the past few weeks i have had a lingering thought that feels like it's out of nowhere, but as i've pondered it i've realized that it's a tune that's been stuck in my head for a long time.
"i feel bad for the people that will never know the version of me that lives at home."
now i know that may sound super cocky haha, but i don't mean it like "man, it would suck to not know me cause i'm freaking awesome!" that's not at all how i mean that! what i mean is this: we all have a part of ourselves, a random quirk or funny thing we say that no one outside of our homes and families will ever see, will ever get to know. the reason this makes me sad is that i most love the me that's at home. i am the most comfortable and funny and alive when i'm at home goofing off with my brother and sister. i'm the most vulnerable when i'm having a deep conversation with my mom and dad at eleven pm. i feel the safest to be the most authentic, unabridged version of myself when i'm home.
unabridged versions wouldn't need to be a thing if abridged versions weren't. but alas, they are a tale as old as time.
(please excuse my inner poet).
i think this simile makes the most sense with what my point is, because a lot of people aren't a different level of themselves when they leave the house, they're a different person altogether. i don't change who i am when i leave the house because the real version of me is the best version of me, not to mention the version that is God-made, and not self-made. but, depending on where i go and who i'm with, how much of the real version of me you get to see changes. i become the abridged version of miracle mayes.
my story is being written, and has been for over 20 years (whoa that's weird... am i old?), but not everyone will get to read all those pages and every chapter. so, when i leave the house, i still carry with me all 2 decades of my story, but there are only a few chapters or an excerpt here and there that i "read aloud," so to speak. but i still haven't told you why you should care. well, maybe you don't, or don't want to, but if i were in your position, i sure would.
i always say getting to know people is my favorite hobby, and i stand by that! for a while i was scared that i might come off as nosy, or always needing to know everything about everyone. well, i do want to know as much as i can, but not for the sake of curiosity with ulterior motives, or gossip ammo. i want to know people, and know them well, because i know God. i know His heart, His character, His quirks, what He laughs at (it's me, guys, so you're off the hook), what He loves and what breaks His heart.
i know Him, and the more of Him i know, the more of Him i want to know. you are made in His image. that means there's a large piece of who God is in each and every one of you, and if i know and love Him, and a lot of Him is in you, then i want to know and love you too! i want to find the secret pieces of Himself He tucked away in you. i want to know which features of yours remind Him of Himself. i want to know you. knowing and loving people is so incredibly important to me. i even take notes on people! like, actually. ask any of my friends, they'll tell you i'm not joking. my point is, if everything about you God created, and saw worth making, then it's worth knowing too, and i want to know it.
the version of ourselves that God Himself created is the best we will ever be. where we fall from this version is exactly that: the fall. when we as humanity fell, we did so because we believed that God didn't give us His best. but He did, He gave us Himself! and not just as a gift to have or to lose, but a stamp, a seal, a fingerprint inked into our dna. we don't just have Him, we are a part of Him. ah, what a gift. when we as humanity stay fallen is when we believe that we can do better than and/or without God. this is where many many people, believers included, find themselves trapped.
we have all had insecurities, right? i used to hate my hair (read identity) and skin color (read very good), you may not like your laugh or your voice, wish you had a better smile or hate the way your knees look when you walk (idk, just thinkin outside the box here haha). but God made that! He loves to hear you laugh, and wishes He heard it more. your smile brightens His day. He could listen to the timbre of your voice for all of eternity. hating and hiding certain parts of ourselves or our personality hurts God's heart, because He loved that feature so much, He gave it to you. He wanted you to have that trait of His, so He shared it with you.
i go on what feels like a tangent to say this: God made us the way He made us for a reason. so for us to change the way we are, put on these masks and disregard what we know is the most authentic version of ourselves is to rob God of the glory He was meant to receive by our living as His likeness. (that felt correct and like a run-on sentence at the same time, drop a comment and tell me how you feel about my sentence structure hehe).
i look most like God when i am most myself. i am most myself when i am most comfortable and safe. i am most comfortable and safe when i am at home, with my family. almost all of us, with a few heartbreaking exceptions, will be our rawest version at home. that is why it makes me sad to think that only five people in the world know me at my very best. but, this also leaves me with endless opportunity to create safe spaces outside of my home to be real, and to be that space for others. it's a risk i see as so worth taking, because while there are many many chapters of my story that people have never read, that doesn't mean that those chapters are not worth reading, and the same is for you. if your chapters were worth writing, then they're worth reading.
so let's all commit to carrying the book with us, maybe just to read over the table of contents. then on to the prologue, then chapter one. let's take it slow, and be ok with knowing not every story is for everybody. one chapter at a time, until, inevitably, we make it to the Author's note. and i don't know about you, but i only ever see those in unabridged novels...