About Lacy Hilbrich

I am a mom, a pastor and a full time volunteer in many roles that all point toward more love for the world.

What If: Our Ability to “Let Someone Have It’’ is Really a Revelation of Trust?

I was listening to a brilliant podcast this week and the interview spoke to this idea. I was immediately challenged to think about the truth behind this comment. The discussion stemmed from the distance between a father and daughter of more than 13 years. As they rebuilt their relationship, there was a moment where the wounds of the past exploded in the fury of hurt. It was in that space that the dad, Lenny Duncan, said:

“We were a year and a half into living as a family and she was doing something she wasn’t supposed to be doing and I called her out on it. And she let me fucking have it. She said, ‘You ruined my fucking life. You destroyed everything. I’ve never had a family. I’ve never felt love. I’ve never felt like I had any worth. You stole everything from me.’ She screamed, Nadia, three inches from my face. And I walked outside and I got on the phone with my friend and weeped, tears of joy, because we knew she trusted me enough to let me have it, which means she knew I was not leaving.

Before I go any further, I need to clarify something that is key to this question. For this conversation,”letting someone have it” is speaking your truth. It is summoning the courage to finally say the things that have been on your heart and trusting someone enough to hear your deepest pain and most agonizing fear. This is truth telling and honesty, not shaming or berating. There is absolutely no excuse, no reason, to brutally wound with dagger pointed words, especially if there is not the established safety or security of relationship. That is manipulative abuse, not trust. Period.

Trust building is a sacred gift. By navigating the waters of pain and hurt and loneliness and fear alongside a co-journeyer, we invite others to battle with and take care of our hearts. As I listened to the revelation of trust in this father/daughter moment, I was reminded of times in my own life where I have broken through to new levels of connection with those that I have allowed into my inner sacred spaces. For people with wounds, and let’s be honest that’s most of us have them, we guard the soft spots. We know that by allowing others to see the vulnerable spots, we are risking further hurt. To find the level of trust that reveals love in the midst of the moments of fear of rejection is to launch a relationship into the next dimension.

If you have ever lost it, lost it in a way that all you could do was yell and scream and cry because rational thought has no accurate expression of your internal chaos, you know this kind of risk. But to have the one that you lost it on offer compassion or a unrelenting hug or a “I don’t care and I love you more because you just said that” is an absolute game changer.

Might I offer us all a challenge? Especially for those who need a little feisty release – let them have it. Let the person that you love and trust and are not quite sure how to express yourself to have that risky moment of truth telling. Not because you need to blow your top. Not because you need to yell. Not even because you have some things bottled up under pressure and they don’t have an exit pathway. Do it because YOU need to be you and they need to know that you trust them. I promise, these moments are magic.


What If: Nature is the Only Way I Experience God?

This question was posed to me in mid-March and I wondered how I would tackle it. Here we are, two months later and I finally have something to say about this topic. But the answer did not come out of study or even an intentional spiritual journey into deeper truth. The response has come through further breaking of my framework of connection. It has come with unknowing and letting old ways die. It has come through survival.

Prior to quarantine, I rarely went into my backyard. We built a gorgeous pool 8 summers ago and my unwillingness to put on a swimsuit meant that I touched the water maybe 3 times a year. There are only a few places where the “outdoors” and I are zen. I feel soul connected watching waves. I feel at peace in clear water with a snorkel on my face. I know a tender comfort while looking at the red rocks of Arizona. But running, hiking, biking, surfing, swimming (need I say more?) are not the ways that I experience the Divine.

Something happened when my only “escape” was the backyard – when the world told me that other places were not safe. When Target was no longer an outdoor adventure, I had to breathe fresh air in other ways. In an act of pure desperation, I went outside. I began each morning with a long walk. I explored paths in the neighborhood that I had never seen. I found a pond with turtles that I had never noticed. I began to love my coffee on the porch. I grew a garden – a BIG wonderful fruit producing garden. I found great joy in digging in the dirt. I now know all of the worms and bugs and even the crawly critters that my backyard has to offer. And when I “mastered” my fenced in space, I jumped the 8′ boundary and began trying to root the wild plants from the field next to our house.

