Doin' It Halfway Since 1996

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus

TMI? Or necessary?

I put a lot out there.

Maybe that’s a dangerous thing to do in an age where identity theft is such a strong possibility.

Sometimes I worry about being so honest about myself.

But then I get the comments and the private messages. They’re thankful when I spill the private places of my heart onto this computer screen and out into the internet unknown.

I’m just a stay-at-home wife and mother. I haven’t lived a life that one would call extraordinary. I’ve traveled a bit, but not nearly as often or as far away as I’d like. I haven’t had a growing and prosperous career. I have a nice home, but it is no shape to be showcased in a magazine.

What I do have is a heart that longs for unity among broken believers.

I put myself out there because maybe if I do, someone else will be brave enough to come out from behind the mask.

Because I know that if I’m guilty of it, hiding behind a mask, that others are too.

We hide the ugly places because we fear rejection. We don’t want the condescension. We don’t want the blank stares.

But if we are to find intimacy with other human beings, then we need not be afraid to pull the broken parts of our lives from behind our backs, hold them in our open hands and say, “This is me.”

What I’ve found when I do this, when I lay these jagged shards of myself at the alter and let the whole world see how messed up I really am, other people do too. They may not do it as publicly as I do. It may just be a through private message to me. But they do, they let themselves be vulnerable and say, “I struggle with that too. I’m glad I’m not alone.”

We aren’t meant to be alone in our struggles. But so often we believe we should be. I hate that we believe that the way to muddle through our struggles is alone, sometimes with our Bible in hand, but never with another soul to walk alongside us. Sometimes, for those of us who are married, we don’t even let our spouses venture with us to those secret places.

Do you ever yearn like I do to have the kind of unity that the first church had? Yes, they were human. And yes they struggled. But they carried each others’ burdens. They gave as they had. And none of them needed. Did they carry more than physical burdens? Were they open enough to bare their emotional and spiritual burdens to one another in such a way that older women instructed the younger women, older men mentored younger men? Did they sharpen and hold each other accountable?

Why have we fallen so far from our first example? Many of us realize how desperately we need Christ and God’s grace. But do we realize how desperately we also need each other? I wonder when we will realize how important our relationships to each other are in God’s kingdom. I can only imagine what it will look like when we finally do.

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5 responses to “TMI? Or necessary?

  1. Angela Mackey May 5, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    YES! Transparency not for shock or to glorify our broken parts, but to glorify Him, encourage others, and point them to the One who makes our broken parts into beautiful artwork.

    Thanks girl!

  2. Erin May 5, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    I love you. Just sayin’.

  3. Laura Hedden May 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Good stuff, girl! I always love reading your blog, even if I don’t always comment. Then I remember, maybe I should take some time to sit at my computer, and let the world, and eventually, my own babies, how it was… I miss you terribly! Funny, I was listening to “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd when I clicked on this. A favorite song of mine, albeit not a Christian song, but a solid one at that.

  4. Kay Pelham May 6, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Nope, not TMI.
    You’re pondering some pretty deep and wide things in this post. There’s many reasons why believers don’t carry each others burdens the way we imagine that they should. There’s a lot of busyness in doing the church thing. There’s a lot of confusion about what they are supposed to be believing and doing as Christians. Are we supposed to be just like those Christians in the NT and what were they like anyways? Are we supposed to do what they did and spend our days the way they did? And how in the world am I supposed to even know how they spent their days? There’s a lot of guilt spewed out by some church leaders. Many people fear being open/exposed because they’re afraid they can’t change and live up to some standard. If I listen to you opening up and attempt to help carry your burden, then I’m afraid I’m obligated to be just as open. Lots and lots of reasons.

    Hey, how does one private message you? I couldn’t find any link or email address on the site. I wanted to share some thoughts about depression after reading your last post a few days ago and now this topic. You ask some very good questions. And again, it is not TMI.

    Kay

  5. kaleighsomers May 11, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Ohmygosh, I have this conversation with myself every single week. I’m always thinking there’s no way anyone needs to know about my life, but maybe I’m doing it for myself? Or maybe it’s that I don’t know these people well enough for it to scare me. Maybe it’s easier to talk to strangers because at least then we’re helping someone out. I mean, isn’t it selfish if we’re just pretending our lives are so perfect and great that nothing ever goes wrong? We all have our demons to face and our struggles and if you can help at least one person by sharing, you’ve done something wonderful.

    Kaleigh

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