I was going to tell you all about how I am looking forward to summer so I can backpack, but I was convicted that that doesn’t contribute to your lives at all, so instead I would like to share with you a more personal experience that will hopefully have a greater impact on you/ your understanding than my hiking plans.
For many years as a youngin’ I had some pretty big trust issues. Formerly, I have blamed these issues on trivial (I cannot emphasize enough how truly silly & little these things were) incidents involving loved ones, but I’ve realized that that contempt was really just the devil working in my life. In actuality, they come from the years of bullying I went through in elementary and middle school. This isn’t a sob story, mainly because the very people who I used to blame I now see were my saving grace. Those loved ones had spent their years building me up in love and that made me come out from the trials of bullying in a far better condition than many others I’ve seen. For that I want to say thank; thank you very much. I did not come out unscathed though. Bullying did effect my ability to trust & rely on other people. I’ve always been pretty, well no, fiercely independent in many ways, but those times made me believe that there was nothing to gain by bringing my soul to others, and that there was much to potentially lose. The logical little stinker I was took that falsehood to heart and although I had many friends, and I knew many of them beyond surface level, none of them knew me deeper. I wouldn’t let them, even if they had noticed and wished it, which, as pre-teens, wasn’t really an object of priority. I believed that by hiding my faults and struggles, not only would I be less susceptible to hurt, but people would like me better too. I, of course, was very wrong.
We all have struggles, some are more visible than others, but we all have them. Trying to hide mine out of fear and a wanting to be accepted left others not knowing how to relate to me. I had no deep and beautiful relationships, nothing like what I have been blessed with now in my more open state. I have come to understand, that without transparency, you can never really get close to anyone. Hiding those messy, dysfunctional parts of my souI kept them from the healing that God wanted for me.
Thank you to all of my friends who I’ve been able to truly bear my soul too. I love you, and God has done a great deal of good to me through you. In the words of Tenth Avenue North’s song Any Other Way, “it’s not enough just to say that you’re okay. I need your hurt I need your pain it’s not love any other way.” Thank you for loving me; it means more than words can say.
God desires our relationships with others to be physical reminds of ours with Him. If we close ourselves off to others, we don’t give ourselves to opportunity to be loved and cherished by them. God desires us to be completely open with him, and He values open community between His people. Yes, people sometimes will let you down, they are not God, and and thusly we cannot justly expect perfection from them. In John 8:7 Jesus says, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her;” no one God is capable of perfection [ESV]. However, sharing our pain with trusted Godly council is a fundamental way to grow closer to God.
I, personally, have a long way to go with this “being transparent” task. One of my many pitfalls in doing this is I have far too much pride and I loathe admitting to my wrongs and failures. It’s a work in progress, and although I fear it will have to continue in progress for many years, it’s far better than stagnant isolation.
Thank you for reading, and remember to always let the Light in.