Real: The Journey to Real

Interrupted Reflection

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—REAL. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

REAL

I grew up in a world where people made fun of me. Mocked me. Spit upon me.

I learned pretty early on that being real got a girl ostracized. At school anyway. My family loved me, and that brought comfort.

Growing up, I determined to do whatever it took to fit in, to be accepted. Even if that meant not being the entire “real” me. It was safer for my heart to be accepted than it was to step out in brave-ness and be who I really was. And part of my heart— the essence of me—was lost.

Choppy Waters

It wasn’t until my thirties that I realized I was trying to live life around a gaping wound in my heart. It hurt to look back on choices made because of my fear of rejection.

Was it safe to be who I really am? Would people condemn me for being . . . me?

God took me through a journey I don’t have time to go into now. It’s been painful. He’s shown me I don’t have to look like I have it all together. People may not always accept me. And that’s okay.

Because my Abba does. He created me. He knows the real me. He knows the wounds of my past and has the salve for my present.

God’s showing me that the real me is enough. Because of Him.

And I’m learning that as I am real with other people? They are drawn to Jesus in me. And they accept me as . . . me.

It’s only Jesus in me that can bring beauty from the wounds. Healing from the hurts. And reveal truth to transform the lies.

Blue Mesa Reflections

He is the One who is real. And He’s teaching me how to be a real reflection of Him—reflecting His love to those around me.

Being real is scary. But this step-by-step journey of trusting God to create in me all that He intended for me to be? The messiest, most difficult, most freeing journey I’ve ever walked.

What about you? Do you struggle with being real with those around you? How do you live real in your life?

Vist Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post—Real

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25 thoughts on “Real: The Journey to Real

  1. Love these real thoughts! I used to think I needed to be so many different things to so many different people. Through a lot of hurt and then healing I am slowly letting go of people who won’t accept me as I am. The journey is long and the struggle is heartbreaking. But you have found the One who loves and accepts you for who you are and that makes all the difference! So much love, your #fmfparty neighbor ❤

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    • Angela, It seems like it takes us a long time to 1) embrace who God’s created us to be and 2) to be okay with letting go of people who con’t accept who we are, doesn’t it? May we both continue to seek authenticity and being all that God created us to be. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  2. Well, I don’t have trouble living Real, because Real has found me, and I certainly wouldn’t mind it going away for a bit. Illness unto death is only the beginning. The rest you would not believe. And I hope you never have to walk it. It’s just…weird. Painfully.

    It’s kind of like that scene in “The Hobbit” when the Goblin King’s body falls on the escaping dwarves, and Dwalin yells, in a lovely Scots burr, “You’ve got to be JOKING!”

    And I’m just too tired, and hurting too much, to do anything but be real…but I realize that I don’t even know what that IS.

    So I’m just here, and it’ll have to be good enough.

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  3. Have missed reading your posts (I’ve been ‘away’ for a few weeks)……loved this post. Feel for you but am so pleased you’ve reached your realisation, that you’re on “The messiest, most difficult, most freeing journey I’ve ever walked”……it’s great when we finally reach the stage where we realise that mess, chaos can be accepted as freeing…..{Your FMF friend}

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    • God has a way of revealing Himself to us, and of showing us the work He’s doing inside us. It usually seems to come in stages for me. Which is good, because if He showed me everything he wanted to do at once, I think it would overwhelm me. 🙂

      And yes, sometimes that mess is very freeing. 🙂 So glad you stopped by!

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  4. Oh wow! Jeanne, your post so resonates with me! As a recovering people pleaser, it took me a long time to even realize how plastic I’d become. After a hard battle with depression, God revealed some amazing truth to my heart that completely transformed my walk with Him, as well as how I relate to others. It took me awhile to realize there are ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ people out there…some I can share my deepest hurts with, but others who will only try to manipulate, belittle or control. It’s been an incredible journey. And now, I’m a speaker who stands before women on a regular basis, encouraging them to take a look at their own wounds to find healing in Christ. You know what I’ve discovered? The shame and fear I once felt has vanished once I was willing to bring it into the healing light of God’s love. The enemy loses his power and control over us once we’re willing to bring those wounds into the light and speak honestly about them.

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    • Tara, such true words. God’s light reveals Satan’s lies for what they are: lies. And ugly. I’m so glad you’ve discovered who you are meant to be. And what a gift for you–helping other women do the same. Thanks for sharing a bit of your experience. So glad to know I’m not alone. 😉

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  5. I love you just the way you are. I was much like you in my youth. But now … I think just the years of growing with God … it’s hard to be anything other than real. Only God could get us there, Jeanne. 🙂

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    • You’re right, Shelli. It’s a daily walking out the truth that in God, it’s safe to be real. That He is weaving truth into the places where lies used to dominate. He helps me to be comfortable living out “real.” It took years to get to the place where I was willing to try. 🙂 So glad you stopped by, Shelli!

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  6. Jeanne, I think you’ve shared a story here that many women relate to. I certainly do. The “real” me doesn’t fit into any of the neat, little, comfortable boxes that others like. I’ve spent so much of my life trying to fit, and it just never works. The Lord has been speaking to me about this a lot over the last few years. Will make an idol out of the opinions of people or will I follow Him? Following Him is hard, being real is hard, but it always ends up being so much better.

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    • Marie–you’re right. We have a choice. Will we live in a following-God place, or will we strive after people’s approval? One leads to freedom, the other constantly leads to feeling the lie of less-than. Thanks for sharing your wisdom here. 🙂

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