When yesterday's post went live, I felt the slightest tinge of regret. I thought, "am I letting people down because I had a hard day and wrote about it?" I know that's not the truth, but admit it. You've felt that too. You have to be strong, "they" tell us. Why? And who is "they"? Have "they" ever spent a day or a week in your shoes? Have "they" ever planned their husband's funeral? Have "they" ever told their children their father died? Have "they" had to raise a child on their own? Have "they" ever had to learn to handle everything related to their home and life? The truth is "they" don't have a clue!
I'm here to say you don't have to be strong! You don't have to wear a smile every time you see someone, or walk into the church sanctuary. You don't have to do everything and be everything. It's okay to have bad days... because you are going to! And once you accept that truth, you'll find the bad days aren't as bad, because you don't feel guilty for having them. For a long time I had this external pressure put on me that I had to look like everything was okay, and even more I was supposed to actually be okay. I had this pressure that I couldn't have bad days. When some one asked me how I was doing, I felt I had to answer positively. But it wasn't the truth. It was a mask, a facade. I was taught that if I showed my weakness, and hurt that I wasn't giving God glory! So I carried around hurt and pain. I repressed it. I denied it. And when it arose, I would feel guilty. I would question myself, "Why do I feel like this? What's wrong with me?" And the only thing that came from that was an emotional breakdown.
Unfortunately as Christians we are the worst at this. The world knows you are gonna have bad days, and they expect you to tell the world when you do. But step inside the church, and if you don't have a plastic grin on your face, you aren't a good Christian. You are labeled as having little faith, or you are "doubting" God. The day I stepped out of this false reality, and entered a safe place, I started healing. I started living healing. I have been able to be myself, and share it. And lightening has struck me yet, for being an ungrateful child! Rather, quite the opposite has happened.
When I began to share my struggles, even through a simple post on Facebook, something amazing happened. People reached out. They encouraged me, they prayed. I realized that plastic faces rob the body of Christ from doing what God designed it to. When we get real, the body steps up! And that was exactly what I needed through those difficult times. Just as Moses needed someone to hold up his arms so Israel would win the battle, we need others to hold us up when we get tired. We can't do it alone. We are going to have bad days. We are going to get tired. We are going to be weak. And God's okay with it.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NLT
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.