Two Versions – Kim P. Lengling
Have you looked at yourself as if through someone else’s eyes? As a female veteran who lives with service-connected Post Traumatic Stress, I’ve come to realize that I give the world one version of myself, and in those quiet moments when I am at home on my own, another version emerges.
I decided to take an honest look at the two versions of myself.
I noticed one version of myself is solid and independent, unyielding in her beliefs. She stands firm in her convictions and will protect those that are within her circle.
She has walls. Walls she has erected over the years as protection, and she keeps those walls firmly in place.
People have told her over the years that they view her as a warrior, one with sword and shield held at the ready with a heart that would willingly take on another’s hurt so they would not have to carry the weight alone. This woman has given countless hours of her time, energy, and emotions to helping others, running herself ragged so that those in need know that they are loved.
If I turn my head slightly to see the other version of myself, I find her quiet and reflective as she sits alone. She thinks of all that she has lost and prays for what can potentially be. The sadness within so heavy at times. The loneliness that can feel like a wave crashing, the strength of which can bring her to her knees. With her head in her hands, she weeps, she prays. She asks God for continued strength.
I realize that one version could not exist without the other—the version the world sees and the version that only God can see. Both make the whole.
She seems to be in a waiting season, a season that is quiet and yet too loud at times. This season she finds herself in brings forth shadows that have danced along the edges of her dreams for so long. Shadows she has battled against in the dead of night while the rest of the world sleeps.
But there is light to be seen in the distance, and within that light, the two versions of this woman converge, and you view one woman, as it should be. Strong yet gentle. A child of God looking ahead.
The lifetime of both versions blends into who she is—this imperfect woman standing in the knowledge that she is a masterpiece in God’s eyes.
I step back from my dissection of myself and laugh. I call myself a “Newby Christian” as I did not embrace my faith or God until I was in my mid-30s. Although it took me a while to accept God’s love, I can look back and see that I weathered storms, challenging days, and heartache, and He was right there with me.
So now I wait as we all do. I wait for what will be and pray that I can fulfill my purpose, whatever path God may put me on.
I feel the word patience gently whispered, and I smile.
For 17 years, Kim Lengling has been writing. She is an author, freelance writer, ghostwriter, public speaker, podcast host of Let Fear Bounce, and a coordinator of collaborative book projects based around faith. She encourages women and men from around the world to share their stories to provide inspiration, hope, and healing.
Sharing stories of encouragement, Kim hopes to change the world one word and one story at a time.
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