Own It and Live Honestly


“Live honestly,” is my sister’s buzz phrase. I’m stealing it for this blog.

This year has challenged many things about my existence: my faith, self-worth, capability to forgive, capacity to love and ability to survive. I’m sure that my writings often appear a little schizophrenic. Well, to tell you the truth, maybe they are. I feel like a walking contradiction most of the time.

In an effort to “live honestly” here are some conclusions about myself that I am able to own today:

I believe the Bible. I believe in a Savior named Jesus who came to Earth, died on a cross, and rose from the dead to mend the chasm between me and the Father. I don’t understand it; I’ll even admit that the entire concept often sounds COO-KOO when I try to reason it out, but I choose to believe despite my doubts. I believe that God gave me a brain to question, reason and challenge even Him. I believe He is a God capable of accepting me as wildly imperfect as I am. I do not claim to be better than anyone for I am the epitome of fallible. The term “Christian” has become profane in modern America. I have worked in the Christian church for ten years and I can’t say that the bad taste left by the word is 100% unmerited. The church is broken because it is filled with a broken people. I do not subscribe to lip-serviced, religion-imposed behavior modification. I believe the simple truth that because I walk with a faithful God, to whom I am often unfaithful, I am being made perfect in His time. That the good work He began in me He will be faithful to complete. I do not preach; I live. Whether my life example is an admiration or a disgrace to “Christians” everywhere, it is honest.

Have I ever been in love? Well, I don’t know. That’s a difficult admission to make since I have been married and in more relationships than I can count. I believe that there is a difference between love and in-love. I’ve loved many and I’ve loved well. I’ve meant it every time I’ve uttered those three little words, because love comes easily for me. I am accepting and forgiving, believing the best in people even after they’ve proved otherwise. At nearly 28 years old, I believe I am finally learning that being In-Love is not a fairy tale. In-Love, much like faith, doesn’t just happen. In-Love means taking a risk on the uncertain. By nature, uncertainty makes me fearful and that fear hinders me from taking risk. I finally own this area of jacked-upness and take responsibility for it. The next time I say “I love you” I will never have to wonder how I mean it.

To those who say, “I have no regrets”… I call bullshit. We can gloss it over all day long that “we are who we are because of the mistakes we’ve made and we will never regret anything.” If that helps you sleep better at night, then more power to ya. I will never be grateful for the pain I’ve caused others. I regret the horrible things I did to my family when I was young and stupid. I regret their sleepless nights, worry, lack of safety, emotional anguish and every hateful word they had to hear from my lips. I regret not understanding matrimony before I said “I Do” and being part of setting my marriage up for failure. I regret not answering my husband’s phone call the morning he died – whether or not he actually called me or the phone dialed my number during the crash. I am learning to own my regrets, not to be controlled by them but to be better IN SPITE of them.


Be daring enough to be different, humble enough to make mistakes, wild enough to be burnt in the fire of love, real enough to make others see how phony you are.
– Brennan Manning


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