Over the course of the last month, I fell in love with Galveston. I know…the brown water. But again, these things matter little when all you have seen for weeks is a master planned community. To sit on the seawall and feel the salty breeze has restored my deepest dying places. I have a new love, and her name is the outdoors. I’m still not ready to “rough it.” I long for the day that my time outside can be followed by a 4-star hotel with high thread count sheets and a spa. I’m not that changed. But, I get this question in a way that I never thought I could.

Now, for my great insight to the “what if?”…I know you are holding your breath. If you can experience the Comforter in ANY WAY, you are fortunate. If sitting in the sun gives you a glimpse into the mystery of soul connection, what a gift. If climbing a cliff or diving deep in the water allows your heart to see the infinite connection to Creator, hold that feeling as tight as you can and climb and dive as high and as deep as you can. Everyday.

The more that I explore new avenues of connection and allow myself to be freed from pre-programmed “right” thinking, the more that I drop the need to do it one way. I have a friend that finds more peace and stillness in Nature Church than in a building on Sunday mornings. Can we just stop for a moment and bless that worship as true and good? Rather than piling on the should’s and ought to’s, can we free each other to connect with the Holy in our own ways? I’m over it, in the best possible ways. And with that in mind, I’m going to the beach today. I need some good worship time.

What If: I Was Not Afraid to be Myself?

I’m 45 freaking years old. WHHHYYYYY is this still a question that I struggle with? You would think that with the internal excavation that I have done in my adulthood that I would have wrapped my mind around the fact that not only will everyone not like me, but I really don’t want them to. And here’s the real, true deal. I really don’t care about most of the big judge-y world. But there are some. The treasured few, that I allow to really know me. Within these precious relationships, I have found acceptance and love. I feel known and heard. I am challenged and pushed…until I balk. Until the moment comes that I feel that icky if they really knew me shiver come over my soul. I hate that damn shiver.

I know that the perception of my very out-there living life is one of truth telling. The danger with being someone that is regularly called “brave” or “open” or worse yet “vulnerable” is that I begin to believe that the stories that I tell and the writings that I offer are those things. And sure, I talk about things that most people would like to keep on the eternal down-low, but that’s just me. Talk about personality shortcomings, no problem. Talk about addiction and recovery, no biggie. Mental health? I’m totally down. I can tell all of these tales of life journeys with head knowledge and my beautiful rearview 20/20 vision. I’m all in. Until the shift happens. You know the shift?

When we move from head to heart, from facts to emotions, I don’t want you anywhere near me. I don’t want you to know that there are large chunks of my junk that I don’t want to tackle. I don’t want to admit that mastery is never going to happen in my world of real living. At the very core of fear is a very hot burning fire of doubt that you will ever believe, or trust, or even like me if you reallllly know me. If you could see the ways that I behave, if you knew the gaping holes of shame and insufficiency, you would see right through my tough exterior directly into the wounds that are still festered and infected with unhealed disease.

I have spent the last few weeks examining the next layer of healing that needs to happen in my journey of life. One of the things that I know to be the truest of true, when it comes to my own thriving, is my need to not keep a secret. There is nothing that will bore holes in my spiritual existence like the knowledge that I have done, that I know or that I am thinking about an idea in a way that I believe no one knows or will find out. Having the ability to deceive, or even the embedded lie in my head that I have the world fooled, is a dangerous and destructive path.

Let’s lay these realities down next to each other. I am not in a good space when I have secrets AND I don’t trust that you will still love me if you really know me. This is a recipe for constant chaos. There is a wicked dance of reveal…retreat…share a bit more…see if they run…give them a big one…prepare for rejection. This mental gymnastics meet has kept me on the sidelines of full honestly for so long. There are the life defining stories that feel vulnerable but are actually quite public. And then there are the ones that I still don’t have a resolution for, the ones that make me feel weak and unsure of survival. These are the secrets that still haunt me. They threaten sanity, sobriety, calm and serenity.

What I know about secrets is they multiply like gremlins. In a mind like mine, light and water are similar to partial truths or only sharing the parts of my life that I believe you will not judge me for. These choices for false vulnerability are the very tasty appetizers for my diseased soul. So what is the cure? How do I walk into these spaces with the hope that I can be loved? I do it one tiny step at a time. One minuscule risk in safe space for the sake of healing. There are absolutely unsafe spaces. There are untrustworthy receptacles of our love and hearts and hurts and pasts. But there are also those who not only want to walk with us, but they need us to risk so that they can risk. There is a beautiful, sacred gift when your vulnerability is met with not only love and acceptance but an equal revelation of pain and hurt. I don’t think it is an overstatement to call these moments divinely inspired. I certainly believe that my dumb decisions and moments of pain that are received in a gift of connection and trust can only be described as holy. To my treasured hope holders, you know me and love me. You give me faith in myself. You are a gift.

