Happy Monday! Once again, here we are. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, with some extra love thrown in for Valentine’s. If you didn’t get to spend it with someone special, I pray you remember that you are never alone because God is always there! Join me for a few minutes, and let’s get up close and personal!
“Nobody knows the mountains we’ve been climbing; nobody sees the valleys we are barely surviving.” Ever felt like this? Have you ever felt that you are the only one facing a situation at hand? These words from the song “Not Forgotten” by Ryan Stevenson and Toby Mac have been rolling around in my mind for days…and not just because I can relate to them.
In the past week or two, I’ve had several friends call me to share painful situations they are facing…and as I listened to them, I was humbled. Humbled because each of them felt they could call me and that I could be a listening ear. Did they call expecting a magical answer? I don’t think so…though if I had one I certainly would have offered it! I was impressed as well, because it takes guts to call a friend and pour out the sadness or grief we are carrying. More often than not, it seems we humans feel we must put on a face and act as if everything is great.
When we do that, I think we cheat ourselves and those who love us. I don’t know why exactly, but it seems Christians feel particularly pressed to act as if they have no problems. It has bothered me for a long time to see that very attitude in myself. Perhaps it’s a misunderstanding of the many Bible verses where we are promised that no harm shall come to us, or how God will bless us mightily if we follow His commands. We seem to forget the verse that says “In this world you will have trouble…” John 16:33
A comment I heard on the radio spawned this blog today…and it was in reference to the song “Broken Together” by Casting Crowns. The comment had to do with being open about our brokenness and being vulnerable with one another about our weaknesses so we can listen, comfort, pray for and walk with each other through life’s hardships. No coincidence that this goes along with what I have been learning through the Transform curriculum! I believe God is putting on my heart the need to be real. Of course, it must be with safe people…but isn’t that what God calls His church to be? Safe. Real. Comforting.
I was reminded of two experiences…one mine and one of a friend. A friend shared with me how she kept a secret for years that she felt shame over…until one day she braved sharing it with a group of women…and afterwards many came up to her with tears to thank her for sharing what they too had gone through. She told me she felt freed by that experience. I once shared in a Mom’s group that I was divorced only to find out that a mom sitting next to me was separated… she told me later that if I had not told my story, she would have kept hers secret.
Why do we feel nobody knows the hills we have climbed, the valleys we are in, the sin we struggle with? Tweet this! Is it because we don’t dare to tell? Might we find the company we need in our problems by being open about them? Perhaps God has someone ready to comfort us because they’ve been there…but we’ll never know if we don’t ‘get real.’
It’s not easy. I know that from experience. God calls us to this in James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so you may be healed.”
Be brave this week. Share with someone…let a friend encourage you on your journey… maybe even pray for you! Better yet, do it back!
Until next week, be blessed.