Hello. It’s me. (I had to.) My name is Emily and I’m a FOCUS missionary at New York University. I live in Manhattan and I’m constantly on the go, praising the Lawd, working with students, meeting with my team, and maybe sometimes I sleep.
I want you to think that I have it all together.
I want you to think that I’m in love with every minute of my life.
I want you to think that I pray at every free moment.
I want you to think that I read 24/7.
I want you to think that even if I mess up, I hop right back up on my feet.
I want to you think that my heart is totally full, and not broken at all.
I want you to think that I’m confident in all things that make me, “me”.
I want you to think that I’m always happy. Always.
What I don’t want you to know is that I’m a SCATTER BRAIN that only dreeeeams of one day “having it all together.”
I don’t want you to know that sometimes I actually DON’T love my life, in fact there are moments when all I want to do is hide in a box and wait till I’m magically married with kids in a home with a white picket fence. Because, then, life will be easier…. Riiiiiight…
I don’t want you to know that prayer can be a struggle and desolation is REAL. (Recently, Jesus has loved just looking at me. That’s all. Juuuuuust looking. Which is beautiful, but difficult when all you want is for Him to speak DIRECTLY into your life problems and future decisions… Oh hey there, Faith and Trust! Nice to meet you.)
I don’t want you to know that I get about halfway through every book I’m handed and then I get distracted and want to move on to the next one. I have about 2,589,734,229 books left on my “to read” list and they are all sitting on my book self, where I pretend like I’ve finished them.
I don’t want you to know that, often, when I mess up, I throw myself a pity party… then I complain, then I’m extremely hard on myself, and then my God given friends whip me into shape and point me back to Christ. And THEN I stand back up.
I don’t want you to know that my heart is worn down from waiting. And sometimes, despite all of the beautiful graces that the Lord has given me, it still hurts.
I don’t want you to know that sometimes I look in the mirror and wish my dang cheeks weren’t so round. And that I weighed a little less. And that my eye color was a little more exciting.
What I don’t want you to know is that sometimes I’m unhappy.
I feel like recently I’ve been sucked into this world where everything needs to be perfect and successful, comfortable and confident. “If it doesn’t make you feel good, GET RID OF IT.” “If you’re feeling any type of heartache, YOU’VE DONE SOMETHING WRONG.” “If you’re lost, SHOOT, give up now!”
So I post happy pictures on Facebook, and you post happy pictures on Facebook, and we all compare the “public bests” with our “inner worsts” and are left feeling alone.
LAME. SAUCE. (Yes, I just said lame sauce.)
Yes, there is always a place for beauty and joy! My GOSH yes! Post dem pics! But Pain, insecurity, heartache, suffering? These are exactly where we are deeply united. It’s freeing to know that life is hard sometimes, and we won’t be able to fully understand why. But we WILL be able to find peace in the fact that we are not alone. We are never alone. And that we are loved, no matter the color of our eyes, or how round our cheeks are.
I don’t have it all together.
And that’s okay.
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” -Thomas Merton