What If: You Had to Pick One Person to Be With Forever?

Let’s switch tracks today, ok? I have enjoyed the deepest of spirit and good inner work as I write these days, but I find myself in a relationship reflectional space today. I saw this question on a website (did you know there were websites for good question asking?) and it has run like a hamster on a wheel in my mind for days. There are layers to this question, so we need to do some defining. “Be with” is not as clear as it seems. So for the sake of this discussion, I am not talking about marriage or even monogamy. The direction I am taking is pointed toward the ‘deserted island’ – you are only going interact with one person for the rest of your life. Let’s discuss.

I need my people. I need all of my people. I have had seasons in my life where I probably could have been content with one other person. Times when I could retreat to a deserted island and be alone with my sister, a friend, a new love or even my children. (Yes, young mommas, they get older and more independent and wildly fun to spend days alone with.) But honesty time: one-on-one seasons never bring out the best me. There is not one human that meets all of my needs. There are places that are unique to the special shaped spaces of my heart – including my need to rebel, fight, attack and be protected. I have yet to meet a single person that gets all of these sides of me.

Most of you know that I have been married for almost 22 years. My person has been my person for more than half of my life. If you know him, you know that dependable and steady are words of endearing love that show all that he brings to my life. These are precious traits that give me the freedom to be the dreaming, fierce woman that I was created to be. At the same time, the wide breadth of soul passion can be a gulf of unintended distance if left unacknowledged. It has been a hard journey recognizing these truths. It is even harder to figure out how to navigate the truth of this reality. The single best thing that I can do for the sake of my own soul is be honest. Really, really honest. Even when I am worried that my honestly will hurt in ways that I never intended to hurt those I love. My own truth is just that, truth. It is not something to be policed or controlled. Truth is something to be honored and respected.

I need to take a moment to speak to those who may find themselves in spaces and places that appear to be “different” or “unconventional” or even “dangerous.” Welcome to the hurtfully labeled club. I am the president and CEO. Even as a middle-finger-at-the-world kind of girl, words sting. There are few things that can wound like someone telling me that the way that I love the people that I love is wrong. Here is the thing. How I express and honor the people in my life should only be a discussion between my soul and the others impacted by my love.

This is one area of my life that quarantine has exposed in all of its ugly head space and aloneness. I don’t think I had an accurate grasp on just how vital the diversity of input from my many voices is on my soul. I have longed for the times when I just need to run to my corners of venting and screaming (and even crying…I know) and have a friend that knows just what I need. As much as I adore my person, as much as he brings so many things that I need into focus and clarity, I am better when I can hear from other voices. Ones that have known me longer. Ones that are wired like me. Ones that know how to aim a flaming dagger of truth right to the heart of the things that I want to avoid. These traits are not found in one space or person in my life. I need all of the brash, tender, wild, free, daring, steady, brave and challenging voices that I have invited into my life to speak honesty and hold space for me.

There is not one person, not one single person, that would be my island mate for life. Without the variety of voices and experiences and love and passion and grace and knowledge, I am not the person I am today. I will always look to the beauty of many voices. I will continue to pursue wholeness in every relationship. I will constantly seek those that are trustworthy to share my life. If I had to go to an island, I would need huts for my people. I would need a porch and a fire pit for my question asking ‘what if’ friends. I would need a beautiful sacred space for the moments of treasured quiet that I share with my husband. I would need a stash of my favorite rebellion tools for good fun. I would need my computer or a good journal for writing and my people that I share my written thoughts with. All of these things make me the very best version of me. Actually, the more I think about it, I’m buying an island and setting up the fun. Later, haters.

What If: Faith Has Nothing to Do With Doctrinal Purity?

Deconstruction is a popular word that is used in the circle of recovering Evangelical Christianity to explain the process of unpacking old thoughts. My journey of deconstruction began in 2002. It was in a season of absolute desperation and spiritual death that I began to question all of the ways in which I had been taught to look for truth and hope in ways that no longer made since. I didn’t have a box for the reality that I wanted to commit suicide. There was no way to explain the truth that I was pastoring teenagers with the Good News of hope and joy and yet most mornings it was all I could do to get my head off the pillow and face the day.

