written to and for any fellow wanderer, flounder-er, seeker, explorer, disciple, sinner, screw-up, and friend.

Dear Sister, You're not the only one.

Dear Sister,

You’re not the only one.  

I pray that brings comfort.

You’re not the only one sitting in this row of chairs with a heavy heart. You’re not the only one who struggles with body image and her beauty and her identity and what she’s worth. You’re not the only one who feels like a less than; like maybe she doesn’t belong here; like maybe her sin isolates her, causing her to feel alone. Lonely. You’re not the only one who wants to walk out the back door, hide in the last row, and cry out, scream out, “is this really all there is?”

I see you sit there – crying on the inside, smiling on the outside – trying to look like the rest of us who feel the pressure to hold it all together. As you sit there with your bleeding heart and blood on your hands, wondering why you came this morning, to sing words to songs you don’t honestly mean, wondering how the rest of us could mean them - truly mean them. You’re not the only one who feels like a mess sometimes – maybe most of the time. Out of order, out of sorts, disfigured circumstances, crying out “What am I doing with my life?” You’re not the only one who compares herself to the prettier girl with the better clothes, the handsome man, and the seemingly perfect kids. You’re not the only one who sometimes feels less than because she’s single – like all your friends have moved on and there’s no room for you in their new life. You're not the only one, unable to have the children you want so desperately, feeling the anger toward God rise up in the core of your being, shaking your fist at the Heavens, knowing so many young women abort theirs and you, well... you'd give anything.  You’re not the only one who battles her family mess of relational dysfunction and years of hurt. You’re not the only one who’s been betrayed or cast aside, misunderstood and accused of a wrong you never did. You’re not the only one who got left; who endured that loss, that powerless feeling of having no choice but to say goodbye.

You’re not the only one who wonders if she’s loved in the middle of how screwed-up and lost and confused and fallen apart she feels.

I see you across the aisle there, wiping the tears from your face and hiding the blood on your hands, doing all you can to hide who you really are and what you’re really battling.

You’re not the only one who doubts if he’s out there, if he even exists, and cries out to God why he hasn’t brought him yet. You’re not the only one who fights depression, anxiety, fear or an eating disorder.
You're not the only one.

I want you to know that I see you. Not the skin-deep you, but the soul-deep you.

I see a heart.

A heart building strength out of your weakness.

Because, my sister, when you are weak then he is strong.

So be weak. And be Loved. It’s going to be okay.

Pour out your bleeding heart onto the altar before you. Let it flood.  I’ll walk up there with you. I’ll hold your hand. I won't leave.  It’s alright– I don’t mind your blood on me. I’ll clean it up behind you. I’ll wash it from your hands and wipe your tears with fresh, pure water. I’ll hold your hair back as tears stain your face – as you stay there, on your knees – in a ball of surrender.

You’re not the only one who’s fallen apart. Who's heart has broke wide open by pain.

I want you to know it’s only a matter of time before joy replaces the sorrow.
Where confidence replaces the doubt.
Where love replaces the fear.
Where his grace sustains you to the point of floating.

He’s going to enlarge your heart, Beloved.
He’s going to stop the bleeding.

You're not the only one - I promise.  You need the Body like the rest of us.  So lean on us.  Reach out to us.  Cry out to us.  Use us

I'll give all that I have and all that I can.
Here is my hand. 
Here is my shoulder. 
Here is my heart, offered to help the beating of yours. 

***we women need one another, don't we? I pray, and I pray, and I pray we would become the Body (of women) like we are called to.  That we would stop kicking each other around.  Hearts are bleeding everywhere.  We can't pretend like that's not true.  It's time we  LOVE EACHOTHER instead of allowing pride, jealousy, vanity, and comparison to divide us.***

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