Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bein' Real, Bein' Blessed

I am an open book.  I value authenticity big-time!  Realness is endearing - it makes people want to be around you.  So much pretending goes on in this world, even 'reality' shows are staged.  Why would anyone want to spend time with someone who insists that everything is one way when it is totally not?  Those first steps of surrendering a bit and letting it 'all hang out' can be really scary.  When I share the scary stuff though,  most of the time I get a 'me too!' reaction from the majority instead of a 'you're weird!' reaction from the majority.

One of my favorite things to do is have a deep conversation with a girlfriend.  Real = feelings and meanings and situations and hurts and struggles and victories and how God is moving and what He is saying.  Talking about the weather and our calendars is okay for a few minutes, but if that is all that is talked about in a two hour conversation...it disinterests me quickly.  Talking about other people is even worse...  Every conversation is an opportunity for growth and we're missing out if we're never breaking the surface.  The bond that is formed when we share the real stuff is amazing...all walls are down...we see that we are made so similarly and we stop seeing one another as competitors, but as friends and allies in this broken and hard life.

I have gone through periods of holding back who I am and what I'm struggling with.  Why?
  • Once you have shared vulnerable information about yourself with another person - there is always a possibility that the other person can use that information against you.  It happens.  We're all imperfect.  And whether the other person intends to or not, there's always a possibility of getting hurt.  Deeply.  I've been there.  When someone knows what hurts you and then decides to use that very thing to 'get you.'  Ouch.  
  • Another reason I've held back who I am - embarrassment - or the not so fun word 'pride.'  I don't want others to know what I'm really capable of.  I don't think God wants us to blast it around to everyone who will listen, but in relationships sharing is okay.  But pretending that I have it all together when I really don't - what good does it do?  My friend and I both miss out on an opportunity of growth when I answer her with an, "I'm fine," when I'm not.  My mind challenges me - 'Don't let her know ___ about you.  She'll think you're ___!'  Worrying about what others think about me is a pride issue.
  • I'm also afraid of becoming emotional, so that has discouraged me from sharing at times.  I hate to cry in front of others.  Some people are cute criers.  I'm an ugly crier!  I always appreciate when other let down their guard and show emotion though - so I just have to get over this and hope that others will appreciate my honesty.  
  • The devil doesn't want me to share sometimes.  He will tell me all kinds of lies and try to scare me out of sharing.  Because God uses our pasts and our hurts to encourage and comfort others sometimes, Satan does not want us to share! 
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.  2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Discernment is important!  I used to share everything with anyone who would give me attention, which is how I ended up hurt several times.  What I share on my blog is prayed about and usually run by my husband before posted in a place that the world can see.   As I grow closer to other sisters in Christ I can now discern whether it is a safe place to have these deep conversations.  So, in no way am I saying that deep conversations should go on with everyone you come in contact with.  Although, there is an awful lot that you can share with almost anyone, that will encourage others and will not hurt you - just maybe your pride a bit!  Take a deep breath and surrender to God and get real with someone!  As a friend and I walked away from a coffee date a few weeks ago we both said we felt re-energized, encouraged and spurred on.  
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:24-25
I doubt that we can do this by talking about the surface things, gossiping about others and answering 'I'm fine'... Pray, grab a friend or someone you want to be friends with, have a cup of coffee and be real.  Be blessed!

Image courtesy of Apolonia / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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