I built a life that was based on a system of absolutes. The structure that gave me a job and a calling and a purpose was simultaneously feeding my need to cover my truth, deny my doubts and run from the soul spaces that were calling me to look for more. If I admitted that I did not believe in the story of Adam and Eve as a literal creation narrative how in the hell was I supposed to teach original sin – the root of the need for a savior? While to some this sounds like an overblown drama fest, to a person with only one experience of anything faith related, I feared that my entire existence could come unravelled.

Simple math would tell you that this has not been a quick journey. In so many ways, the last almost 2 decades have been quite the roller coaster. There have been moments of big, scary climbs – moments where I thought that the decent from that climb would actually kill me. One of the first biggies that I walked away from was the denominational church system of my childhood. I spent 30 years believing that the best expression of the Body of Christ was that system. And then that reality died. To say that a piece of my soul died with it is an understatement.

I wish I could say that was the hardest death. It only got harder as the stakes got bigger. The dismantling of my understanding of ordination did me in. The moment that I accepted that the work that I was doing was indeed pastoring…mind blowing. When I realized that me not being able to check the box of every profession of faith found in the creeds of the Church and yet that fact did not disqualify me from being a follower of Jesus – I was floored. The first time that I allowed myself to think about the possibility that sexuality was not something that needed moral policing, I was done. Flat out done. This list is not exhaustive, by any means. What I know today is that I am not done.

Here is the thing about deconstruction: it never stops. When you begin to live your life from a posture of leaning in, one of openness and space for new growth, the universe allows your heart and mind and thinking and loving to come from a bigger, more expansive place. In the process, my beliefs about doctrine and theology have changed. I took seminary classes in systematic theology. I still devour texts on historical shifts in church beliefs and makeup. These things are fascinating to me. But the process of deconstruction has wrecked my understanding of pure doctrine in the best possible way. No longer is the list about conforming. My journey is now about exploration. There is no fear in saying that I don’t believe in _______ or I can’t put the Divine in the _________ box.

I fully believed, for DECADES, that by altering my absolutes, by taking certain “fundamental” beliefs off the table, I was committing catastrophic damage to my own faith. Instead, what I found is that the “purity” factor is the lie. The box of believing that without certain certainites it all goes to hell, has been destroyed. I would instead argue that what I have found on the other side is a breath of fresh theological air. At the very essence of the Divine is great mystery, a big questioning mystery. We are not supposed to know and be certain. Certainty and absolute knowledge is the opposite of faith. If we find ourselves in a place where we have it all figured out, if we have all of the answers, we don’t need the Divine.

What If: I Listened to My Own Boundaries

I can honestly say that the biggest gift of this season of unboxing (I’m leaning into this “What If” openness as a big re-birthday party with many new gifts to open) is the ability to listen and trust my own voice. As I discover that I am worthy of listening to, I have been gifted with a precious time of filtering through what I’ve always believed, to find the gift of what is really true for me. With that, I have explored some new boundaries that I believe will carry me into the next season of life.

When reading Glennon Doyle’s book Untamed, she posed the question: What is my boundary? This was one of a series of questions that guided some navigational writing back in March. As I have revisited my thoughts on this, I have landed in a sacred space. I want to stop operating from a place of responsibility to others and begin recognizing the truth that is inside me. I want to believe that the Knowing that I have in my connection to my Creator is enough. I don’t have to water it down or make it digestible to the masses so I can speak truth. My boundary will be my own discontent. When I begin to feel it, I will honor that feeling and ask myself ‘how can I respond so that the world sees ALL that the Divine is teaching me?’

At the core of my love for humanity is a desire and hope that all will be included. I have camped out on this word ‘inclusion’ for years because I thought it was enough to be invited to the room of life. But an invitation or inclusion is insufficient. With our birthright, we are already in the room. Whether we are welcome there by others or not, we are in the room. I have spent much of my life living this out in the Church, continually encountering the keepers of rules and power that have exploited the places of control, only for those that they champion or for groups in common agreement.

“Unity” and “common ground” are scapegoat words in church circles that have been used for generations to quiet those voices that see the facade of inclusion to justify judgement. I was brought up with the themes of love and wanting. We have been told that the story of Jesus is about welcome. At the same time, I have bought the lie that by being open to people of different thoughts and expressions we are loving them well.

