“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” -Timothy Keller
Life is messy. Life is hard. Life is chaotic. But in the midst of the mess, the hard, and the chaos we have stories. Stories that sometimes we would rather not tell for fear of rejection, condemnation, and shame. And in those stories are feelings and thoughts that sometimes never get expressed because we rather live a comfortable, superficial life.
I am the first to admit that I have been caught in the comfort and superficiality. More times than I can count I have walked around with a smile on my face when deep down inside I was crying tears of sorrow and pain. And as a result of that I have suffered and I have missed out on being fully known and fully loved.
Through the above quote by Timothy Keller, a song by artist Tauren Wells called Known, and many influential people in my life, I have been challenged to go deeper. I have been challenged to greet vulnerability as a companion and leave my comfort zone for the sake of being fully known and fully loved.
It is pretty sweet knowing that this true love is the love that God lavishes upon me. Psalm 139:1 says, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me” and Psalm 139 goes on to talk about how intimately the Lord knows us. And in the midst of His knowledge of our sin and mess “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). While fully knowing the sin and mess of our past, present, and future God still fully loves His children.
The challenge to allow myself to be fully known isn’t an easy one but it is a challenge I am willing to take. I am willing to step outside my comfort and invite trusted friends to step into my messy, hard, chaotic life because that is where I will be fully loved. It is a challenge that will allow me to see God’s grace and love even more in my life through those that I do life with. And it is a challenge that I am inviting you to enter into with me.
Click here to listen to Known by Tauren Wells