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I wish more people would be honest about the transition into new things.
Whether the new thing is a relationship, a new job or a change in location, chances are it did not come without some struggle. Transition is rarely smooth.
I’ve learned more about people and the behind-the-scenes footage of their seemingly picture-perfect lives during my time of perpetual flux, and it’s given me hope and encouragement that I will eventually be on the other side of this storm.
I grew up like most people in the South. We don’t air our dirty laundry. What happens in our house stays in the house. I’ve always been a fairly private person, so keeping my mess to myself feels right. I don’t believe everyone should know the details of personal matters.
In fact, anyone who really knows me understands the irony of me, a person who has historically placed her mask on her face and presented a smile to the world each day, writing a weekly column that exposes my vulnerability.
Being vulnerable is not the same as telling all of your business. Vulnerability is allowing people to understand you as human. I have fears. I have anger. I sometimes handle things poorly. I have regrets.
When your vocation is to document life, there is an enormous pressure to always have the right words and convey the right sentiment. I don’t always have the right words. And there were plenty of times when I should have used my words but chose to remain silent.
Sharing our storms is an act of freedom. It gives us opportunities to connect with others on a deeper level. It allows the people who cannot handle the reality of you to fall away and the people who can to come in even closer. It lets people know they are not alone, the grass is not greener, we’re all struggling, but we still show up to live this one life the best way we can each day.
More than anything, sharing our storms allows us to show God’s power and grace in our lives. God is on full display, keeping us, protecting us, providing for us, healing us, delivering us, loving us, forgiving us. God’s power can transform any situation, and when we have the audacity to expose ourselves as the mere mortals we are, we allow God to get the glory. On my own, I am a mess. With God, I am a conqueror.
The old hymn was right. (Most old hymns tend to be.) We will understand it better by and by. We don’t have to pretend to understand things now because God knows. We don’t have to pretend that we didn’t make a wrong turn or a bad decision because God has already forgiven. And we don’t have to live like our lives are over because God is working to do a new thing in us and give us new life. We just have to show our storm-soaked selves and allow God to dry us off, give us new clothes and warm our cold bones.
We will tell the story how we overcome, and we’ll understand it better by and by.
LaMonique Hamilton is a Wilson resident and former Times reporter and copy editor. She blogs about arts and culture at iamlamonique.com.