The ever burning coals of discontent in my soul are calling for something far from inclusion and unity. Nothing changes if we spend the next generation navigating the waters “carefully”. To really love people and care for those that have been relegated to the margins, we have to call out the perceived truth, as demonstrated by the masses. Seeing only what we long to see, or the “intent” for religious practice is empty because that is not what the world sees. Even from inside the club, I know that The Church is not welcoming. The Church is not affirming. The Church is not inclusive. 

No matter what name we place on the building, to the outside world it is the same judgmental, closed off and hate-spewing entity. Those that have been stabbed by judgement are not exploring the doctrines of individual congregational expressions for safety. If we are lucky, they are still willing to listen to the story of Jesus, but being a part of the instrument of exclusion is not even on the table for the majority of people today. It’s like inviting an alcoholic to come worship at a bar with the expectation that they won’t be burned by the desire to drink. Instead of celebrating the fact that those off put by our barrier building existence are still open to exploring avenues of connection to a Divine source of hope and healing, Christians continue to place on spiritual seekers the judgement of not being “true believers.” 

This is my boundary today. I’m over the cries for rallying around common threads of truth and allowing our welcome to be enough. Today, my boundary has a new wall. I’m here to honor all the big questions. I’m ready to admit to myself that I feel more welcome and acceptance from those that are far from the Church than I do from those that are close to the holy huddle. Setting boundaries are scary. Boundaries change the rules for all the players. But for this girl, the one that is trying to honor herself for a change, I’m listening to my boundaries and it feels life-giving!

(If this post stirs your soul or if you have read Glennon’s book and you want to unpack it with friends, I have a Facebook book club that is still in Part 1. Send me a message if you are interested in joining us!)

What If: Opening Yourself Up Means Changing the Idea of Who You Are?

  • “You need to change your clothes.”
  • “I need you to change your attitude.”
  • “Changing your work ethic is the only way you keep this job.”

If you have ever been on the receiving end of a similar comment, your defenses are probably already raised. You know what I’m talking about. Perhaps you have made the connection that I ponder – the need for change implies deficiency. Why would we change if there is nothing wrong? If someone calls us to change, is that a sign that things are not ok? I think that is the lie that I have been consumed by for decades.

The only times that I have felt compelled to work for change is when I was broken, hurting someone else or violating a human decency code. Usually, this comes when someone else calls me on the carpet for bad behavior. For someone wired like me, the opposite of the desired outcome is usually the impact. Watch me do what I want (insert 7 year old face with her thumbs in her ears and her tongue sticking out), because YOU CAN’T MAKE ME! To say that I resist personal change is a wild understatement. I hate it. I avoid it. Change hurts, even when the outcome is with a positive end goal. Change calls me to look for a new start, and new starts require unlearning behaviors and beliefs that have grown deep within me.

Walking in with the full knowledge that good can and should come from change, there is a root fear to soul change. To look at yourself – your questions, your thoughts, your passions, your doubts – is to stare down your very being. When we begin to dig into the deepest recesses of soul exploration we find defining beliefs. We find the causes and motivations for life decisions. We define the values that we place on relationships and wholeness and healing. The very things that characterize us as individualistically unique humans are accessed when we begin to evaluate the ‘what’s’ and ‘how’s’ of our belief systems.

I have recently reached a new personal line in the sand. These are the moments in my life where I know a change is needed. When I reach the moment that I cannot force myself to live in a way that no longer feels like home, I am headed toward an interior remodel. In this season, I have been called to look at, explore, evaluate, access and define who and what I value, what I believe, who I long to connect with and where I long to grow. These excavation projects come with a similar fear that the opening three statements evoke. I might even suggest that the internal stare downs are more painful because I know the truth. I know that I CAN do better. I know that I have not worked on the things that I value. I am fully, painfully, aware that my outlook and attitude must change. And it is in that moment that I have to ask the hard question. Do I want to redefine my being or stick with my safe, known self?

I love that this question of change is posed with the word “open” as the root. That’s the very best version of change. To open is to allow access to your heart. To open is to uncover your soul. To open is to spread out. I don’t know about you, but these are the very things that I need more of in my life. I need to remove the coverings from the things that are obscured. I need to release myself from old beliefs about what “is” or “supposed to be.” When we begin to change the foundations of structure and systems, when we dismantle old thinking and truly open our heart and mind and soul to the next version of ourselves, we WILL change. And the change will hurt. The growing will be painful. You don’t get taller without stretching your muscles and tendons. You don’t get a degree without the painful work of study. You don’t get the mature marriage or friendship without changing what those relationships are when they start.

