On occasions I have someone ask a question that goes something like this, “What makes you want to be so open in your writing?” In essence some are really saying, “Why do you feel the need to air out your dirty laundry to any reader passing by?” I mean, what benefit is it for others to know your struggles?” It’s a question worth asking, and one I truly don’t mind answering.
In general, we live in a world that doesn’t always promote the whole truth about what’s really going on. I feel that could be especially true for those who might have been raised up in the church world majority of our lives. As little church mouse children, we observed grown-ups around us living behind a mask, pretending to be “good enough” always sure to keep personal or family “dirt” swept discretely under the rug. Living by the motto, “What goes on in this house, stays in this house.” Ever heard that before?
My question is why? What is so horrible about the truth of the beautiful and messy parts of life? Being honest about the hidden parts of our souls is humbling and scary. Sometimes what’s really going on in the soul of another human being can be extremely hard to express and even harder for the listener to hear. We don’t have to understand the expression of another’s heart, but allowing ourselves to open up and let it go, and to listen to another when necessary is an essential part of being human. It is oh so freeing to be heard and known. All the more, when we feel understood.
Not everyone writes. Not everyone plays music, dances, creates art, or sheds tears while they pour out their hurting heart to a trusted friend. We all have our own ways of expression. But expression is healthy and necessary. When we find ourselves withdrawing from others and bottling things up inside for fear that someone might see who we really are and what’s really going on, we are headed down a lonely road towards disaster and failure.
Yet when we are willing to get honest with ourselves first, and then those around us, we open ourselves up to an outpouring of encouragement towards truth from others whom God has strategically placed in our lives to be a light to dispel the darkness of the lowest corners of our soul.
~Encourage each other to keep pursuing truth. We can fall away from God in an instant – the world is in a constant struggle to pull us away from Him. If we are not in a continuous state of seeking truth – on our face before God – we will crash and often, crash hard. The best thing we can do for each in our community of believers is to keep encouraging the other to pursue truth: God. It’s the only way we will be able to keep the other noise – both the praise and the criticism – from leading us into pride or muffling our voice out of fear.
I’m still considering this topic – these things. I also find it important to encourage each other to keep going first: keep sharing from our heart, keep offering up our own experiences that aren’t necessarily pretty, as they will keep us in a posture of openness about our shortcomings and bring hope for others going through a similar struggle. ~ Lisa Whittle
Yes, we need God. We need times of one on one intimacy, just him and us. We need daily personal revelation from the truth of His Words. But let us never make the mistake of diminishing or discarding the value and necessity of the healing that can be found only in the vulnerability and humanity of each other.
Always mindful that God’s favorite and primary way of working is to use real people, with real struggles, to be an agent of healing, light and truth to another. For us to have the capacity to fully pour God’s love out of us on another, we must first learn how to allow ourselves to be opened up.
So why do I write? There is untold healing in our imperfection.