The Authenticity Dilemma

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I have said in the past that I’m passionate about authenticity, however I feel a little wary of that word lately.

For one, authentic has become a kind of a catchword. I’m concerned it might become over-used or even misused and little too, let’s say, trendy.

For another, I hit some hard things in a very personal way and I really don’t like to talk about with anyone. Not even my closest friends. I don’t carry around hidden burdens or bitterness (that I am aware of) but there are certainly topics and experiences that frankly I don’t care to be open about.

I wanted to process this for a minute here on the blog because I think it would be fair to assume that most people reading this have topics or experiences that bring up past hurt. Mine is miscarriage– just the very word brings so much emotion. Maybe for another person it is divorce or drug addiction. Maybe it is the lame questions people keep asking you like, “When are you getting married?” Or, “When are you starting a family?” Maybe it is abuse, maybe it is rejection, maybe it is an issue with a child, the list is long of the things individuals face.

So getting to the point…I wonder, am I still passionate about “being authentic”?

I was drawn to that phrase because I am drawn to people who are open and real…people who are sincere and genuine in the way they talk and live. Does that make sense?

So I guess the tension for me is what about those things we don’t care to be open about? What about the hurting places? The disappointments? The conflict?

Are we still authentic and genuine people even if we don’t want to discuss our hurts?

Has anyone else had these thoughts?

Have you experienced a desire to close off some aspect of your life as far as open discussion goes and did that make you feel inauthentic?


I would guess that this is all part of a grief/healing process…and natural, even if total healing is only in the presence of Jesus one day.


Maybe it makes me feel a tad better to be authentic about being somewhat inauthentic…lol. You see what I did there? 😉

Additionally, I am so thankful that I can be completely transparent, even with my hurt, with my God. I know he understands me. I know he loves me. I am safe to trust him even when I still feel deeply sad. I realize the value of openness with my friends, family, sisters in Christ etc…We cannot walk around and fake our smiles and yet, there are places in our lives that can only be healed by our God. We can run to him and we can trust him.

Thanks for processing with me…

Singing His Grace,





3 Comments on “The Authenticity Dilemma”

  1. Jess, I love how you authentically wonder out loud about whether you are “still authentic about being authentic.” Such a characteristically authentic thing that authentic people like you do. If we were trusted friends sitting on the deck in the sun, or sitting at table with our favorite beverages in our favorite mugs (so we would have something to sip and fiddle with when those little awkward silences sneak up) I would enjoy peeling off a few more layers of this sweet onion with you. I was going to pose a few questions right here that I imagined us exploring/wrestling with together (and the various wabbit-twails they pwovide). But then I realized it is coming up on the “two year mark” for you, and the “four year mark” for me. And I still tear up over the littlest things (and hating to see a grown man cry). And knowing that there is more than one way to peel an onion and tears will flow anyway. Better sometimes just to listen, and be listened to.

    • Hey Rob! So nice to have you pop by to this “virtual deck” of sorts with maybe a virtual mug but a very authentic comment. In fact, it has me pondering the power of hope as we peel the dreaded stinking onion, through tears, we peel with hope that one day there will be no tears. Not wishful thinking hope, but hope in a secure promise hope. Pretty profound. Still pondering how hope and authenticity intersect. Blessings!

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