On being transparent…

I might have a problem. At least some people would think it’s a problem…

I’m a little bit ridiculously transparent. You ask, I answer. You don’t ask, I still answer.

I remember when social media turned from ‘… is taking a break at work.” or “… is going to the movies.” into something more like, “I’m taking a break from my awesome job that pays me enough to go buy the latest Range Rover and the new iPhone.” or “You guys, my kids are so beautifuuullll. Look at how awesome they are when we go to the movies together and they are so well behaved and can sit through a whole movie at only 2 years old because they’re just perfect, you guys!!” And thus began a whole new game of the “Comparison Trap” and I was bound and determined NOT to play it.Imperfect

Unfortunately, it meant that my pendulum swung way in the other direction. I told myself I would never be one of those “perfect, plastic people” and everyone would get a front row seat to the madness that was my heart, mind, spirit, life.

Of course, that wasn’t entirely true either. There were and are still some things that I hold very close to my own heart or I’ll share it only with the inner circle or, sometimes, just one person.

I still overshare now and then, but am encouraged when I know that someone, even if just one person, was able to see some strength in that vulnerability that was on full display and it encouraged her own vulnerability.

I know “story” is kinda like a hot button word right now, but I truly do believe in sharing stories; in walking with my sisters, in building up my brothers, in the hope of redemption, and watching faith explode when miracles happen. There is a richness that comes from each of us when we’re willing to walk in our transparency and to tell our stories, even when it’s really hard to tell. We’re not all called to do that on a social media platform, but I pray that we’re at least willing to do it within our families or within the safe space of a small group or circle of friends.

masterpiece

There is something special when we’re able to see the work being done and the rawness afforded to us by other people in our lives. It gives us the opportunity to step into their heart space and embrace them with an understanding that we might not have had without the transparency from that person. We are able to foster deeper relationships and connections with people when we allow ourselves to be transparent. In Galatians 6, we’re told to bear one another’s burdens. We aren’t able to do that if everyone is putting on airs all the time. Paul tells us in Romans to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep. We are told to care for one another, y’all. How can we do that if we’re choosing to hold in the things that make us vulnerable or the things that will draw us closer to the people whom He’s provided to us?

Finally, our prayer needs get met. This is probably the one that most speaks to my own heart. When I know that I have a pack of people, or heck.. even just one other person.. praying with me about something specific, this girls love tank fills to overflowing. Having agreement in prayer is biblical and we’re not able to do that if we’re not able to have some transparency with other people. Anyone who has followed me on Facebook over the last several months has had a front row seat to the journey with my foot and the prayers over this darn left foot of mine have been magnificent! Also, when I get to partner with other people in prayer; whether it’s surface level issues or substantial heart issues, God is giving me a piece of that person’s soul to carry to the Cross and there is nothing but overwhelming honor and love in that specific act.

Wait, finally again… I forgot, where’s my head, y’all?! Glory to God. Amen? When we are able to be broken, process though, and come to the other side – we offer hope to those who’ve been able to journey with us. If my story is good for nothing but showing one other soul that he or she is not alone, then God has done exactly what He intended to do.

2 Corinthians 1:3-11 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as Christ’s sufferings are ours in abundance [as they overflow to His followers], so also our comfort [our reassurance, our encouragement, our consolation] is abundant through Christ [it is truly more than enough to endure what we must]. But if we are troubled and distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted and encouraged, it is for your comfort, which works [in you] when you patiently endure the same sufferings which we b]”>[b]experience. And our c]”>[c]hope for you [our confident expectation of good for you] is firmly grounded [assured and unshaken], since we know that just as you share as partners in our sufferings, so also you share as partners in our comfort.

For we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about d]”>[d]our trouble in [the west coast province of] Asia [Minor], how we were utterly weighed down, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life [itself]. Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the sentence of death [and were convinced that we would die, but this happened] so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead. 10 He rescued us from so great a threat of death, and will continue to rescue us. On Him we have set our hope. And He will again rescue us [from danger and draw us near], 11 while you join in helping us by your prayers. Then thanks will be given by many persons on our behalf for the gracious gift [of deliverance] granted to us through the prayers of many [believers].

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