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Oh boy, these prompts for the Blog Every Day in May challenge are getting harder.

We’re supposed to talk about our fears. I wonder if  maybe I should be funny to turn the attention away from what I’m really afraid of. No. I want to be authentic. Imperfect. Real.

Not so much for me, but for you. In the past few years I have read stories of incredibly brave women who were willing to tell the world that they weren’t perfect. It gave me permission to not be perfect. I learned of grace and community. I read of women across the globe connecting and supporting one another. I wanted that, too, but God was has been calling me to start closer to home.

I’ve been called to build right here where I live in Sheridan. Our church went through a series about a  Culture of Honor; what I was hearing scared me. Every week, I kept thinking about how these are the people I am to build a life with. It took me many months to get the courage up to reach out. It started with telling 2 women that I wanted to build a friendship with them, but I didn’t know how to do that.

Right there, that’s my biggest fear.

Building a real deep, vulnerable friendship with women. Yo, us women scare me. We have such a great ability to be nice to someone’s face then tear them down as soon as their back is turned.

[There are very few people I am completely vulnerable with, one of those is Chani.]

Why do women scare me? Well, it’s particularly Christian women. Not only do they do what I mention above, but then they tie your  worth or goodness into it with a dose of self-righteousness to hide the fact that they’re not any different. I am a woman. I am a Christian. I am sure I’ve done that, too. But I tell you, I’m more likely to go talk to my friend who used to be a Christian than one who still is.

[I feel sick in the pit of my stomach right now. This is too honest, I think.]

To be vulnerable would be to say, “Hey, here’s my ugliness. Love me anyway. Here’s what I’m struggling with. Here, let me hand you my heart.” Will they crush it? Will they pretend to care then gossip about me? Will I fit in? They are perfect with their perfect husbands and their perfect kids. Have they been in my place?

What do I even need from them? Compassion. Accountability. Love. Acceptance. The, “Hey, we’re all sinners. I get it. How can we help you? No judging here. What is God saying to you about this? The sin, it has to go, but we’ll walk you through. Tough day? We’re here. Alone? No, you’re not. This is your journey and there is grace even for the ugly, especially for the ugly. God is with  you. I am with  you.”

My heart is feeling a little raw right now.

As I write this, I hear the words from an old hymn over and over:

I hear the voice of Jesus say
Come unto me and rest
Lay down,  oh weary one
Lay down your  head upon my breast

I think I’ll do that right now, thank you very much. This is hard work right here!

*Read about the fears of hundreds of other women over at Story of My Life. You might just read a couple…