Many of us don’t look like what we’ve been through, or we may not look like what we’re possibly going through at the time. It’s not likely that you’ll find someone wearing a Tshirt listing everything they’ve been through in challenges beginning at their first fall when they begin learning how to walk. Many of us have adopted as a survivor’s tactic to be a master of disguise in masking any evidence of trace of personal struggle.We don’t have to blast our inner conflicts, heartaches, issues, and problems in being a walking TMZ report of our own lives, but we can learn the delicate art of moving our trials into testimonies in bearing witness to others of the Lord’s strength over our lives.
Hush, Don’t Spread Your Business!
I’ve had a few random sit downs myself from complete strangers that inside I was like,” TMI!” I’m blogger that shares my life with the hope of encouraging others, but I sometimes find it difficult in sharing some aspects of my life in wanting to protect those I love. I share through my blog my personal journey as a mother, insight, encouragement, and sometimes personal challenges. I write in careful disclosure in what I share about myself, yet I do share in transparency. The first thing that pops into your mind when starting a new job, attending church, or even just to live in peace within your neighborhood is,”Hush, don’t spread your business.” There’s a thin line in sharing and over sharing that I myself have to walk consciously not to cross, but I’m also very open. I’ve also been betrayed by some I thought I could trust in sharing what I thought was confidential to what I would later find was shared to others without my permission. The worst feeling I’ve experienced that made me want to rethink expressing in transparency as a whole to others was having someone whom I trusted as a friend that would often inquire in depth about my life in what I thought was asking in concern, but later they threw what was disclosed back into my face in a simple disagreement. We tend to hide what we are going through for safety, protection, and security. We tend to mask what maybe happening in our lives out of fear of judgment, hurt, rejection, and betrayal.
“Are You Okay? “
A childhood classmate and I discovered that we would be working together this fall. We’ve known one another for over twenty years, and occasionally she would come over for coffee. She joined me in volunteering for a community project that I did for some local girls through my mentoring group. We became closer after she decided to join me for the school year in branching off more in sharing the mentoring group. She passed by me at work, and asked me if I was ok. I told her I was fine, and went on about my day. She came by later to stop by in asking if I needed anything. The mask of the cheerful teacher was on full display in my mind with no trace of hidden turmoil. She’s a persistent person who wasn’t going to take the surface cue of “Leave, me alone I’m good!” I prayed about it to God in asking if this was someone I should safely confide in. Finally, after one of our mentoring sessions I shared with my longtime friend the hidden burden that was under the surface behind my eyes. I shared that I’ve been secretly trying to cope from a major shift within our family’s dynamics. I prayed that she wouldn’t tell the world before I got the chance to disclose my truth. I prayed she didn’t add any more unnecessary details to share with others. I prayed that she didn’t see me as a fraud from having a blog centered on family, a fake for not having a perfect life, and that she didn’t judge me in living my passion of encouraging others although she saw me in a weaker state. She said, “You don’t look like what you’re going through, and honestly I would’ve never known.” She offered me grace, space, and a safe place to confide in when I felt the need to talk about what I was going through.
I recently stopped by one of my favorite soul seafood restaurants for takeout. A blonde haired woman entered carrying a meals to go bag to pick up an order. We ironically sat down beside one another to wait for our orders. We connected in conversation when the cashier asked her about her client’s very specific order to have hot sauce on the side. We laughed, and she told me she’s had even more outlandish requests from clients. She shared that she enjoyed the job, and the job gave her the flexibility to take care of her mother who was diagnosed with stage 4 blood cancer. I told her that my mom was recently diagnosed with a rare blood cancer condition. We were two unlikely souls sharing not only a good laugh, but we connected as daughters of women battling cancer. You wouldn’t have known by looking from either of us from the outside what we were coping with, nor would’ve known all the other aspects connected with us in juggling motherhood in caring for our own mothers. It was a strange connection, but it was a connection at best in the restaurant in sharing our stories.
I will speak your testimonies before kings, and I will not be put the shame. Psalms 119: 46
God Is A Safe Haven
I believe there is no safer place to confide in than that of the Lord Jesus Christ. We can find in the Lord a place to share our deepest thoughts, our fears, express our needs, and we can confess our sins. There is no judgment, but there is guidance in giving us a second chance in restoring our spirits. There is a place that offers forgiveness for faults. There is healing from the deepest of hurts. There is blessed assurance for when we feel insecure. I believe that prayer changes things, and I believe that studying God’s word in building a relationship with him can give a breakthrough when we’re facing difficulties. Our trials aren’t for us to be ashamed of, but our trials will later serve as testimonies in due time when God gives us the discernment to whom to share them with in giving him the glory.
It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me. Daniel 4: 2
- Go to God first in sharing what’s on your heart in needing guidance to find strength in difficult times.
- Don’t feel the need to keep everything inside. Reach out in seeking professional help in battling deep depression, and if you know you’re at a mental breaking point.
- Use discernment when offering disclosures in knowing who to talk to, the appropriate timing, and conducive environments to share if needed.
- Consider the source before disclosures. You can’t tell everything to everybody. It doesn’t matter what someone’s outside appearance maybe, their relationship with you as family, how long you’ve known them, or if they have an important title or position. It matters most of a person’s spiritual and emotional maturity when it comes down to confiding with them.
- If ever betrayed or let down by someone you trusted to confide in remember that their actions are a reflection of their true character and not yours. Don’t allow guilt, shame, or someone defection in projection of their inner conflict make you question that you are loved by God. We are not our past or what we’ve been through.
- Remember there is no timeline, peer pressure, or mandate in sharing any aspect of your life. You don’t have to if you are a more private person. Share at your own discretion and comfort. You can always journal write, express yourself in a creative outlet, or find a support group related to your situation.
Check out my Sunday Reflection Facebook Chat on this topic by clicking the link.