To All the Sweaty Girls

In light of my oh so sweaty field trip yesterday to the alligator farm with our co op, this just had to be said…

“You know she’s a sweater” I believe those were the exact words uttered by my father across the table to my future husband right before he asked for my hand in marriage.

Nice move, right?

Now, to be fair, it takes one to know one, he is also “a sweater”, to use his terminology, and he has been my whole life.  He wasn’t trying to throw me under the bus, he was trying his best to bring a little reality to his love struck future son-in-law.  Of course, I would have chosen a different bit of truth to level the field of play, but that is why they are men and have these sort of meetings without us being present.

Here is the truth though, he was right.  I sweat.  Not pretty glistening sweat, I mean all out dripping down my temples red-faced kind of sweat and at the slightest sign of heat.  I also have hairs in very inconvenient places that grow too long before they are plucked, a saggy baby belly, and a million other things I would rather not mention.  In fact there are a million flaws about me outwardly and inwardly as well, I could list them but that would be beside the point.

For years, these flaws-my sweating- it all held me back.  It imprisoned me.  I avoided things like outdoor picnics and summer time field trips, really any kind of large social gathering caused anxiety.  Not because I didn’t like sweating, although I could do without it, but because I didn’t like other people to see me sweat.  It mortified me, made me feel embarrassed and so NOT lady like.  Smudged make-up and sweat dripping down my back, was not the picture of grace and beauty I wanted to portray.

But my picture, the one that I get to display, it isn’t really my choice- It’s His.  He chooses our “pictures”.  He gives us a basket full of things in a life and says live in this, through this, with this.  He says this not because he wants to torture us, but because He wants to display himself in us.  HIS GRACE HIS BEAUTY -NOT MINE.

We all do it, put on our face.  We try to put the best out in front and leave the straggly bits behind so no one sees the real stuff that unravels.  For some of us it’s being a sweaty mess at a party, others have body issues, there are the alcoholic issues, and eating disorder issues.  Really there are so many things we work hard for others just not to see.

But here is the thing… those unraveling bits are where the power lies.  I don’t think I would have ever learned this without our struggles in adoption over the past few years.  It has taken that pain, that exposure, to reveal the power of His truth that comes when we live open and real FOR HIM.

And so I have learned to embrace my pain and live it out loud.  Instead of letting the hard humiliate me, I allow it to humble me.  Sure, I may be the only one who looks like a hot mess, but I am never the only one who feels like one.  And my willingness to live in the mess of my struggle is often the entrance into real that someone else needs.

The reality is that we all struggle and it is bearing your struggle, pressing hard into it, accepting it and not running from it that brings truth and human camaraderie.  It allows Him the opening to move through me to touch those around me.  When I accept the mess of who I am and open my life up for others to see, it allows Christ to unearth in me His spirit and His power.

It is our struggles that can become the vehicle for true connection and honest growth.  So whatever has you bound up today, whatever feels like your prison – don’t hide it from others or try to avoid it.  Instead, live in it and ask God to use it as He humbles you through it.  Let his strong be in your weak.  It might be the very thing that He uses to save the struggling soul next to you.  Our lack, our mess, our real – is the entrance into His unbelievable Grace, His humbling mercy, and His transforming power.

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One thought on “To All the Sweaty Girls

  1. LOVE this! it is what I have been passionate about my whole life- sweating! just kidding.:) but passionate about letting us see the REAL junk so that they don’t feel alone, don’t feel they have to hide (which is like you said, prison)…mine has been more towards being real about failures/ sin etc…which I guess its in the same category in that if we hold back/disobey it is a sin…thank the LORD sweating isn’t a sin! bc , girlfriend, I am RIGHT there with you!! maybe you haven’t see it much…I feel like we both avoided heat at all costs! (not out of embarassment, but bc why sweat outside if we can go inside and not sweat?!:)) but i am literally a sweat bucket, drench pool….leah will ask me if i washed my hair. i do the slightest bit of housework and bam,SWEAT. DRIPPING sweat. when I am cleaning/ moving about etc, i just pick up paper towel after towel after article of clothing and am CONSTANTLY wiping dripping sweat from all over! its insane!! i know my meds have something to do with it and have made it worse (at least i hope that its the meds, so hopefully its not a forever thing, to this degree…bc honestly, I could give you a run for your money. i mean, when its not even HOT out, i go outside for two minutes or go to the car and turn on the air and within those couple minutes I already have sweat marks underneath my boobs…i mean, showing on my clothes! AND I almost always have on a tank and then a shirt, so you KNOW that’s bad…lets have a sweat contest/war! and take bets! i bet eddie would bet on me and billy would be on you. we can video tape ourselves doing housework for twenty minutes and compare notes. whoever loses has to go visit the other!:)) …anyway, i know I always sweat somewhat, but i remember distinctly the first time it was beyond …it was SO embarrassing and unlike any other time in my life. I truly think that during that day of my life, my sweat glands changed forever. it was when my boyfriend and i broke up over the summer (semi break up, break ish type of thing, we had been together two years, so you know, back then, that was IT!)…i went to his apt to talk to him (he dumped me for good then) and I left his apartment with sweat everywhere. i mean, unreal embarrassing if he noticed…who am i kidding? of course he did! HUGE rings under each arm pit, marks on my shirt, back of my shirt, legs and face with drops of if etc. it was from that point on that i spent extra money to buy “certain dri”…haven’t seen it in forever, they probably took it off the shelves bc it was cancer causing bc it just basically totally clogs your pours. i was dry alright- to the point of total itchiness and annoyance but I DID NOT CARE. if by chance I forgot to put it on one day….it was the worst day! not so much bc i was embarrassed bc i just felt so so gross!! anyway, i have since left certain dri behind, but not the sweat. its good so when eddie gets home if i did something for five minutes it looked like i had been running circle aroudn the kids outside for hours!:) alas, i think i must switch to toms deo or something without aluminum and that is not a happy thought. anyway, didn’t mean to get all into that, but i love your honesty in sharing this. i cannot believe your dad said that! you told me that before but i forgot and i literally lol when i read it just now!! i mean, that is absolutely hysterical (and ridiculous too:)). but these kinds of things, i believe, are truly some of THE most valuable ways that God has practically given us to be examples/show Him….like an eveyr day living example when we choose to be real, share with others only wish they could , be honest about our strugglies, our horrible thoughts that we think no one else thinks these things, our nasty sweat, etc etc….i often blurt out things in total honesty that catch people off guard and people around me that know me (like my mom) are like BREN! and yes although i have learned and am learning sometimes i have to bite my tongue, almost every time i have stepped out in honesty, even if i got lots of people telling me TMI or don’t need to share THAT on facebook or this or that… i get an email or phone call or conversation with someone who tells me it gave them courage, that it helped change their life etc. for a while i was purposefully posting just whatever photos, me looking nasty or house all messy etc (a while back) bc girls in bible study were sharing about how intimidating facebook can be and how everyone puts their best foot foward and you look at each family and think WOW, they are seriously almost perfect… and we covet each others families, bodies, children, brains, homes etc etc. but underneath it all, we all have our junk. so i am a firm believer in a junk put- er out there as often as possible if it means bringing someone in , (even if we don’t know it) and giving them a glimpse of NOT feeling alone and strength to fight the LIES of the enemy and take baby steps towards being real, being who they are in Christ…..ok, my post is longer than your blog. guess who cant sleep. maybe we should schedule a 2 am phone call.:))

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