The other day I was thinking about the desire to be known. For me, this desire is very strong. I have yet to peg down where it comes from, so I am just going to assume it is something that is innate and everyone experiences. My rather strong desire sometimes gets me in trouble, however. It’s why I end up crossing boundaries and divulging too much of myself to others. I want them to know where I am coming from. Because that is how one becomes known by others. It’s about revealing our pasts to each other, because our present situation is a result of our past choices.
This is why it is no surprise that the people who know me best are those with whom I have joined a small group, lived, or served alongside in ministry. They’ve heard my story and some of them have lived it with me- the messy bits, the family drama, the unhealthy relationships, but most of all God’s redemptive work through it all.
As I write this, I realize that it’s not JUST about our pasts. It’s about our current struggles and our future aspirations as well. We want someone who will walk with us, who we can call when things go wrong, or even better- when things go right! We need someone who can look towards the future with us, too, because although our pasts can have a large effect on our thought processes and experiences, luckily they do not define us. We have the opportunity to move forward, and having someone who understands our past, present, and future goals is very important, because they can steer us away from the same behavioral patterns and back towards God’s intended path for us.
I guess what inspired this was looking at my life and realizing that the pool of people who I feel truly know me is getting smaller and smaller. I guess that is what happens when you move away from the people you are closest to and try to begin a new life. I am changing (for the better!), so even the people who once knew me would probably not recognize some of my views these days.
They always said making friends after college would be hard. I have a lot of friends, but I don’t have a lot of people who KNOW me. I think I took those close-knit college relationships for granted. So I ask myself “how can I form those relationships now?” I believe the answer is opening up all of me- past, present, AND future. I have been giving half of myself, I fear.
And then of course, there is the balance- because I don’t want to (and shouldn’t) reveal too much to the wrong people. Oh, boundaries!