Connections.

Connections are powerful. Connections are what sustain us.

I can’t help but wonder how people become entrapped in my heart. Not in a bad way, just in a real way. I think there’s this moment where you realize that if it wasn’t about you, you’d be okay with that. There’s also this moment where you realize you’re not alone. I think that’s what makes connections so powerful. When you have the guts to look someone in the eye and realize that they know you, and you know them… the root of it is really being known. They KNOW you.

How scared are we to truly show ourselves to each other? We hide behind insecurity. We hide behind masks and expect other people to either realize it or not push too hard because then they’d really see us. We hide in our corners and churches, we hide in our groups and our comfort zones, while people are pushing and hurting and trying to understand what it means to be them. What it means to be human.

Where did we get the mentality that we were meant to be alone?

Because we’re not.

We all have a past.

We all have closets and masks.

We all choose what we want to be. It’s a choice.

Our past does a job to form us into the person we are in the present, but we’re never restricted into remaining that person. It was never God’s intention for us to always be fastened to years that lay behind us, trying to drag them into the future as we desperately try to push forward despite our chains.

I don’t expect to loose the chains myself, and I don’t expect you to give them up so easily. I sometimes refer to myself as a recovery patient. Sometimes recoveries take years. Everyone has a specific process. But you are not the only one who has ever gone through that process, I guarantee it. There are more people like you out there, cowering in corners and hiding, trying to intelligently decipher what it all means. We whisper in shadows and hang our heads down in defiance as if we’re completely ruled.

We’re not.

You’re not the only one out there. There are other people like you.

I know what it is to be hurt. I know the power and sting of rejection. I know brokenness. I know what it’s like to carry everything around your shoulders, and I also know what it’s like to see someone so weighed down and have absolutely no power to take any weight off their shoulders.

Connections. People rooted in my heart.

We know each other deep down, don’t we?  We’re just afraid to let it be known. Our past still restricts us. It’s okay to be careful around people. I sure know I am. But never doubt for a second that you are on your own, and never assume that just because you see someone you know who they are.

This becomes challenging when we pigeon hole people. Sometimes we assume the quietest person we know isn’t influential or useful. I can’t help but wondering, if we’re all made in God’s image and we’re all so different, maybe God specifically made people quiet or shy and still intensely powerful and inspiring, and as leaders we’re failing to recognize it and let them fall by the wayside. There are so many walls that block a clear view.  To those people: you aren’t alone either.

Be yourself. It’s one of the most powerful tools you possess.

It’s in that, that you see you’re not alone.

And when you realize you’re not alone, something shifts inside of you.

You can make a connection.

And when you are yourself, you give others around you the chance to be themselves because being genuine is so far-fetched today, that when you embrace who you are it’s instantly noticeable.

Know that if I could take that weight off your shoulders I would, in a second. Know that if I could take away any pain, I would. Know that if I could carry any of your past, I would try. Just so that you wouldn’t have to. I might not be able to take away your pain, push you forward, and numb that raw emotion, but I can stand with you through the process and let it be known that I’m here. I can point you to someone greater who CAN do those things with you. Who CAN help you in ways that no one can. He’s waiting for you.

So, what CAN we do?

Sometimes all we can do is say three of the most powerful words: “You’re not alone.”

Words fail. Presence matters. Openness make a difference.

Start now.

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