Being present is a struggle for me. Growing up in a chaotic and angry home, being present wasn’t safe. I hid. I hid in my mind, reading books, playing pretend, drawing, listening to music. I hid, literally, at times. I would stay in the backyard or hide in the closet and color on the wall. As I grew up, I hid by starving myself until I took up less and less space. And, if I’m honest, I still hide. I hide from my co-workers by eating lunch in my classroom, thinking I need to work. I hide from my husband by not sharing the real me for fear of rejection. I hide from my friends because I don’t want them to think I don’t have it all together.
But not being present in my life has cost me. It has cost me deep, authentic relationships. It has fostered selfishness in my heart and life. I’d rather watch TV or play on Facebook than reach out. I’d rather pretend things are fine and just cry alone on the way home.
The truth is things are not fine. I’m tired, I’m anxious, I’m angry, and I’m drowning. And the worst part about it is that not being present means that there’s no one there to throw me a life raft. I’ve begun to share with my small group my struggles. The anger I have that my marriage is not perfect, the fear I have that my son will grow up and hate God, but I have not shared my whole heart.
I’ve been absent from the world so long, I’m not even present with myself anymore.
I realized this today, actually, in the shower. I was thinking about what kind of shampoo I like and I didn’t even know because I just buy what my husband wants, and I realized I’m lost. I didn’t know how to react, so I just prayed to God to help me. I imagined Him hugging me. He reminded me that it’s safe, I can come out now, I don’t have to hide anymore. I guess that’s my struggle. It’s so scary out there. People say mean things, I’m so overwhelmed with working and taking care of my family that I barely think to take care of my heart. I’m swamped, and I’m lonely.
And I wonder how many women out there are the same way. How many women toil away the day with work and kids and keeping up with the Joneses but are dying inside? How many women are so lost that they’ve forgotten the glory of God? Have you forgotten? Have you lost the part of your soul that knows how to relax and know that it’s safe because He’s safe? Have you decided to hide behind busyness and food and your children? Do you share your heart? Why not? It’s worth it.
So, here’s my challenge. I’m going to be present this year, starting with Christmas. I’m going to show up and tell my son how much I love him and tell my husband what’s in my heart. And when I’m done, I’m going to call my best friend, Laura, and share my loneliness with her. I’m going to step out.
I want to give the present of my presence this year. I’m going to trust Jesus. I’m going to remember how my heart is safe with Him. And you are safe with Him, too. Your presence, your heart, and your soul are beautiful things. Please share them, please stay in the moment, stay in your feelings, and let Jesus remind you it’s safe.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and remember that the little baby we celebrate this season is the one who holds your heart. He’s safe, He’s kind, He’s present with you, and His desire is for your trust and your presence with Him and those in your life.
Kacy Davis lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband, Collin. She is a special education teacher and advocate of those with special needs and loves her job. She spends her time riding bikes with her husband, running, reading, and enjoying those she loves. Kacy believes in reinventing what it means to be a woman and wife who loves the Lord and longs to help others learn to love the Lord with abandon, freedom, and a greater understanding of grace. She writes here.