“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” Elbert Hubbard
I recently took a personality test of sorts (from this book), and I found myself hating reading about my personality. I didn't hate it because I was learning more about myself (that's the reason I picked it up), but I hated it because suddenly, on paper, for the entire world to read, was me. In the most real, terrible way, I realized that I couldn't hide from the truths on the page. The deepest parts of my personality—the need to be original (which I thought was just a me-thing...), the disconnect from my parents, the disinterest in interacting with most people—was suddenly there. For every person to read and to know.
I made me feel bare; I suddenly didn't feel like an anomaly or ambiguous (as I had lived my brief 20 years on this earth to be). I felt exposed, and I hated it.
I have this thing. Maybe it's a coping mechanism from past hurts; maybe it's just a strange idiosyncrasy, but I live my life desperately trying not to be known. No, not in the way that no one knows my name (though, let's be honest here... some days, yes), but in the way that the deepest parts of my soul and emotions are hidden. They're mine, and they cannot be touched.
It doesn't matter why this is; it just matters that it is. I know that I'm not the only person on this planet with this desire, and I also know that it's a pain in the butt to be friends with someone like me.
Why, though? Why is this a thing with which many people live?
Is it because we're afraid of what people will think?
Is it because we want to be mysterious?
Is it because we are gripped by so much shame and pain of what's happened in our life that we cannot imagine that someone could possibly love us?
I think it's oftentimes the latter. We are our own worst critics, and with that comes the belief that every other person on this planet holds the same beliefs we have about ourselves.
Here's the reality: People suck sometimes. They open their mouths and insert their feet; they say rude things to elevate themselves; they make you feel inadequate and broken. People don't respond the way they should, and they avoid messy people.
People often don't want to know you, but Christ does.
In my mess, my insecurities, and my shame, Christ met me. He knows the depths of my soul—my hurts, my fears, and my secrets—and He chose to die for me.
"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6-8, ESV
In my fight to be unknown, God pursued the darkest parts of me; He rescued me at my worst, and He strengthens me for the days ahead. In my fallenness, I don't want to be known, but He knows me, and He wants to continue to know me.
Christ knows the intricate parts of my heart, and He still choses to love me. That, my friends, is the beauty of the gospel. In our mess, Christ died for us.
Despite your fears, you can be known, and you are loved in spite of what He finds.