Sharing the dark

Why do you try to dress nice for church and social events? Why do you sometimes laugh at jokes you don’t think are funny or smile when all you want to do is throw something? Why don’t you just let out your inner crazy whenever it decides to knock on the door of your good reputation?

It’s simple. There’s a part of you that you don’t want anyone to see.

Just to be clear, I’m so right there with you. We all sensor how much of ourselves we let others see.

We smile when we meet new people to show them that we’re extra friendly and ready to receive their conversation. We take extra care with our appearance because we want to be perceived as pretty or successful or unique. We lock away our crazy so no one will see our soft spots — those deepest wounds that can make us write off friends, run away from love, not be able to keep a steady job, cry at the drop of a hat, flinch whenever someone touches us, hide our feelings from even ourselves… the effects are endless.

Because perception is so often more influential than the truth, we have learned to only show our best side. There’s nothing wrong with wanting people to see the best *insert your name* there is. I try to do this every single day.

Here’s the problem with this learned trait: What if God is calling you to share your worst side?

Before you slam your laptop closed, hit the menu button on your iPhone or exit out of your browser, you should know that I’m only posing this question because this is what He’s been asking me to do.

For the past few years there’s been one particular side of myself, one specific area of failure that I’ve been heavily burdened by. It’s the failure that I’m most ashamed of, the side of myself that I’m constantly battling. The one I most want to keep hidden.

And it’s the side that God wants me to share with others.

Crap. Just writing this out makes my heart almost thump out of my chest. Honestly the only reason I’m even sharing this is because He’s wiped my mind of any other coherent thoughts. He’s really been punting me out of my comfort zone lately. Turns out that being outside of the ol’ comfort zone is … you guessed it … uncomfortable.

On the drive back to Birmingham after a weekend at home a few days ago, God basically pushed the need to share my darkest side to the forefront of my mind. It was one of the clearest impressions I’ve ever felt. Before this, I’ve had a desire to help others who are fighting this same battle but I’ve never known how to go about it.

If I’m being completely honest with myself, I haven’t tried very hard to figure out a game plan. I’ve literally been avoiding this issue for years, but God’s not okay with my skirting the issue anymore. He’s been patiently waiting for me to run out of excuses, and now He’s convicted me with my own words. A couple of weeks ago, I said this:

“Every time we stretch our comfort zone at His prompting, we grow. It may be a millimeter, an inch or a yard, but something changes inside of us. Obedience produces a direct connection with the God of the universe. Isn’t that worth a little discomfort?”

If you want to read the whole post, you can find it here. This whole being-convicted-by-my-own-words thing is really annoying, in case you were wondering.

I’m writing all of this for public viewing for two reasons.

  1. I want to make you think. Could it be that God’s calling you to be uncomfortable too? If He is, let me know. I’m thinking about starting a support group.
  2. I need your prayer, if you’re willing to offer it. I know I’ve been wonderfully cryptic and haven’t really shown you the whole story, but hopefully that shows you just how hard this is going to be for me. I’m going to need some serious help to go through with this prompting.

God doesn’t urge us to do a second of His work alone. He wants us to lean on Him and other Christians to accomplish something awesome. I’m constantly working on the first part of that statement. Now I’m working on the second. This is the leaning-on-fellow-Christians part. Thanks for being there.

Margaret, The Rope Editor

 

 

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