My whole life I have had a hard time crying in public. I’m happy Brooke, or excited Brooke or encouraging Brooke, silly Brooke, energetic Brooke and optimistic Brooke.
The problem with that is that I am also emotional Brooke and passionate Brooke; a Brooke who loves and feels and cares deeply and honestly and fully.
And many times in my life I have been sad Brooke and hopeless Brooke and confused Brooke and doubting, fearing and angry Brooke.
And all of these Brooke’s are ok; one version of Brooke does not negate another.
It’s ok to be all of them, however I have chosen to share only bits and pieces at a time, to bits and pieces of others. A hopeful version here and a happy version there I feel fine to share with the world, but when it comes to the more “negative” sides of Brooke, well I only allow certain people to see those, and when I do it’s always followed with an embarrassed Brooke.
In recent years, however, I have started to understand that more than anything I am a loved Brooke.
In and out and through and around every single emotion I feel and every single way I show it, I am so fully loved that it has started to help me accept the Brooke I am, fully and thoroughly. And through this process of being loved and accepted I have become a more confident Brooke, a more beautiful Brooke, a more free and peaceful and wild Brooke. A Brooke less fearful of who stays in my life or who leaves after seeing all sides of Brooke. I am still loved, and I am still whole.
This week has been very difficult emotionally, and I have felt more of the sad and doubting and fearful versions of myself rather than I have the energetic and optimistic sort. However, rather than being ashamed of these feelings and forcing myself into the more positive traits, I’ve allowed the tears to come and I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable Brooke and honest Brooke even when the feeling of shame sneaks its ugly face in and tries to convince me that this is not ok.
And God has stayed with this Brooke and He’s allowed the tears and He hasn’t tried to force me into acting more faithful or happy when I don’t feel like it.
The only thing I’ve felt convicted about is to still bring this Brooke to the world – to not hide this Brooke for fear that others will judge this side of who I am.
Yesterday I didn’t leave the house, and that was the first bad decision I’ve made all week. I didn’t feel convicted when I chose to watch Netflix instead of do homework or to eat take out Thai food instead of my healthy salad I had in the fridge…but not leaving the house was me hiding from the world – and this was the first time I did not act in my true identity all week.
So I left the house today, and as I walked, the tears came again, but this time I felt God’s arm around me and a smile on His face as He whispered to me that it was going to be ok, but for now it was also ok to cry – as long as it was out in front of the world to see. As long as it was without shame or fear.
As long as it was out in the sun.