I have been out of the habit of writing and journaling for so long that it has taken me a great deal of time to find my voice on this blog. There are many aspects of other blogs that I enjoy thoroughly and find myself at times hung up in efforts to emulate other writers rather than continuing on the path of finding the bloggy style that best suites me. Somehow for me emulating something or someone is often easier than being vulnerable and digging below the surface. Why is it that I can fool myself into accepting an imitation as genuine while all the time the genuine, true self would be so much less work?
Perhaps it is the vulnerability required to put myself out there issues and all in both my writing and my relationships. If I just gloss over those issues both big and small, put on a front that I perceive to be pleasing to those around me--somehow that is easier and requires less self-examination. And ultimately how appealing are those flaws? Those issues? And yet I know that when my own friends behave that way, I feel as if I have been deprived of the opportunity to truly know them, to relate and to encourage and/or be encouraged.
I often catch myself behaving in that way with my faith. Glossing over struggles and my own innate sinful nature. Sometimes it is intentional. Sometimes it is subconscious. If I just disconnect and spew the "churchese", I don't have to share my disappointments or my hurts. I don't have to acknowledge the dry seasons of my faith or confess sins. Sharing those deepest aspects of myself would make me vulnerable and lets face it--people can be harsh, hurtful, judgmental and unforgiving. Including myself.
I am slowing accepting that sharing those experiences, those exact hurts are what we as believers are called to do. As difficult as they are to share, to put voice to those hurts and scars--that is what we are to be doing. When we fail to confess, when we gloss over "the living" that we've done, we deprive our own relationship with Christ and one another. We are called to share those things that weigh heavy on our hearts. To carry one another's burdens and to be as Christ to one another. In order to minister and to be ministered to. God is bigger than those things--Christ wants to meet us in those shared experiences to heal us, strengthen our faith and to strengthen our community, our friendships for further ministry.
A deeper, more vibrant faith life and stronger relationships with those around me is what I desire. Why is being transparent so difficult?
"Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day's out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ's law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived." Galatians 6:1-3 (The Message)