Friday, October 24, 2014

WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW

Yesterday morning I went on a walk with a dear friend.  We've walked through a lot of life together in the past seven years, and I'm so thankful for our friendship.  The past several months have been pretty stressful for both of our families, and so really connecting has been hit or miss.  But yesterday morning, we hit connection gold and were able to share about some of the ins and outs and ups and downs.

There were some tears and more laughter, because when you are able to speak out loud about some of the crazy things floating through your mind, you are often able to realize how ludicrous some of them are.  And how hard others of them are.  Having a good, godly sounding board is a treasure.

The conversation was a reminder of how good it is to be honest and authentic.  There are a lot of times and places when staying on the surface is appropriate, because the raw places in our hearts are not safe with everyone.  But, it's easy to keep the raw places completely under wraps and hidden.  To let them fester and even become infected.

I've realized that if I don't speak about the real hard things, then those things can grow, without me even realizing it.  My mind can be a dangerous place, especially if I am not committed to taking thoughts captive and meditating on what God's truths are.  Good friendships help me air out the wounds inside of me and realize that I am not alone.

This blog is certainly not a "safe" place for all of my thoughts and feelings, and as such, if you are reading this, it would be easy to make assumptions.  You don't know that I had a minor breakdown on Sunday night that involved a fair bit of compulsive sobbing.  (Well, now you do.)  You don't know, nor should you, the ins and outs of our marriage or parenting or spiritual journeys.  Some things are sacred for our family and not to be splashed out into the public sphere.

But, the people that we do life with should know a lot about those things.  We do each other an injustice to stay on the surface and not let others in.  Yesterday I was reminded of how normal the things I deal with are.  How some of the ways that John and I operate are similar to other couples, for better and for worse.  How easy it is to assume that because things "seem" to be okay, then they must be just fine, when the reality is far from that.

It's like the saying, "Be Kind; Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."  It's far easier to assume that someone else's circumstances are better than our own.  That God has made their path more "charmed" than our own.  I'm sure there is a good reason that Jesus told Peter to mind his own business (John 21:22) and follow him.  I can get distracted by the alter-realities that I create for the people around me and wonder why things go a certain way for them and not for me.  Comparison never does me any favors.  It's also occurred to me that from the outside looking in, my own life could look pretty "charmed."

And, in so many ways, it is.  For the time being, I have four precious children, a loving husband with a great job, and a beautiful home among other things.  I fully recognize that my cup is overflowing, and that God has been so gracious to our family.  It is far more than we deserve and more than we ever dared to hope for.

But - real life is messy.  It just is.  I'm thankful for the raw, messy places, because they are pointing me to the Lord.  I'm thankful for friends who will share their raw places with me, because it is a reminder how much we are all battling - no one has a charmed life.

Untitled

So, those are my jumbled up thoughts on this beautiful fall afternoon.  I hope that you are encouraged to be in relationship with those around you and to be real - it's worth it.

0 comments: