I’m a super honest person. Lately, I’ve been struggling with feeling insincere when I casually run into people around town. I got downright nervous recently at the grocery store while waiting in line with my cart of items, anticipating the impending conversation. A typical, short greeting in a situation like this used to go something like “Hi! How are you?” To which I would reply, “I’m great! How are you?” And then we would carry on with casual conversation or other business. Similar encounters happen when running into friends in public places. I have to say though, these conversations are no longer working for me. They don’t ring true and leave me feeling icky.
You see, I’m not great. Hell, I’m not even good. If I were to answer honestly, I would say, “I’m having a hard time. I’m really sad. And I’m really tired. Grief is so hard. I’m overly-emotional and completely overwhelmed. I’m also a little anxious. And I’m really, really vulnerable, which makes me easily hurt and then resentful, which I absolutely hate. I’m tired of crying. And I’m so ‘over’ bad news I could scream.”
Cue the young, stunned cashier at H.E.B. with her mouth gaping open, running towards her manager for help with the crazy lady in the checkout lane. Boundaries are important in our society. Even my friends and acquaintances would struggle to respond to that emotional outburst, regardless of its truth.
What’s strange to me is that even though I myself am “not good,” God and I are good. We’re solid, in fact. My faith has not wavered. My face is still fixed on His.
So, as I struggle with social etiquette that coincides with honesty and faith, I’ve decided on the following for the time being:
“Hi! How are you?”
“I’m blessed. How are you?”
Because despite my erratic emotions, God’s blessings are consistent. Despite my hurt, God is still good. Despite my feelings changing like shifting sand with every new wave of grief, His grace still stands firm.
I’m blessed. And how are you?