For Nathan and Pam and Naomi and Lori and Cindy and all my Marys and Beckies and everyone I’ve been talking to. I hope you know how each of you has helped me. I hope I’ve been able to return that help.
A few days ago, I posted a lengthy status on my personal Facebook page. Since then, people have commented, sent messages, and shared.
It’s no secret where I stand in my faith. I’m not a Bible thumper. I’m not perfect. In fact, I revel in my imperfectness. I’m just glad there’s a God who loves me the way I am, and who continues to help me be a better person for the world around me.
“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
~2 Corinthians 12:7b-9, NIV
Let’s face it. Life is hard. It’s hard when you know God. It’s hard when you don’t know God. This post isn’t about God. It’s about Christians and the disservice we do to one another in our own community by expecting only the Pretties to be seen, by submerging the imperfections, the thorns, the scars.
If we as Christians portray only a perfect example of God, how can draw people closer to Him? If we tell seekers “It’s okay that you’re broken” then why do we expect completeness of ourselves?
The Christian Community can send out false messages. Not intentionally, mind you. I believe our desire is to attract others to Christ, and we feel we can’t do that if we’re shattered or chipped.
We are all damaged. One way or another, we are all broken.
I’m okay with that.
Because God is the True Healer. He can, has, and will continue to heal my brokenness whether it is caused by others or myself. Whether my brokenness is physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, financial, or any-other-al, He continues to seek me out and heal me.
The healing may not come in the way I want, or as fast as I think I need. But His timing is perfect. And I’m okay with waiting on Him.
Cuz Father knows best.
The following is the Facebook post from a few days ago. I hope it starts a dialogue of honesty and openness. I hope everyone has a friend who accepts them unconditionally. And if you want to know more about my God, I hope you ask.
Please read, comment, share. And watch the video at the end.
Life is hard. But God is always good.
June 7, 2015
So an interesting thing happened. Late last night I posted a status (now removed) of how it’s okay that I’m angry with God. I received some comments and messages that others are praying for me, that others understand, and a few that cautioned me about being so public about it.
Here’s the thing, and I’m not upset, just puzzled . . . but here’s the thing.
Not one person asked WHY. Not one person asked, “How can I help?”
And it saddens me. Not because I need attention (although we all do, right?). Not because I feel alone (I mostly don’t). But because the impression or attitude seems to imply that as a Christian I’m not allowed to have bad days, that I should share only joy and keep the rest to myself.
And it makes me wonder, if the people I know are Christian (myself included), if we are sending out these vibes that it’s not okay to be NOT okay, how are we being authentic? How are we letting others know we’re there for them?
Do we as Christians stifle the outreach and community of those who need us? Is it possible by saying “This isn’t the time or place” that what they hear is “You’re not worth my time or energy”?
I have a lot going on. So do you. So does everyone. I don’t air my “dirty laundry” for everyone. In fact, there is not one single person who knows everything. There are some who know most, some who get headlines without details, and some who get only one story or prayer request instead of the whole basket.
I’m not advocating spilling your entire life on Facebook or other public forum. I’m not agreeing with those people who are “virtue suckers” and complain just to get attention.
But do the people who need us know we’re here for them? Do they really know?
Or have we made it too hard for them to reach out? Have we made them fearful that we won’t reach back?
Or worse, do we assume because we already know them that we know what the current moment is about? Do we pray for them, consider them, reach out to them based on past experiences?
Or do we say “I’m still praying . . .” for whatever issue WE think needs prayer.
When was the last time you came up to a friend and said, “Tell me what’s really going on.”? And didn’t fill your head with presumptions of who you think they are and what you think they’re going through?
So many of us are really going through our own hell on earth, yet we’re expected to live daily as if we’re not. So many of us are so skewed by our own hells that we can’t see someone else’s is different. We can’t see that we’re sometimes hurting instead of helping.
So I apologize, here, publicly, to all my family and friends. I’m sorry that I’ve not reached out to see where you’re at or how I can help you. I’m sorry that I put myself first — my own thoughts and ideas of how life should be, of how you’re doing it wrong, of how you’re not there for me. I’m sorry for not being there for you in the capacity I should be.
But hear this: You’re important to me. In many different ways.
Our lives are silk webs that criss-cross and intertwine and pull others into and out of the design and I want to strengthen your thread.
I want to be here for you.
I’ve ignored you, I’m sorry. I’ve made you feel less important, I’m sorry. I’ve made my own hells more important than yours, and that is farce. Everyone’s hell is important. Everyone needs a helping hand to get out and rise above the crud that tries to buries us.
This is me. Being as authentic as I’m allowed to be.
I let you down, and I’m sorry.
I’m here for you now. All of you.
All I’m asking is that you be here for me, too.
And the rest of your people.
Make sure they know.
And Frankly, My Dear . . . that’s all she wrote!