Claire M. Burnett
Nothing to Prove.
Updated: Oct 3, 2018
Let me breathe.
Somewhere between adolescence and womanhood, I went through a phase of trying entirely too hard to be the most interesting blasé person ever.
There was only one problem:
About 77% of the time, I’m not.
(Don’t ask me where I got the math.) I longed to be free from the anxieties of caring and bask in the magnetism of an “easy-breezy” covergirl attitude. But before you know it, you’re some sort of mix between a desensitized robot and a Harry Potter character. Somehow you’ve convinced yourself that this behavior is supposed to make you more acceptable, but instead you’ve done something wildly offensive!
You’re competing with me again…no worries it’s cool. You’re late for the eleventh time…don’t sweat it, we’re good. You’re flaking on another commitment…oh I get it, life happens! God forbid I enforce boundaries where my self-worth and general wellness are prioritized.
Thankfully, what I’m coming to grips with more and more is that having needs and expectations doesn’t make me some insatiable demon, and a fixation on being perceived as “easy-going” is a colossal waste of my time.
Now, pause. I’m not suggesting or trying to excuse unreasonable behavior. This is not a permission slip to be a diva or tyrant. However I am suggesting that in order to be fully loved, you MUST be fully known!
Have you ever noticed that God is in no rush to prove himself to you? Many of us wonder why God doesn’t just do something in such a blatant way that people would HAVE to believe he exists. Give us that sign so that denying you is obvious stupidity! And the answer my friends is really simple: He doesn’t have to.
Now, I’m not saying we should compare ourselves to God. I’m just saying he should be our finite example.
This cultural need to pathologize men and women who openly engage the full range of their emotions — you know, the way healthy human beings do— remains a battle. And the idea that men should not process through these emotions just as diligently is a doggon disservice. Everyone’s all like “be yourself…but do it this way!”
In the name of all that is “chill,” how many of us have become familiarized with the acrobatics needed to avoid the unwanted labels of “clingy,” “unfriendly,” or flat out “difficult?” I don’t know about you, but at times I’ve felt like I’m in The Matrix, and ya girl is TIRED.
Here’s the thing. We are each so deliciously complex and messy! And what better way to honor our creator than to feel, to express, and to carve out space to navigate as our purest self? (Hello Community!)
I’ve only been on this planet for 28 years, but here are some ideas that I think we can embrace together:
You deserve a seat at the table, flaws and all. (Romans 8:29)
The turning of the world does not depend on your ability to hold it together. (Isaiah 55:8)
You don’t have to morph into something disingenuous. Someone will appreciate your eccentricities; just make sure you’re the second, cause God is already the first. (Romans 12:2)
Give yourself permission to not have the answers. Relinquish your idea of control. (Matthew 6:34)
You have nothing to prove when you’ve eliminated the fear of being “found out.” Ironically, that freedom will make you more “easy going.” (Psalm 139)
Phillip Yancey wrote a book called “The Jesus I Never Knew” and in it he attempts to tackle why God refuses to prove himself to us.
Yancey says, “More amazing is his refusal to perform and to overwhelm. God’s terrible insistence on human freedom is so absolute that he granted us the power to live as though he did not exist, to spit in his face, to crucify him. I believe God insists on such restraint because no pyrotechnic displays of omnipotence will achieve the response he desires. Although power can force obedience, only love can summon a response of love, which is the one thing God wants from us and the reason he created us.”
So many of us want unconditional love, yet we display conditional versions of ourselves.
If the creator of the universe is not asking you to prove yourself, then why are you trying to prove yourself to what he created?
Let me be the first to say that fully owning your mess is HARD. Showing and telling people how you fall short is like giving them ammunition for an unloaded gun where they can pull the trigger at any time. But sweet friends, it is also indescribable freedom when you find the ones who don’t! And an overwhelming joy when you truly connect with the only one who never will.
For the first time in my 28 years, I genuinely feel like I don’t have to hide, because I accept that I am already chosen. Already wanted. And already claimed!
So today and the days to come, I pray for a speedy death to the version of ourselves that is anything less than authentic and a long and fruitful life to the woman or man who has patiently been waiting underneath.
You are worthy of knowing.