A word I have always used to describe my husband.
He’s even won awards at work for it.
Me. Not so much.
And I struggle to always tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth when it does not fit my “get ‘er done” mentality.
TRUE STORY AND CONFESSION: My son’s health insurance needed to be cancelled and I called up and told the people on the other end of the line I was him and cancelled that baby on the spot. They didn’t even, or probably weren’t allowed to, question my high voice and my masculine name not matching. He gave me permission to do such a thing, but I didn’t really think long and hard about this little fib. Not a good look for this Dolly Mama. Not a lot of integrity for sure. I kind of feel bad about it as I write this.
NOW BACK TO THE POINT.
My husband doesn’t tell little white lies or big whopper ones. He’s as honest as the day is long.
No wonder he’s won awards at work for integrity. No wonder I trust him implicitly.
But did you know that honesty is not the same as integrity. Yes, it’s a natural result of integrity, but it’s NOT integrity.
INTEGRITY is when we live according to our deepest values.
When our outsides match our insides.
When all the parts of us are working together in harmony (they are “integrated”) and not separated and fighting against each other.
When we are the SAME in our homes, in our church, in our neighborhood, in our activities, in our workplace, in our social media posts and in our time alone.
INTEGRITY. A word I would like to use to describe myself. Maybe even win awards for it some day. Recently, the rubber has met the road. I have not been living with integrity.
I believe and value one thing and then I live, work, spend and serve as if I value something completely different.
It's been kind of awful.
I have been hiding. I have been pretending. I have been trying to please others. I have been anxious.
It's come to a head.
I can't do it anymore.
But the pressure to continue to do so seems insurmountable.
Outright pressure. Unspoken pressure. Internal pressure.
So I am on the mission to fight for it with all my might.
Have all the parts of myself aligned and working with each other.
My inside and my outside. My feelings and my actions. My heart and my mind, my soul and my spirit.
What I’m really fighting for is me. The real real me. The me that God made and loves and cheers and delights in. The one that is an absolute beautiful mess.
So here’s my first step. Speaking out what I value. It’s scary. I am afraid of being judged. I don’t want people to think ill of me.
All the normal-ish and crazy reasons I keep going down the lack-of-integrity slide.
So here goes.
Right now, in my life, these things are what I value most:
Freedom (mostly the inside kind)
Becoming my true self and helping others to do just that
Living with and under radical grace
Questions more than answers (a posture of constant learning even if it’s downright hair-raising)
Allowing God to be Himself, and not who I’ve told myself He is (mostly to fit in with others)
Living in the gray, nuanced, complicated, and messy and forgoing the black-and-white
Eliminating hurry and scurry
Being present to joy
Telling others about the unconditional love of God AND deeply knowing it myself
Becoming healed, whole and integrated (there’s that word)
Looking at this list, it seems easy, right? NOT SO MUCH.
Because, I like to:
Judge others to make myself feel better.
Have all the answers
Tell God who He is.
Live in the BLACK and WHITE.
Hurry and scurry.
Think about the past and the future (I spend most of my time there).
Stay in the same, comfortable place I’ve always lived in.
I know it’s going to be a rough road ahead.
I have some big changes to make.
Both outside ones and inside ones.
I’m a wee bit terrified. I’m also a whole lot excited. I’m wondering what my next right step is. I’m trusting God will show up as I take one. He always has.
And I’m beginning to see the INTEGRITY light at the end of the tunnel.
The one I might just get an award for.
Even if I have to give it to myself.
From my heart to yours. P.S. Want to hear a funny story about my lack of integrity this week? I’ve been on vacation and posting all the wonderful pictures of sand castles, family time, ice cream, and sunsets. Meanwhile, I’ve been riddled with an outbreak of horrendous poison ivy for most of the time, been miserable and staying in the air conditioning. I only went to the beach once. So there you have it. Finally called the doctor today and got me some meds. Never have I ever had poison ivy on my nose and a few other unmentionable places. YIKES! I don’t think the foraging for blackberries was worth it.