A few readers, after seeing pictures of my yard in past posts, have shared how they’d love to stop by for a tour — but if they did, they would be sorely disappointed. Yes, there are pockets of cottage charm here and there, but lurking around every corner are crowded beds, unruly wisteria, and planters filled with crispy bygones from last fall. For sanity’s sake, let’s just say they’re not…photogenic.

While focusing on a charming pocket of blooms in this morning’s pictures, the Lord reminded me how it’s often easier to reveal to others only those things we want them to see, while avoiding the less “photogenic” areas of our lives.

For years, I kept my fears and phobias neatly tucked beneath a thousand excuses. No one knew except for family, a few close friends, and a cognitive therapist. I was ashamed to say I trusted Christ in one breath, and struggled with fear in the next. Although I continue to battle with the less photogenic me, truth prevails — and I am a more authentic Christ-follower because of it, flaws and all.

Consider the implications if writing was limited to only those things which bring the readers pleasure—the easy, expected, and colorful side of life while avoiding the failures, deep pitfalls, and dark days? The consequences would be numerous, with the most devastating being the countless souls deprived of the blessing found in 2 Corinthians 1.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 2 Cor. 1:3-5

Who might be comforted today in knowing they’re not alone in their struggles?

Only God knows, but it begins with us refusing to tuck our less-than-photogenic selves beneath a thousand excuses.