Scroll through any social media feed and it doesn’t take long to discover the common theme of self-love. People are becoming consumed by the idea of self-improvement through independence and inner strength. Posting photos of vacation destinations, untouched meals, and filtered selfies has become the new norm. The smoke and mirrors of the 21st century, social media has become a way to create the illusion of the ideal life. The idea of being connected to hundreds of followers yet completely disconnected to those right in front of us is becoming more and more prevalent.

I used to be one of those people, fallen into the trap that I don’t need anyone. That if I work harder, exercise more, eat healthier, or travel more then maybe I would be satisfied with who I am. All while keeping people at arm’s length out of fear that they’d see the side of me that was longing for true connection.

You see, so many of us come from different stories, yet we are all trying to find love and connection in this broken world in our own ways. No amount of performance will satisfy our deepest need of acceptance. Jesus loved us before we could earn anything. He suffered for us before we could prove anything. There is absolutely nothing we can do in our own strength to measure up to the flawless and unwavering love of God.

He created us to be in relationship with one another, to remind each other of that kind of love. We are called to be honest about our brokenness and to carry each other’s burdens. We weren’t meant to deal with our wounds alone. When ignored, a physical wound festers and becomes infected. It spreads throughout your flesh, affecting your entire well being. We cover our wounds to maintain the appearance of being unflawed and to avoid burdening others, only damaging ourselves further. All while others have covered wounds of their own, waiting to realize they’re not alone in this struggle.

When will we realize there’s beauty in authenticity and allowing the true grace of God to identify us? That He carries our burdens, accepts us in all our flaws, and is just waiting for us to be honest with ourselves and others so that He can reveal His unconditional love and redeeming power through relationship.