It's not that I want to hear that my friends are struggling or that they've struggled, but I do want to know that I'm not the only one.
I'm not the only one who doesn't like potty training.
I'm not the only one who feels slightly psychotic when someone cuts me off in traffic.
I'm not the only parent who feels crazy at the library.
I'm not the only one who gets annoyed by people who interrupt.
I'm not the only one who wakes up grouchy sometimes.
It can be so intimidating to talk to someone who seems put together all the time. Those little moments when you show someone who you really are. Those can be the moments you shine. Those can be the difference makers for someone else.
So often, we feel like we have to plaster on a smile and keep on keeping on. We have to dress beautifully and sound smart. We need to have kids neatly lined up in outfits that match and shoes on their feet. We need to have awesome hair and bake awesome cookies and live awesomely awesome lives.
I guess sometimes I get a little tired of it all. I just know that I'm never going to be that person. I can put on a fake face and fake it up on Facebook. I can smile serenely and talk about how much I adore every moment of every day with my four kids.
Or.... I can be honest that sometimes it's not perfect in my world. Sometimes my breath stinks, I haven't taken a shower, and my kitchen looks awful. My kids are running circles around me and I'm yelling, "GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN! I'M TRYING TO MAKE YOU FOOD!"
Some days I'm not feeling it. I'm tired. My body aches, because this is my fifth pregnancy peeps, and I'm hormonal.
This does not mean that I think my life is at all sucky, or even that most of the time I'm annoyed or grouchy. It doesn't mean that my smile is always fake, or that my Facebook posts are generally a brazen lie. All it means is that I'm a real person, and that I have real moments just like... you. Real good moments, and real bad ones too.
People don't connect with one another on the superficial levels. People connect on the deeper issues, in the intimate moments.
Read this, if you don't believe me: Can 36 Questions Make you Fall in love - with anyone?
That article aside, God emphasizes relationships. The second greatest command is to love your brother as you would yourself. I wonder, is it loving to keep people on the surface? Your family consists of the people that you not only love more than anyone, but that you know the most about. Is that a coincidence? Those friends that you love so dearly? They're the ones who you share the most with, the ones you open up to - and who open up to you.
Jesus surrounded himself with 12 men who he could call friends, who he could share with and who could share with him. 12. That's quite a few.
When I think back on experiences I've had that have been difficult or especially happy I can often recall people who I've connected with because I've shared with them. It makes these people somehow that much more special to me.
When I ask you how you're doing, I don't want the customary, "Good." I'd like to hear how you're really doing. If you're doing wonderfully - then great! I'd love to hear why! If you're not doing so great, then you can tell me that too.
In this era of ipads, iphones, cubicle jobs, texting, and disconnect let's rage against the machine and connect on a more deeper level - in person, over the phone, with letters. Let's get real with people with regards to our good and our less than good moments and see where it takes us. You never know, it could be one of the best bridges you'll cross.