From One Unworthy-in-a-Good-Way Friend to Another: Why I Write

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from one unworthy in a good way friend to another: why I write Can I be honest? Writing this post was hard.

More than once, I extended my arms long, bowed my head low and shouted (in Wayne’s World fashion), “I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!” -- because I find myself among a group of contributing writers, all of them wildly accomplished, incredibly gifted, tremendously influential.

Which makes me think about how I am not an adopter of orphaned children, a writer of best-selling books, a missionary to remote villages, an artist of painted pictures, a speaker to soul-searching multitudes... and how I have this little problem with comparing myself to others.

But then God reminds me that I am His, and I am loved. He scolds me a little, showing me the gifts He has given, gently nudging my energy from the dejection and back to the praising and the remembering of who I am.

And that's why I write — for myself, to understand better who I am, and for you, to maybe help you remember who you are, too.

I write to tell my story. It’s in bits and pieces here and there, but together, it’s a canvas mixing colors of the unsure 21-year-old English-teaching me who cried every night out of anxiety and inadequacy and mistakes with the now {mostly} confident 44-year-old me who spends an inordinate amount of time with crayons and playgrounds, Peppa Pig and board books, sticky fingers and wet wipes.

I write to remember the kid everyone made fun of on the bus because I wore rubber galoshes on the first day of school in a new town and had to pay a quarter a day so the big kid in the back wouldn’t harass me; to remember the me that was gangly and awkward and pimply and self-conscious; to remember I once thought those descriptions defined me, but they don’t. And I want you to remember that however gangly and awkward and self-conscious you may feel, those adjectives don’t define you, either.

I write to work through pain. Like my brother falling asleep in his Jeep after too many celebratory rounds at the bar and running head-long into a tree that stopped him from careening into an apartment building at 2:30 in the morning but that also broke his neck against the steering wheel killing him instantly. I write him letters of anger and forgiveness, and I wonder, did he know Jesus?

I write to express gratitude. Because I get to be wife to my best friend — a man who keeps me grounded and centered on what is true and good and right by pointing me always to Jesus and God’s Word, who helps me say no because I have a tendency to always say yes in ways that squeeze my own family out of the calendar, who makes me mad by sometimes saying insensitive things that hurt my heart like no one else can, who forgives me when I talk more than I listen making him feel unheard and unimportant.

I write to leave a legacy for my children… for our two girls, born ten years apart, whose birth stories weave intricate patterns into our family narrative that is peppered with infertility and miscarriage, doctors and discontentment. I want them — and you — to know how God can handle our ugliness when we stomp our feet demanding what we want when we want it; our grief when we lose the dreams we had in favor of the plans He has; our pain as He rebukes and corrects and grows us into the women He wants us to be.

I write to articulate Jesus. Because I think about Him all the time. Not in a freaky religious way, but in a downright humbled I'm-so-thankful-He-came-and-died-for-me way. I want my eyes — and yours — to open wide to this life that is really all about Him, because in the end, I think we'll find that we made everything complicated with frivolous peripherals.

And where my story and your story intersects, I pray you are encouraged.

So this is me. And even as I write, I am a just a girl, extending her arms long, bowing her head low, crying out, “I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!” but now I cry out not in the shadow of talented strangers, but alongside beautiful friends — writers and readers — who extend their arms also and bow their heads low because together we are beginning to understand deeply this truth:

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom (Psalm 145:3).

Your unworthy-in-a-good-way friend,

Rhonda