Last week I had lunch with a woman who I’ve only recently met. We are serving together in a ministry capacity and I invited her to lunch so that we could get to know one another a bit better. I enjoyed our time together very much and when we were about to leave, she said to me something like, “Sharing your real life is a true gift.”
I had been open with her about my doubts and fears in taking on a new ministry role. Let me tell you, to open up and give others a glimpse of what’s really in my heart feels risky. Vulnerable. Scary.
But so many times I’ve seen when getting to know other women that they will only be as open with me as I am with them… and so I am willing to take the risk, and I often do. I’ve seen firsthand how being authentic is the first step to deeper and more meaningful relationships.
I had never thought of it, though, as a gift that I can give to other people. And so especially at this time of year, I wanted to share this idea you.
Others don’t need to see my pretty, perfectly packaged “exterior” life and my version of what I think they want me to be. That doesn’t draw people in. It doesn’t encourage real relationship. It doesn’t allow people to breathe a deep sigh of relief and say, “me, too”.
Being real is a gift that allows other people to be who they are, too.
Let’s be women who are gift-givers of a different kind this Christmas!