know what? They never let me fix it. And my mom’s words after my angered question (toward myself) about why this bothers me, hit like a ton of bricks.
Maybe you won’t admit to yourself you made a mistake.
She’s 150% percent right. I don’t want people to see this poem isn’t exactly how I wanted. Much like the relationship this talks about. I especially don’t want the person this is about, my dad, to get the wrong idea.
Do you see where this is going? God already knew this was going to happen. They’d say yes. I’d deny it for a week. I’d finally look, only to see a mistake I d ask to fix. And now, it’s out there, out of my hands.
It’s reminds me of Megan writing about her unbelief at my 7 poem poetry book. How small. How short of perfection: no copyright page, different font sizes, formatting, and no doubt spelling errors. Brutally honest, but lovingly so.
If I’m honest, I didn’t want to publish that book. I was discouraged everywhere I looked, even myself. If it wasn’t for the friends I shared this with through here, and real life ones, like Megan, I would’ve gave up.
God moved through my small offering of imperfect.
I always want Him to impact a ton of people (okay, whole world) with my writing. That’s never been His intention though.
It’s been a few people, who see past my approval hungered heart, whispering: I love you. Be you. You are beautiful.
And God’s lesson today: Let Me shine through the small.