on what it means to be real (guest post by amy hunt)
















This space here where I write has been practice for real life.

It’s bended me and mended me.

I’ve been challenged and inspired. Encouraged and admittedly, even admired.

The words that string together from these fingers at, {ahem}, five-twenty-ish in the a.m., are nothing less than a remarkable act of God.

Proof that He provokes this passion in me to write. To share. To make mention of His oh, so Amazing Grace.

Many notes from readers of my writing have humbled me as I have been considered *authentic*.

Those kinds of comments have untied me.

Unraveled the pretty ribbon that has kept together this sometimes *seemingly perfect* try-hard life.

*Authentic* is exactly what I have struggled to live out loud.

Real life has found me cowering in the self-constructed prison of isolation from community.

This truth is hard to admit, yet I’m believing my obedience to telling is a must for me. Worship to Him.

For so long I’ve shirked back when a real friendship has been what I most want.

People in my life have missed out on seeing the real Me.

And mostly, I have missed out on letting them accept all of me.

Though I have always believed God doesn’t make mistakes, I’ve thought maybe I wreck a little bit of who I am supposed be every time I fail to do life right.

It has aggravated me, angered me, and mostly shamed me when I have made a mistake or disappointed someone. Every time someone would say they needed to talk with me, I would assume I’ve done something wrong.

There has been “zero room for error” in my perception of how my living should be.

Perhaps that is why I was hired–twice–at the place where I hear my boss speak that phrase nearly every day.

I fit into that culture mold and let it enable my expectations of perfection.

It’s that perspective that I let box up my writing for so many years, considering myself as never good enough

that has made so many people label me as intense

and that I feel shame for, and rename as passion when I know it’s really a disguise for what is true.

I have lived laser-focused on getting life right. Though not always knowing how to make myself *do* right

So I made rules and restrictions. For me and for others.

Eventually the *Manufactured Me* went defunct. Because you can only keep up charades for so long.

I wounded by myself–constantly living according to how I should act, and never quite knowing all the right rules.

When I have been in the company of friends, or even family, I have expected that they will think I am still intense and that I haven’t changed. And so I’ve often run and hidden, and even scoured to find different friends who don’t know the Me who flops and flails to be herself.

I have struggled with fear that people I know well won’t see the changes in me.

I have feared they will make assumptions of who I am.

That they will look past the softening–the even slight bending I am more willing to allow.

The pouring of my heart here in this space–a place that I know people in my real community sometimes visits–makes me want to dart my eyes away from them in the hallway at my child’s Open House. In real life we don’t talk hardly at all about what is truly real. And yet, my heart is sprawled out right here in this space.

Naked. Exposed. Me.

I’ve said I slink back into hiding because I don’t trust people to be genuine. When really, it’s that I haven’t trusted Him–

that He uses All. For. Purpose.

I haven’t really trusted that our paths connect for purpose and that I haven’t broken the *Me* He created.

That I’m just as He allows me–floppy and flaily and a little bit of crazy.

Reuniting with high school friends this summer was scary for me. I was tempted to feel shame for who I was all those years ago, and fear they might not like who I am now. But He gave me courage to stand with my friends and let them accept the real Me.

It’s taken me years to let myself know genuine love and friendship. 

     The kind that says, I like being around you, just. the. way. you. are

God is growing my acceptance of the peace in me about who I really am.

Authentic-Me is beginning to emerge in my every day real living.

I am learning to wrestle fear and shame to the ground.

He is doing amazing work in me.

He’s making the real Me bubble up.

I am no longer strong enough to keep the lid tight and the pressure of His grace is making the *authentic* Me boil over.

I am discovering beauty in me as I admit that I will make some kind of mistake every day.

As odd as it may seem, this is a truth that I have only recently considered.

A truth that has begun to set me free from the try-hard Me.

I am ready for people to see the real Me, now that I am finally discovering who she is. 

And I’m ready to be kinder and gentler with Me. To become my own friend.

The words He leads me to write make this heart He’s healing and refining–authenticity–boil over the stone pot I’ve kept sealed tight.

What you see here is the Me who has been freed.

And hopefully what you *see* is an outpouring of the same–in Real Life.

The *perfect* I’ve for too long thought I should be, is {finally} coming untied.


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7 thoughts on “on what it means to be real (guest post by amy hunt)

  1. Oh Amy…you are singing my song here…I am right there with you…God has just exposed my hiding…my self- protection… I too am learning to be more gentle with myself and others…not fearing being too much. I am seeing more now than ever…blogging was one of the paths God put me on to heal my soul. thanks for being authentic…one of the reasons I am drawn to reading your blog.
    Thanks dear Em for hosting this place…love and blessings to you both~

  2. Pingback: Finding and Recognizing Truth | Predatory Lies

  3. I love how you call this authenticity “worship,” Amy. As indeed it is. The kind of worshipers He seeks are those who are in spirit and in *truth*.
    I echo the shame you have described as the “try-hard life”. What a bondage perfectionism is. Making peace with my failures and imperfections has been the bravest thing I think I’ve ever done.
    So sweet how you share your journey toward this peace, too, friend.
    A soul set free. 🙂

  4. Earlier this summer Jesus and I took a walk. Your post is in a nutshell what He spoke to me. That I could be ME and not this fake plastic version of myself. I love that you said ” I’m ready to be kinder and gentler with Me. To become my own friend.” I’m working on the becoming my own friend part.
    thank you for this post!

  5. So good to read your words here today Amy. Much love to you. You always write from such a depth of wisdom and experience and most importantly? Love. 🙂

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