I remember the first time I heard honest, unguarded words.
Growing up as a pastor’s kid in a conservative Baptist church, I heard (a lot) of words over the course of my life. Lots of good, well-behaved, and in their ‘Sunday’s best’ kinds of words. But the first time I was on the receiving end of vulnerable and honest words? It stunned me.
The first time I heard someone bare their soul and share their raw, most painfully human truths, let me tell you… it was almost a spiritual experience.
Honesty awakened something in me that I didn’t even know existed.
And the only thing that has roused me more?
…Like, the eloquent and wise words of the pastor behind the pulpit on Sunday, who unbeknownst to his congregation, was having an affair with his secretary Mon – Fri…
…The sentences strung together and spoken over me at my most tender and impressionable ages, by women with perfect hair, perfect marriages, and perfectly well-placed bows at the end of every story and every two-year-old within their reach…
…How because of their disillusioned words, I decided at a very young age that I never wanted to be anything like them. (And I’m not.)
I’ve often joked, I can’t even be friends with anyone who says they don’t eat at McDonald’s. And that’s because, from time to time (and often against our better judgment) everyone eats at McDonald’s …everyone. Some people just aren’t honest enough to admit it.
Truth is, if you can’t honestly admit to succumbing to a Double Cheeseburger every once in a while, then there’s absolutely no hope you will ever own your insecurities as a woman, or your inadequacies as a spouse, parent, and even as a follower of Jesus. (And if you can’t own your own inadequacies, then let’s be real, you sure as heck can’t handle mine!)
But that’s neither here nor there.
The point is, I believe honesty has the ability to empower us, to unshackle us, to help us see that we aren’t alone and to forge a human connection that supersedes our darkest days…. and that admitting to eating McDonald’s is a solid place to start.
The world is noisy and chaotic and everyone is speaking over each other, vying for our attention, and what I realize for me is, 10/10 times honesty gets mine. Honesty catches my eye in even the most crowded room and has me leaning into complete strangers and hanging on every word they say.
More than that, honest is who God has asked me to be, it’s what I believe He has put me on this Earth to do — to speak honest, nearly naked, sometimes even bipolar David-in-Psalms kinds of words, for all the world to see.
But can I tell you something? It’s hard, guys…
I write this with tears in my eyes, because as some of you know for yourself, THE COST IS HIGH to live an openly honest and unguarded life, or to do anything else that God is asking you to do for that matter.
Vulnerability at it’s very core leaves you open to attack, and I’ve been forced to fight off my fair share. I’ve offended complete strangers, I’ve lost relationships with family members that I love. I’ve even lost relationships with family members that I don’t love! (lol, I see you, creepers… And, don’t-you-wish-you-knew which category you fell under.)
It’s oftentimes why my blog goes quiet and a concerningly thick layer of dust builds on my laptop. It’s just too hard, and sometimes, if I’m honest, I’m just too afraid.
Here’s the point. (I’m all over the place, I know.) I don’t know what God has asked you to do, or why like me, you *keep* giving up on it. I have a feeling that if you thought about it long enough, like me, it would bring tears to your eyes.
But no matter what you’ve given up on as of today, God sent me here to tell you this:
“It’s not too late — you can pick it back up again and march on.”
In 2 Samuel 8:6, it says something simple but profound. It says,”God gave David victory wherever He marched.”
Understand, God promises victory wherever we go and no matter what we’ve had to sacrifice in order to do what He has asked us to do. (Spoiler alert: If we knew the end of the story and what God is so meticulously and gloriously planning on our behalf, we’d look at the present cost and uncertainty and think to ourselves: WORTH IT. — Every. single. bit of it. )
There’s just one problem…
God can’t give us victory where we’re unwilling to go.
Nor, can God bless what we’re refusing to do, or use the stories we’re too reluctant to tell. (That should scare us.)
I heard it once said, that hell would be getting to Heaven and hearing God tell you everything you could have done, if only you would have tried. — and that haunts me.
Because I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to hear God tell me everything I could have done had I stopped making excuses and cowering at the critic. I don’t want God to list off names of brokenhearted people and families I could have encouraged, if only I would have picked up my laptop (once again) and marched on.
Like David, God promises to give us victory everywhere we have the courage to march, and to immeasurably bless whatever we muster up the courage to do. I’m even believing God can bless the jumbled words we type. (This blog post is my feeble attempt.)
So here I am; dusting off my computer and my most bipolarly honest feelings, hoping my words will breathe life into someone the same way so many other’s words have awakened me. I’ll do it again next week, and then the next, until I likely give up again. I might even go to McDonald’s…
But here’s what I know for sure: today, I’m marching – the heck – on.
| What would it look like for you to do the same? |