You’re allowed to be human.
A friend spoke those words to me, and it was as if the knot in my stomach that had been wound so tight started to unravel a bit. The thread loosened as tears flooded my eyes. Could it really be that I don’t have to hold it all together? Could it be that I’m allowed to fail? That I could be broken and still whole, flawed and still beloved?
I preach those words to others and believe them wholeheartedly, but I have a hard time receiving them for myself. Somewhere deep down, I still hold myself to a higher standard. There’s an ever-rising bar in my mind that I can never quite reach. It eludes me and leaves me paralyzed with its taunts of “not enough.”
And yet there’s another voice. It’s often quieter than the insecurities, but still it speaks boldly. If I take the time to silence the lies that are swirling, I can hear it.
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
– 2 Corinthians 12:9
The weakness, the limitations – they’re simply part of being human. They are not something to be ashamed of but something to be embraced. There’s beauty in recognizing our need and allowing God to meet it. There’s beauty in bringing what we have and allowing God to make it enough. There’s beauty in allowing God to fill in the cracks and make us whole.
How often I deny myself the opportunity to experience such grace. Instead, I try to cover up the imperfections, only revealing them when I think I have a grasp on overcoming them. I wear myself out trying to fill in all the cracks on my own before someone else sees them.
But when I listen to that voice of grace, I hear the invitation to chip away at the pieces of the façade I’ve built up. As those shards fall away, my true identity is revealed, cracks and all. And that voice reminds that I am good. I am beautiful. I am loved. Those cracks are not a sign that I’m about to fall apart; they are a promise that I’m being made whole.
What if we could give ourselves and each other the permission to be human? We could still pursue growth and progress while allowing ourselves to be in process. We could make space for mistakes. We could try and fall down and then learn and try again. We wouldn’t be so threatened when others point out our cracks. Instead, we would begin to see those cracks as opportunities for grace, as opportunities to be made whole together.
In case you need to hear it, you’re allowed to be human.