If Only You Knew Me

Esther Olatunji
Nov 5 · 4 min read

Photo by Mads Schmidt Rasmussen on Unsplash

A poem inspired by the Holy Spirit. Not at all my words, but His. I’m only an instrument in his hands, and He has made me a poet for Him and has chosen this medium to use me.


If only you knew me

You’d know that I have struggled with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts
If only you knew me,
You’d know that I’ve been a victim of sexual and emotional abuse
If only you knew me,
You’d know that I have struggled with low self esteem, negative self image, and knowing where I stand
If only you knew me,
You’d know that I have been pressured to do things that I didn’t want to do

There’s a never ending list of my imperfections and short comings
Because for the longest time, I put up a wall of perfection so no one could see through my faults and insecurities
It took the grace of God to break through those walls, and it took me a while to accept it
And I think I speak for most people when I say
There’s something inherently terrifying about being vulnerable about our struggles

We hide behind our masks and paint pictures of perfection,
And we cling to a false sense of comfort that superficiality can create
Little do we know…
The same walls we use to protect our insecurities are the same walls that imprison us with our pain
there is a version of Christianity that many of us have bought into that has trained us to be professional pretenders.

We perform so we might be accepted.

We fear rejection from our peers,
so we constantly feel the need to perform,
to act like who we’re not
Because we do not know who we are.

But you see, even Jesus was rejected.
The book of John says he came to his own and his own received him not
But unlike us, Jesus never performed
even when he was tempted by the devil to perform miracles
“If you’re the son of God”… the devil said,
but God had already said “this is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased”.
Jesus was already pleasing to the father,
and that was the only validation that mattered

2corinthians 12:9
his grace is enough, his grace is sufficient, his power is made perfect in our weakness
But how can his grace and power take full effect and transpire our lives if we can’t be honest, be open, be vulnerable.

If we could only realize that God’s love for us isn’t based on reputation,
Neither is his validation earned or worked for
If we could only realize that we can live beyond the approval of the world,
because we live from the affirmation of God
…the only validation that matters
Then we can stop performing tirelessly,
And simply just receive the work that Christ has already performed for us

Let us take off the veneer of Christianity,
Let us tear off all the plastic, shiny and social trappings that imprison us
And let us step into the vulnerability the Gospel requires
And be who God has called us to be
Only then can we be at peace,
Even in the face of rejection

I do not fear rejection,
Neither do I need validation
Because I know I don’t have to project an image of perfection anymore,
But I get to take on the image of Christ

I don’t have to hide my broken pieces
because it is with the broken pieces of our lives that God constructs his biggest platforms from which he displays his glory.
I am unashamed
Because I have been washed,
I have been purified
I have been justified

Therefore,
I will boast gladly about my weaknesses, about my struggles, and you should too.
Even the glorified body of Christ had scars, so why should we attempt to hide ours with superficial coverings of “perfection”
Instead, we get to live vulnerably with our saviour, in whom we are fully known and truly loved, accepted and approved.
Then we can find real grace and real freedom, so that Christ’s power may rest upon us

If only you knew me, you’d know that you’re not alone


To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is what it means to be loved by God. – Timothy Keller

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