See Me.

Last night I slept with the blinds open. I was awake on and off – mostly on, unfortunately. I was struggling to get my mind to rest so I could drift off into dreamland. However, anxiety had set in and I knew that it would be a long night. I watched the snow fall from the purple sky and wondered what was ahead of me. In my anxious thoughts, which tend to always spiral too quickly from one thing to the next to even be able to trace them or keep up with them, I found a common theme. My anxieties about returning home were always present – an underlying current that ebbed and flowed so consistently that you could almost forget that it was there, until you let down your guard so much that it quickly swept you under.
The current is strong and I always feel as though I am adjusting too it and aware of it – as though I am stronger each and every time I must face it. And then it always seems to pull me under. So what? Is there a solution? Is there something more that I can or should do? Or is there any answer at all to these questions and issues?
I don’t know. I may never know. But I DO know that in those quiet yet anxious moments, as the snow fell peacefully outside, my heart ached and these words floated through my heart:
When you see me, please don’t see my body.
Don’t see the scars on my arms from battles that were fought bravely but still lost.
Don’t see the chips in my nails, where anxiety lays its sneaky head to rest.
Don’t see the curves in my waist, courtesy of all the leaves of lettuce I chose valiantly over sandwiches.
Don’t see my feet whose greatest companion is the track on the treadmill and the steps on the stair master.
Don’t see my hands, the way they shake as you lean in towards me longing to know me.

When you see me, see who I really am.
See my heart—the way it longs for justice and love and peace.
See my eyes—the way they sparkle and light up as I pursue the things I’m passionate about.
Hear my words—even if my voice shakes, please. Please just hear my words.
See my smile—the way my dimples come and go in waves with the edges of my mouth.
See my spirit—the way it dances around the room and leaves nothing untouched.
See my love—the willingness with which I offer up forgiveness.
See my soul—its longing to know Christ and to lead the world around me to know Him too.
See my battles—my demons, anxieties, illnesses, faults, and weaknesses.

But please also see the way I fight for life, happiness, and joy.
See all of me and see me for the truth.
See me for me.
See ME.
I think maybe our greatest wish as humans is to be seen. We don’t need to be the star, to win the game, to come out on top – we only need to feel as though we are heard. When we feel heard we feel loved and when we feel loved we feel safe. When we feel safe we are more capable of opening up our hearts to others and encouraging them to embark on the same journey of seeking to be heard, seen, known, and loved.
I am 22. I don’t know what I’m doing with my life or where I’ll end up, I only know where I’ve been and where I am now. I know that I am longing to be heard, to be seen, to be loved. And I know that, more than anything in this life, I want to be able to offer that acceptance and compassion to the people surrounding me. Maybe it’s okay to not know all the answers to the questions we ask ourselves late at night. Maybe it’s okay to accept that we have no idea where we’re going. Maybe it’s okay to ask to be seen and heard in ways that make us feel loved, accepted, and safe. Maybe, just maybe…at some point in my life….the current won’t sweep me under. It’s possible that I won’t ever be fully prepared for it, but maybe I can learn to accept it and embrace it and maybe even to love it.
One of my greatest fears is not being seen and not being heard. I thank God for the occasional sleepless night that helps me know myself a little bit better by exposing the deepest anxieties, worries, and insecurities that are on my heart.

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
Corrie ten Boom

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

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