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This is one of the photos that never made it to Instagram. Why? Because I *try* to curate my IG to match my brand. I think about color scheme, how long it's been since I posted a photo like the one I am considering posting, if the time of day is right, or if I should hold onto it for a #TBT or #FBF. But this picture is just about as "real me" as it gets. Date night with the man I love more today than I did the day I married him, both of us struggling to get out of the hotel instead of into our bed, and dessert - because I always want some. This is real. This is me. And you know what, Reader? A year later, I still struggle with sharing this with you.

Those of you who know me know this, but for those of you who don't ... I am an introvert. That's not to say I'm shy. I can be bubbly, vivacious, and I *am* warm. But let you in? Let you see the ugly? Because I love sharing the good, and I share the bad to "keep it real", but the ugly? Come on. If I'm honest, the reason I'm afraid to share who I am with you is because I don't want you to be able to hurt me. It's so silly typed out in black and white, but there it is. I'm afraid of being hurt.

I think most people, and especially women, can identify with that statement. It was something I used as an excuse to not live out my calling for many years. "I might get hurt, so I won't do ________". Then the Lord laid human trafficking on my heart, and through that, a passionate desire to help all women see that they are beautiful. And suddenly, my "safe" zone was the zone I couldn't stay in if I wanted to step into my calling. I had to let you see me - the perfection and the flaws - and say, with all of that, I am beautiful, and so are you.

At church this Sunday, Pastor Jeremy said something that really impacted my heart. He said:

"You can't hide what you've been given and expect God to bless it"

Faith motivates all I do on this blog; my passionate desire to help you believe in and express your beauty comes from knowing that God has called and made us all beautiful, and we are precious, and we are worthy, and we need to live into that for our lives to truly be full and blessed. God has given me a heart to share myself with you; to let you know you're not alone, you're not crazy, and you are breathtaking. I can't hide myself and expect God to bless this.

So today, instead of a #FBF, I'm giving you a #FaithFriday. Don't hide what you've been given. It, and You, are too precious to be hidden away where it's simply safe.


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