In addition to the writing that I have put out for the blog world to read, I have recently done some hard writing about changes in my own life. One of my favorite questions that has spurred both joy and pain is “What is my boundary?” I wrote this a few weeks ago:

I want to stop operating from a place of responsibility to others and begin recognizing the truth that is inside me. I want to believe that the Knowing that I have in my connection to my own soul is enough – that I don’t have to water it down or make it digestible to the masses so I can speak truth. My boundary will be my own discontent. 

There is nothing that will change your own ideas of self like honoring your soul. When I listen to my own discontent, things cannot help but change, because I change. When I know that my gut tells me that something is off, that someone is not giving me their truth – and I actually freaking listen – everything MUST change. That’s the kind of change that I am about today. Not the shame change. Not the blame change. Not even the should change. I’m here for the I AM WORTH IT change. I am worth all of the discomfort and hardness and unsureness and fear because I know that the version of me on the other side is a freaking badass. I’m making a toast to opening up. Who is drinking with me today?

What If: I’m Over COVID?

I’m wondering how many of us find ourselves at the quarantine wall? I have followed the rules. I have lived in my house (and subsequently my own head) since mid-March. This is a danger zone. As a dear friend said to me today, “We were not created to live like this.”

With that worn out spirit, I went to Wal-Mart today. I feel like this is the opposite of stay at home. I wore my mask. I followed the taped markers. I judged all the people that did not have their facial coverings properly secured. I did it. I went on a mission. I needed something specific that did not require a cart or aisle strolling, but I could not do it online. So I went. It was somewhere near the women’s undergarment section when a profound awakening happened. Girdles are inspiring, I know.

Everything has changed.

Everything. Has. Changed.

My view of the world has changed. My desire to shop has changed. My ability to put life in a predictable box has changed. My willingness to live with regrets is gone. My fear of the unknown has been faced. My heart and soul and brain have been so force-fed with stillness that I have turned over rocks that I didn’t think still lived in my deepest recesses. All of this at a time when I have not had access to my routine, people, safe spaces or tools. There is only so much that my reading and podcast listening can fill. There are unattended areas of mess that I don’t know what to do with on a good day, much less 60 days without structure or the ability to escape the four walls of my house. Dear, Sweet Baby Jesus, I’m so tired. So today, I admit that the wall has been hit. It has been hit with exhaustion and fury. It has been hit with frustration and some shame and even more guilt.

And while all of these things have been hard, I need to let you in on the secret. I have never, ever, never-ever felt so alive. To be alive is to feel. To be alive is to know that you are being more true to the person you have been created to be than ever before in your life. To be alive is to know that with each breath, you are taking in the wealth of emotions that this life gives and at the same time, refusing to let the pain win. I am reminded today, that for some, the best life – the most full life – comes after an organ transplant or a chemo treatment. When the disease is removed and healing can begin. The chains-off life comes when the old ways of setting up shop are destroyed and in its place a bigger, more beautiful way of living is embraced.

I am over COVID. I am over the stay-at-home season. I am over not seeing my people. I am even over not hugging. But, I’m not over what this time has given me. There are things in my life that I could have kept tidied up and neatly boxed for many more decades. My routine and busyness has been a cushion of avoidance on many fronts. Instead, this two months has pointed a magnifying glass of better living like a lighthouse into my future. I know that it is not going to be simple or easy, but watch out world, Lacy is coming out of the house and I am ready to live.

What If: I Choose Courage Over Comfort?

There are a handful of people that I go to when the pain is too great. They live on a special bookshelf and have a place of honor at my house. Only the wise truth tellers are found on these 3 shelves. I have mentioned a few of them to you already, but there is one voice that can cut through the heavy with bombs of emotional genius. If you don’t know her, stop what you are doing and order her books. Now. My people, it’s time for you to join the Brene Brown fan club.

