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Authenticity

Students in dresses outside

Authenticity

by Christy Johnson, Director of Communications and Enrollment

The word authentic has been rolling around in my head lately.  It is a word we have been talking about a lot at Covenant, as we have identified it as one of our core values.  But it is such a hard word to define, to wrap words around its true meaning.  I know authenticity when I see it and when I feel it, but I notice more often when it is missing.  Due to social media, truth seems to be less and less clear.  Image, status and looking the part are the norm.  I only have to scroll through Facebook and look at all of the smiling faces to think everyone has it all together while I am failing miserably.

It seems society is sorely lacking in authentic relationships.  Superficiality and duplicity win over authenticity.  According to many reputable sources, including The New York Times, loneliness is at epidemic proportions. It seems we are all longing to be known and loved for our authentic selves.  

The honest truth is that being authentic can be terrifying.  Letting go of the mask of “I’m fine” and letting others see my insecurity is nauseating.   Posting this blog will give me a vulnerability hangover and cause me to want to hide, I’m sure.  However, I have found that when I let people see my authentic self, it gives them the courage to be vulnerable in response. And this is where the magic happens. Friendships deepen and true care and kindness are offered.  I see I am not alone in my feelings and I am given more courage.  Yes, there have been times when my vulnerability was not met with the kindness I would have hoped for, but more often I am blessed in ways I could never have imagined.   Sometimes there is pain but the beauty found in the blessings is worth the risk!

When you find a place and a group of people that allows you the space to be authentic, you’ve found a community.  When that place is your child’s school it is an unimagined blessing.  My daughter is being nurtured at the same time and place I am being nourished.  Parents are doing life together.  Teachers are pursuing students.  The Lord is first in everything and therefore relationships are intentional and real.  Failures are seen as opportunities for learning and growth.  There is sweetness and joy throughout the building.  It is real, it is messy, it is authentic.  It is life lived well.