31 Days

31 days – Pursuing authenticity – Filters

IMG_0156Some days I am still blinded as I was in my twenties. But if I am careful to remember, there is a filter that helps me to see more clearly.

He {God} knew me before he formed me in my mother’s womb. All of my days were written before one of them came to be. The New Living Translation of the Bible says every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. The one who created me knew my days. Knew my form. {Psalm 139:16}

What’s the first thought that comes to your mind when you hear the word authenticity? Being real? Saying what you really think when someone asks? Letting someone know if you don’t like something? Sharing every thought?

I’ve learned a lot in my years of being refined and sharpened. Here are just a few:

Living a life of authenticity is a response to understanding who I was created to be.

  • It is an expression of who I was formed to be.
  • The expression often has few to no words.
  • At times it includes laughter and joy.
  • And some days the expression reflects sadness and struggle.

It has little to do with me and more to do with God.

How I’m wired determines how I may express myself in any number of circumstances.

God’s love for me is so real that he sent his son Jesus to die for me. My greatest and most real presentation of myself is rooted and grounded in this.

I am learning every day about living and loving others by filtering all things {when I remember} through these questions:

Who is God in relation to who I am?

Who does God say that I am?

Am I living out of the answer to these questions or am I still trying on hats that belong to other people?

DEAR READER,

What’s your filter in your pursuit of authenticity?

 

 

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Days upon days – Let’s define it

DockDays upon days – missed!

Best laid plans of mice and men – right? Sign up for a 31 day writing challenge and then leave on day two for a women’s retreat. Without having your drafts set to post while you are away. Not a great start. I’ve got just enough audacity, though, to keep pressing on.

What does it mean to be authentic anyway? Not false or copied; genuine; real.

I don’t know about you, but there were years in my twenties I tried on personality qualities of those around me. I respected them. It’s not that I wanted to steal from them. I just didn’t have a clue who I was. As women often do, I compared myself to women around me and knew I fell short in most areas of my life. Grasping at straws to have some kind of identity, I tried on different hats waiting for one to fit just right. They never quite did.

Perhaps that’s part of why I’m so passionate about authenticity. My journey to understanding authenticity is a journey I would not trade for anything. You see, my first taste of what it meant to be the real me came at nineteen. I had no idea what to do with it. I came face to face with the reality of just how lost I was. At eighteen I was pregnant and scared to death.

I felt alone, overwhelmed and confused about what to do. I had options, they said. Numb and terrified I researched those options. One cold silent step at a time I walked the halls in search of the answer. A young fatherless woman in search of wisdom that would direct me, I cried out in my numbness to God I wasn’t sure existed. If you are real, will you show me what to do. I need to know. The days passed in slow motion until before I knew it these twenty-four hours periods passed into weeks. Just a few weeks after the research began I made the decision to keep the baby. I couldn’t make sense of any of it. How would I do it? How would I parent and provide for this child who would be dependent upon me for everything. Everything? In a moment I made a decision I would give anything to go back in time and change. Before I knew it I was home in the solitude of my bedroom with darkness surrounding me. Just the way I wanted it. Deserved it to be. How could I have chosen to take the life of my unborn child? Nothing made sense to me except the shame I felt.

Yet, this is the very beginning of truly understanding the real me. The reality of what my fear would drive me to choose was something I could not run from or ignore.

As I sought to understand how to be beautiful like Leigh and Debbie and how to carry myself like they did with such confidence and joy, I followed them to a bible study we were invited to. Now you have to understand, the bible was not something I grew up with. Turning the pages week after week revealed things I had never heard before. With increasing guilt and feeling dirty and ashamed I showed up on the doorstep ready for more. Something was enticing me to return.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Proverbs 9:10. (KJV)

The day I began to understand myself in light of this truth is the day my credible search for who I was took root in something (someone) other than those around me.

The day I understood I was created by God and meant to acknowledge my need for him was the first time I tasted peace in the search for the authentic me. The pieces were not all accounted for and appropriately placed on the roadmap to finding my identity, but meeting the Creator of the universe and understanding that he knew each of my days before one of them came to be was the stake in the ground I would come back to over and over through my lifetime. You see, it is the one thing that changed the course of my life.

How can we, you and I, live with audacious authenticity unless we draw from the one who knows us best?

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31 Days of Audacious Authenticity

31 Days31 Days

It seems like a long time. But in reality, the last year and a half has stretched out like a rubber band at times. Threatening to break me. I’ve written only twice, maybe three times. To be honest it’s been quite the journey for me. I’ve stretched and NOT broken. And I am better for it. So, 31 days…I think it’s do-able. I invite you to come along as I share posts on Audacious Authenticity. Will you risk with me?

A friend wrote for my website, “Long before authenticity and transparency became the ‘new black,’ Karen Trigg modeled an authenticity that drew me in like a moth to light. A true connector, Karen taught me the importance of real, genuine relationship. Her passion for women to connect with others, to live authentic lives, is genuine and runs ocean deep.”

Authenticity is by no means easy for me. But it’s what I’m wired for. It runs in my blood. Yet, some days I run hard and fast into the woods to bury it under a bush! It’s a battle. Internal. One nobody sees.

Audacious, according to vocabulary.com means to be ‘disposed to danger or to take risks, unconstrained by convention or propriety’. Everything in me cries out to live this way. To be a cliff-jumper. And to trust the outcome.

When I heard about the 31 day writing challenge something inside me involuntarily jumped up and said YES PLEASE! Words are of utmost importance to me. the word ‘Authenticity’ seems to cover a broad range of what I fills my heart. I wonder if it fills yours too. Perhaps as I share, you will respond and share what you’re learning as well. I would love that!

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