“Do you have Netflix? My husband and I like to watch Monk together after the kids are in bed. We find it’s a nice way to relax.” My jaw dropped. For the longest time I believed my friend didn’t even own a television, let alone a service like Netflix! I can’t express how much that one sentence of transpareny helped me.
One of the lies I have believed has revolved around not being a good enough Christian. There have been certain people in my life who, when I am at their house, I assume don’t do some of the things I do. (Like watch Netflix) I make the conclusion that they must be a better Christian because they don’t allow their kids to watch T.V. like I do, allowing the cycle of inner insuffiency to continue.
The moment my friend said what she did, God spoke loud and clear, “Things are not the way you perceive them.” I was thrilled to know my friend was more human than I had imagined! (I can hear her laughing about this right now.) Last week as our kids played together she suggested they play their Wii game system. I remember thinking, “She has a game system??!!” Once again I was surprised to know her kids occasionally played video games.
It was through this second revelation that I began to understand why it’s so important not to compare myself to other people. Truthfully, I don’t know what goes on in their lives behind closed doors. I make my own assumptions and crucify myself against them.
I was also motivated to continue being transparent. I usually don’t have a problem spilling the beans about my personal struggles, but these situations encouraged me even more. Maybe someone else out there could be helped if they knew a Christian like me has struggled with eating disorders and depression. I am a new creation in Christ and I have been set free, but I’d still like others who may not be there yet to know there is hope. I want them to know things aren’t always what they seem with the people they think are perfect. I want them to know their transparency could be useful for someone else who is struggling.
God used my friend to help me get through one of the most diffuclt (and wonderful) times of my life. I am thankful she opened up to me about personal issues that brought her off the pedastal I had placed her on. She’s normal just like me. We may struggle with different specifics, but the end result is the same. We’re both redeemed children of God on the same journey through His school of transformation.
I am also thankful she doesn’t preach at me. Even when I was deeply distressed, on the verge of suicide, she never preached to me. The only thing she did was ask to spend time with me in fellowship. Over the past 6 weeks we have grown closer as friends, but I’ve also experienced life in the family of God as it was meant to be; transparency, openness, truth, and encouragement. Through us our kids have learned what authentic relationship looks like. They pray together before lunch, play together in the sun, and worship together in church. (Mother’s Day was interesting with 4 kids ages 5 and under and 3 adults trying to mainatin order during the sermon.) I love her kids as if they were my own, and I know she feels the same about mine.
(Here she is playing with my daughter at the park.)
(Our kids: Caleb, Samantha (mine), and Micah.)
I would urge those of you who want to put your best foot forward: while there is nothing wrong with this, consider being a little paper thin in your approach. Reveal yourself as you really are, and don’t worry about “what they’ll think”. Maybe there is someone who needs to hear that you’re a real person who does real things and has real struggles. Don’t waste your journey by keeping it a secret; allow God to use it.
Rebecca u are an AMAZINGLY STRONG, GOD LOVING CHRISTIAN WOMAN!!! You are so devoted to your family and living with Christ in your heart and for God each and everyday!!! You are raising your daughter to live for and love Jesus and God each and every moment of her precious little life. You find a lesson from God in everything you do and that’s fantastic, most of us have a self pity party and over look the fact that maybe, just maybe God was sending us a message and a test or lesson. You are an AMAZING mom and a true inspiration to people like me who love and live with God in their hearts but aren’t nearly as devoted as you are. When I’m stressed or self doubting my mommy always says “let go & let God, place your troubles and worries in his hands and pray, for God will take care of it and you”. I always try to do that. I look forward to what you write and try and read everything! Just know that your love for God is contagious and you have made my relationship with him stronger! It’s good to know that not every Christian is perfect and it’s OK that I had a past with drugs, alcohol, cutting, etc… but it’s my past!! So THANK YOU Rebecca for being you and for sharing some of your struggles with the world! I have yet to really truly meet you but I’m do glad you’re part of my family!! Take care, kiss Samantha for me and GOD BLESS!!!!
Marie, thank you so much for your kind words! Im so touched to know you’ve been encouraged by things God has brought me through. That is an answer to prayer! If there is EVER anything you want me to pray for, don’t hesitate to ask. Stay in the truth, the rest will follow!
It’s interesting isn’t it? I think we are all very quick to compare. Sometimes we purposely compare with those we “know” we are “better” than. Other times we compare with those we wish we could be more like. Either way it hurts us. Being transparent is a good remedy for comparing. Thanks for your insights.
Thanks for visiting my blog! Im glad you enjoyed it. 🙂