She captured my eyes from across the field. There we had met the year before as she was a camper in my cabin at youth camp.
I was excited to be back and seeing a familiar face was like heaven. She and I had had great conversations the year before. Me sharing mistakes of my youth and her telling of how she was going to rise up to be the leader God had called her to be.
Being authentic and real.
There is something about sharing the real and raw of life that allows others to do the same. Late at night last year we had done that — laid it all out. Nothing held back. I believed her convictions and felt the burden on her heart.
But here we were a year later. We had kept in touch, but had let the busyness of life sneak in the last few months. Gazing up and seeing her bright smile made my day.
We laughed, hugged and were so happy to share another week together.
A new conversation.
Although we were no longer sharing the same cabin, my friend and I would catch little glimpses of time to visit. It was a new conversation though. The last year had been hard as she waded through many struggles and challenges.
I continually found myself wiping my tears and inwardly shaking my fist at the evil one. It’s as if I wanted to scream at him “how dare you snatch these days from her in worry and fear?”
I was thankful for the truthfulness of life that she and I shared as I remembered back to my youth. Back then, I wouldn’t have been real and raw with what I was going through. Not because no one would listen or there was no one to share with, but because no one else was raw and authentic either. And because no one shared the ugly, it seemed as if no one had problems but me.
Thankful for the openness.
Being real with others leads to a deeper level of trust.
My job as counselor would have been a waste if I wouldn’t have been able to share from a deep and authentic place.
What about you? Is it hard for you to share from such a vulnerable place?
Can you see how opening up to another gives them the freedom to open up to you?