There’s something happening in my life and I know deep down that it is truly significant. I know that whatever this is, whatever is happening – God is leading me. And still, I find myself shaking in my boots – I’m terrified and curious all at once. Oh, but how I can feel the enemy eager to pounce! There have been a series of events since May that have led me to this moment. A moment in which I’m struggling (once again) to say my piece. A moment that did not exist six months ago. Moments like these are one’s I have dreamed and prayed about my entire life. Still I sit and fight to get the words on the page. Clearly my struggles have reached syndication. Who loves re-runs?
But that’s the thing isn’t it? We ALL struggle! The path that led me to this very moment has taught me many things. But the most profound lesson of all came in a writing group, just last week. In an effort to once again crush my comfort zones, I committed to sharing my writing in a private Facebook group. Every day for ten days – putting myself out there – putting it all out there. Fear. Guilt. Shame. Darkness. What I gained from this experience cannot be put into words. But what I learned – left me with eyes wide open!
You see – perception is deception! Look at the world around you – your world. What do you see? Most of us look at others and judge them in one form or another based on what we see on the outside. Of course, there is the obvious judgment of outwardly appearance, but I am speaking of judging another’s life. Looking at the outwardly appearance of a person’s life and assuming they have it all. Believing they’ve been given the keys to the Kingdom; that the struggle is yours alone. I believe we’re all guilty of this type of judgment. What a skewed view of life.
The truth is – no one is free from struggle; the ups and downs of life. None of us get a free pass. We all must suffer! Through valleys, deserts, and wildernesses we all traverse. This is what I learned in my writing group. There was a moment of true understanding – something I could not ignore. I’ve been aware of the collective struggle of our world for years, but this new understanding was overwhelming. A small group of women, sharing space and time – trusting one another with their words – their voice. Individual voices resounding in a collective SHOUT … We’re tired of being ruled by our inner critic. Ruled by fear. Stamped out by shame. Diligently hiding in our comfort zones, terrified to burden others with our struggle. I learned that what we’re all hiding from resides in each and every one of us. How terrifying!
Maybe it’s time to STOP hiding and START sharing.
Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. Colossians 1:24
Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:3
Photo by Kristina Flour