This is not an easy post to write. In fact I have spent the last week struggling more and more over the subject of this post. I find myself at a crossroads with regards to having started this blog, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking, praying, crying, wondering, arguing and generally getting quite worked up! I’m still not 100% sure I want to share this but… here goes.
One night at the start of the week a number of circumstances combined in such a way that I found myself very vulnerable – mentally, emotionally and therefore spiritually. I have hinted in my “About” page of the dramatic change that recently came about in myself and, well, suffice to say there was a bit of a battle going on over some old thoughts and attitudes. In the midst of this angst I wrote the following note on my iPad which I share here, edited only to remove the anger/tear driven typos….
“A late night post. Not such a good idea. Many reasons why it isn’t a good idea but I can’t share them with you.
You see, that’s the point. I can’t share.
I am at the moment totally captivated by Beauty beyond Bones. My spirit – in tune with His Spirit – is completely overwhelmed with her beauty. Her courage. Her strength. The things that she shares are life giving to so many. Those lost in the mire of an eating disorder, as well as others caught in depression or addiction. Such a powerful ministry.
But you know what? She has chosen to remain anonymous for now and I don’t blame her. The sad, sad, SAD truth is that we judge. Us humans. Even us Christians. Maybe especially us Christians.
We who have been forgiven so much. Who have “got it”. Who have come to understand what we have been redeemed from. We who have met our Saviour. Fallen at His feet. Received forgiveness.
Still we judge.
Many years ago, decades ago, at another church, we met a man out on life parole. Saved whilst in jail. He who had taken a life had received eternal life and forgiveness for ALL his sin. Do you know something? We were one of the few in that church who truly welcomed him. Yes most said the right things. Chatted to him. Prayed with him. But not many offered him unconditional friendship as we did. He house sat for us when we went on holiday. He even babysat for us. Others were shocked! How could we trust him?! Didn’t we know what he’d done?! Although he had become a Christian, didn’t we think it was a little naive to be so trusting?
Er. Hello? Saved? Forgiven? Redeemed? Justified? Sound familiar?
I might not have killed someone directly by my actions, but I’ve wished someone dead. My actions have actually been part of someone “dying” emotionally too. Jesus said that if I think it, it is the same as doing it in God’s eyes (Matthew 5:27-28). So who am I to judge?
Really, truthfully, we humans just can’t get our heads around the fact that all have fallen short (Romans 3:23). That it doesn’t matter how, just the fact that we are unrighteous. We have no right to stand before God on our own merit.
Even the most “goodly” among us. The “saints”. The ones documentaries are made of. The ones whose stories we share on social media.
Not even them. They are hell bent without God. Unrighteous.
Only by God’s grace and accepting our redemption through Christ can we stand before Him (Ephesians 2: 8-9). Any of us. All of us.
Why am I writing this? Because it occurs to me tonight that I could write of struggles and battles that I have had, and am having, that could help others. In fact, I know that part of God working all things together for my good is to allow Him to use those experiences to feed my mercy heart, to allow me to stand in empathy, to bring encouragement and direction to others walking a similar road.
But I’m not. Because I’m scared. Because I have linked this blog to who I am in the “real” world. Because people who know me, whom I see every Sunday, may read it. And they may judge. They may never look at me the same if I share. If they know. If I am that open.
How sad is that? Scared how my fellow Christians may react to me if they “only knew”?
I need to think and pray over this more. I need to decide who I am wanting to please and what my purpose is in writing this blog.”
You see the dilemma? This morning in my quiet time I argued again with God about putting this up. I really wanted to know if this is what He wants me to do. For Him, I am willing to sacrifice and to bare all (how could I not?) but for no other reason because, frankly, I know it could hurt and none of us intentionally cause ourselves pain.
An analogy came to me that has led me to to the decision to put this post up after all.
An amputee goes for physio to learn how to function with a prosthesis, or maybe how to function without one. The physio is always “able bodied”. We accept that. There is a place for that (in this comparison, this is the Bible teacher we may follow who has a strength we don’t have, a position we can’t share, but one that can nevertheless bless us and bring us somewhere new).
However, if that amputee needs support, encouragement, understanding, inspiration, the programme or help group that will probably be the most beneficial is one made up of other amputees. Yes they may sit there and think “huh, what do YOU know, you only lost ONE arm I lost TWO” but generally speaking, in their heart, they know and acknowledge the right of the person to speak into their life and say “it isn’t over, you CAN do this” because they are on the same journey – just a little further down the road.
A support group for people who have suffer a miscarriage is no use if run by someone who hasn’t been there. Unless you have known the battle with an ED then you could never even come close to understanding and supporting someone else who is. A cancer survivor offers more hope and inspiration to the newly diagnosed that any doctor, friend or family member can who hasn’t faced it.
So, basically, here it is. I have decided to be as open and as honest as God calls me to be about my past, and about any present struggles, in order to encourage and support any out there facing the same. I love to write. I have been writing fiction and non-fiction, poetry and prose since I was first able to write. Writing for me comes straight from my heart so if I am to write, I need to be free to do just that.
I hope that my readers are ok with that..