“I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time. Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”

Brene Brown Rising Strong

Oh, Brene. Why you gotta throw these truth bombs into my path? Here I am, minding my own business of wreckage and you roll up with the knock out truth punch. I want the comfort. I want to be admired and loved and honored. I want to say just enough where people think that I know the things, but not enough that I push myself to feel the discomfort of change. I don’t want to have my ass kicked. Unless, of course, I say that it is time for you to kick my ass and I know you are not really capable of hurting me because you don’t have enough weapons to do damage. Yep. That’s my very best thinking, people.

I am obsessed with Dateline, 48 Hours and all Oxygen and A&E Crime Documentaries. I love watching the investigation. I am fascinated with the way that people think they can commit a crime and cover it up. I can relate to this way of life. I am a master of the well thought-out and supremely organized cover up. No, I have not taken to the streets of hard crime, but I have done equal damage to my own soul with my expert ability to portray the version of Lacy that I want you to see. You like church Lacy? Check. Interested in the sarcasm and foul mouthed story teller, I got you. What about the soul diver? The one who could hit you with 2,020 questions to get at your truth but avoid her own at all costs? Well, hello, my little friend.

The more I unpack, the more that I feel. The more that I feel, the more that I see the damage of being comfortable. Comfort is the lie that tells you that you will be fine. Comfort is that facade that wants you to believe that you are safer in the box. Comfort is the doubt that tells you that you won’t be able to enter the fullness of truth and experience joy at the same time.

But, courage. Freaking courage. Courage is the moment that you admit in your soul that this does not work anymore. Courage is allowing yourself to think ‘what if?’ Courage is knowing that I can’t control the outcome – of responses, perceptions, relationships – and still being willing to walk through the doorways of the unknown. For me, these things are only possible by trusting myself. Knowing that I can tell my truth and still be loved. Trusting that by using my courage muscle, I am creating a bigger circle that not only includes my whole self, but welcomes others that have bought the lie that they are somehow excluded. Courage and vulnerability are the salve on the wounds of inauthentic living. It’s time for me to get to work.

What If: I Always Feel Afraid?

I promised myself at the beginning of this 50 day journey that if I reached a day that I could not write, I would give myself grace. I typically schedule my daily post to publish at 10am. It is currently 9:12am and I have exactly 2 1/2 sentences on the page. Why? Because I am living in the midst of a fear storm. If you are a person who does not fall prey to a soul flattening kind of fear, well, in the most loving way I can say this, fuck you.

What does fear look like for me? It is an all encompassing. It starts with a thought that deviates from the norm. Oh, “normal” is a lovely place. It has a warm, status quo where by the shallow water of life’s undercurrent has no waves. It lulls you to believe that you are safe. It rocks you with tiny, gentle swaying that allows you to believe that a simple, almost stillness is the perceived goal. For some, this may be the final destination. Remaining in the shallow is life giving for them. The wonder of the deep is not interesting. For most that hold this worldview, the deep is unnecessary. Why would you even look for more when you are safe? But I hate the kiddie pool. I’m one of those people that knows that the warmth of safety is actually the pee that heats the water. I hate that warmth. It is actually everything I hate. All of it. I would rather jump into the scary deep, the water with all the undertow, with the Great Whites or off the 10M platform than sit safely in the shallow.

Why? The number of times that I have had this question posed to me in life is beyond my ability to count. Why would you disturb the safe? Why would you need to change this? Why are you “messing with” a good thing? Because I cannot do anything but the guttiest of the gut level today, I only know my truth. I do these things because safe is not living for me. Risk is where the reward is found. Questioning is where the best version of me is unearthed. Jumping in, even on the days when I don’t know if I can swim or float or even tread water is the only thing that gives me life. It is the single greatest fear inducing reality of my life.

In case you can’t tell, the ‘What If’s’ are wrecking me. Most days this is a great thing. Most days, I am brave and untamed and stalking the peripheries of life with a confidence and passion. But, some days. Days when I think I may have ventured into the deepest deep, I find that I’m making camp with all of the fears. There was no way I could write this journey without a few days like today. I will always have fear. Fear is the pulse of a person that is alive. Fear is the reminder that we are not in charge. Fear is the only reason that I am forced to take a deep breath and jump. I need the fear. I hate the fear. But the choice is to die inside, so LET’S GO!

(If you made it to the end of this post and there is something inside of you that feels the need to “check on me,” don’t worry. I don’t write for attention. I don’t write as a smoke signal for help. I write to remind myself (and others that are on the same page) that I am alive. My deep diving is exactly what I was created to do, but that doesn’t mean it is easy.)