I used to be the kind of girl who tried to be tough and strong. I listened to punk rock. I marched to my own drum. I probably didn't need your help. Or at least I tried to make you think that. I had some pretty high walls up. I knew how to keep people out. And if I didn't, there was always sarcasm.
I was reading tonight (still Bittersweet- which I love!) and reflecting on a chapter about how she says this referring to a dark period in her life "I see the moments of heartbreak that led to honesty about myself I wouldn't have been able to get to any other way". I love that.
It made me think of all the times I have cried- very openly- this school year. When people ask me how my day is, no matter how casually, there is a 75% chance I will tear up right then. Some have even been concerned for me regarding this.
But maybe the tears are a good thing.
Maybe the tears are bringing about a beautiful, God ordained, perfectly planned change in me. A change where I too am being led to honesty with myself I wouldn't have gotten any other way. That makes me smile. Yes- I am crying a lot. But how beautiful is it that I'm not holding it in. I've been the kind of person who's done that- held everything in. It's been a huge struggle for me to open up to others, and anyone who has tried to get to know me can attest to that. I'm excited for myself for being honest with my team, my community group, the world, whoever will listen. I'm not saying I shouldn't keep training myself to look for the good- I should- God's gifts are everywhere. But for the first time in my life, I'm not just saying it's all ok.
So here I am just openly saying thank you to anyone who has seen me cry and not turned me away. Thank you for allowing me to be honest, to be myself, to open myself up completely raw and wounded. Thank you for walking through this time with me where I've learned some difficult, beautiful lessons. Lessons in being honest. Thank you that I haven't had to feel like I needed to hide behind the wall. Thank you that you have allowed me to be weak and broken in your presence. For me, this is a great thing. And I think the Lord for all of you.
And as always, thank you to my Lord and Savior for allowing me to be broken. Broken so deeply in every way that I can't hold myself together, that I can't put my best face forward, that I can't fake it until I make it. Thank you for forcing me to learn that honesty is good and being real with people is ok. Maybe even lovely.
I'm a girl who thought she could handle a lot. And now knows she cannot. But I think I love that. Because for the rest of my life, I will walk humbly and allow myself to open up easily. I will cry with anyone and understand your pain. I can pray with you in a way maybe I never could before.
My name is Ashley, and I'm pretty broken. But I'm ok with that.