Looking Forward To 40

Hello Bravehearted Beauties! I’m back after a super sweet blog hijacking. My husband knows I love words and is collecting a box full of them for my 40th birthday. You’re invited to participate even if we’ve never met….and even if you feel crazy for wanting to write. I can promise you one thing: I’ll treasure your words! {You can read his post and find the email here.}

little linsey 1PINIT

So here I am, a few days away from 40, and I’m feeling almost giddy about it! This may sound crazy, but I finally feel like I belong to my age. My Granny always said I was an old soul…wise beyond my years. I don’t know about the wise part, but I never felt like a great fit for younger ages. I never seemed to live those years to the fullest. When peers were putting studies aside to have fun, traveling overseas to see the world, giving up dutiful obligations to pursue their dreams, I was staying the course…the course I thought a responsible, dependable, intelligent, good girl should follow. Perfection was my passion; freedom felt too willy-nilly. {I feel tension in my body just remembering that path. I don’t think I took a single deep breath during all those years. And when someone told me to relax, I tensed up all the more. Right now, in this very moment, I’m taking a deeeeeeep breath.}

Freedom scared me. The perfectionist in me feared getting it wrong. I operated under a false belief that if I could just get it right {that is, perfect}, I could prevent the things that make life feel chaotic and crazy. Or, Lord help me, that I could please everyone enough to get the love and approval I so deeply desired. You can’t tell a perfectionist to just flat out stop. Charging ahead, going her own way, blowing past everyone’s expectations but never meeting her own is all she knows how to do. Anything less is terrifying. Freedom from all of that is unthinkable. Deep breaths are impossible.

If you’re in that place today, there is no shame or condemnation. The striving, perfecting and controlling may be a needed part of your journey toward freedom. The exhaustion, frustration and inability to make life work on your own may be the very things that create a deeper longing for more. The truth is that the things we wish weren’t part of our stories can be the very things that drive us right into the best parts of our stories. Talk about redemption!

The fact that you’re even here reading these words tells me something about you. You long for more. You may not be voicing it yet, but you’re drawn to something you can’t quite name and have come back to see how God is going to turn all of this brokenness into beauty…maybe in my life, but more importantly, in yours. It’s not me you desire to know more when you come here; it’s freedom, truth, healing, beauty, light and life! I want that, too! And as Bravehearted Beauties, I believe we’re fighting for that together! I don’t think I told you this, but the other name God gave me when He called me Bravehearted Beauty was “Freedom Fighter.” I about fell out of my seat. Me?!?! Yes, me. He wants to use me to fight for your freedom and mine. And one of the ways I can do that is right here…with words and beauty. Beauty stirs the heart to life where words fail.

Here’s what I’ve learned about brokenness: there’s a bravery and a beauty to it. It takes courage to let your brokenness show and to let the pain of it rise up and spill out. But with each pain we allow to surface and each tear we cry, our heart cracks open a little more. And the cracking is good because that’s how the healing gets in. Only a broken thing can be healed. And only an open thing can receive more life, light and love. Let the pain out so you can let the love in. As C.S. Lewis wrote, an unbroken heart is impenetrable and irredeemable. That’s not the kind of heart we want!

In time, your tears will change. {I’m believing my tears will be poured back over me like a waterfall of joy!} In time, your heart will change. In time, you will change. And as scary as change may sound to you now, a day will come when you embrace this change in you and ask for even more of it. How do I know? Because if this change resistant girl is asking for more, anyone can!

I believe the second half of life is going to be awesome! I believe 40 means freedom! I believe we can throw perfection and pleasing to the wind and follow our hearts no matter how it rocks the boat. Oh, and that boat rocking? It’s not nearly as scary when the One who commands the winds and the waves is in the boat with you! {I love this story of Jesus calming the storm. I like to picture myself in the scene. And I like to imagine that I might just curl up beside Him when He’s sleeping and not worry about when He’s going to silence the wind in the waves. Because if I’m curled up next to Him, all is well!}

Here’s to 40. Here’s to freedom. Here’s to your brave and beautiful hearts!

Linsey signature 100pix

 

 

P.S. That childhood photo at the top? My aunt took it when I was 10 years old. She was studying photography and wanted to practice a portrait session. I was all dressed up and trying to do all that she asked of me. But in the end, she told me to put my regular clothes back on and hop up on the stool. That’s when she captured the real me: scraggly hair, picked off fingernails and dirty toes. I was a mess, and it happens to be one of my favorite photos. Oh, the irony!

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  • Sherry - Happy, happy 40th birthday Linsey! Your words have spoken to me in exactly the way I needed them today. Thank you. You and your words can only be described as rare gems to be treasured. Keep sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Holly - Lindsey – Happy birthday dear sister! I too am excited for 40! I too struggle with perfectionism, but if you see my house you can realize I have learn to let much go in the past 8 years. Marriage and motherhood have been utterly sanctifying and have truly broken me of my need to be perfect. However, I do still revert to old ways and can find myself on the path to perfection if I am not careful and being honest before the Lord and others. Thank you for your words. So wish we lived closer so I could shower you with treats on your day or have lunch.

    Thank you for sharing your soul with others!

    Holly (Lieder) ParkerReplyCancel

  • Bravely Believing and Desiring MORE » Bravehearted Beauty - […] entered into 2015 saying YES to more. I felt brave about a new year. I was looking forward to turning 40. And finally, I don’t know that I shared this on the blog, but the words I heard God speak […]ReplyCancel