Day 13 of 31 Days of Connecting
Today I had a choice:
Be honest. Be truthful. Or hide.
Say what was hurting me. Or put on a mask.
Encourage my kids to speak out. Or tell them to be silent.
Over and over again this past week I have been encouraged by those who have told me I have been brave for speaking the truth about the loss, the pain, the struggle that I have encountered in this life.
It is their honesty that keeps me going.
When I read my friend’s blog – and her commitment to be authentic for 31 days – that’s when I knew I needed to speak the truth.
We live in a culture that encourages falsehood and masks. From internet trolls who will smash the most vulnerable to photoshop that “corrects” a beautiful body, we are told we are not enough – that the truth isn’t good. And even church culture can tie the mask on tight. We encourage one another to “trust in God” when we don’t even know where He is in our own lives. We smile and say “praise Him” when inside we are weeping.
We encourage one another that we can tell the truth, but inside we’re afraid that if we speak up we will lose… again.
What would it look like if instead of giving a quick platitude we told our crying friends we don’t have the answers either? What would it look like if we just held them instead of trying to make them (or us) feel better? What would it look like if we learned to embrace the discomfort of honest emotion?
I am convinced the loneliness that surrounds us exists because we have not yet discovered the ability to be truthful. And it’s understandable after being rejected. Or rebuked. Or abused.
But we have to keep trying.
We need each other.
We need to be heard.
And we need to hear that others have experienced the same things, too.
Is there someone you have that you can speak the truth to? Who is it? If not… who would you like it to be? Start looking and praying… I didn’t always have that someone either. And until then, be that person for someone else.
What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself. (Ephesians 4:25 The Message)