After one of my last posts, Feeling Shabby and it Ain’t Chic, I received some very kind and sweet inquiries, mostly in the form of “I read your blog Dale. How are you? Are you ok? Really?” to which I replied, “Thank you, yes, I am ok.” And while I appreciate their concern, I think my honesty made them uncomfortable.
You see one of my highest values is authenticity. I believe in being honest about my real feelings and thoughts especially ones that are a little bit embarrassing because as shame researcher, Brene Brown points out, shame only needs three ingredients to survive: silence, secrecy and judgment. So instead of hiding my shameful shabby mindset, I shared it out loud for a few reasons.
- One of my purposes in life is to PROTECT HUMILITY and human weakness so that each of us might, as the apostle Paul says “boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Talking about our weaknesses and even boasting of our shortcomings is a Biblical way to live. It’s one of the upside down principles of Kingdom living that Jesus teaches us in His first sermon: Blessed are those who know they are spiritually poor. (Matthew 5:4)
Some women are so wrapped up in their image, looking good for God and others, that they don’t share their struggles and weaknesses. In many circles that is normal. Everyone is fine. Everyone has got their life together. When we get used to this type of shallow and dishonest conversation, we start to think that those who do speak honestly about problems must be in a huge pit of despair (because that is the only time image-managed women would actually mention a hint of what’s going on in our lives) and moments away from catastrophic events. But that is not true.
I have problems and struggles just like everyone else. Mine might be harder than yours on some days and easier on others. When I share that I feel shabby, I believe I am sharing a common feeling that most women will feel at one time or another. It doesn’t mean our faith has taken a nose dive or our lives are completely falling apart. It means that we are human and not afraid to admit that we have weaknesses and those weaknesses keep us humble and in need of our great God.
- The second reason that I share honestly is because I know that
What is revealed can be healed.
Shame, one of the tragic effects of the Fall, keeps us in hiding and captive to our wounds and problems. It keeps us stuck. It creates a distance from God and others. It steals, kills and destroys our hearts and our faith.
I lived in shame for years but I won’t live like that anymore, and so I speak and write as authentically as I can because I know that transformation is just a disclosure away. Everything I have had the courage to reveal, God has healed. Its rarely instantaneous but God always finishes His redeeming work even though He is never in as much of a hurry as I am. And I don’t know about you, but I want all the healing that I can get. I want to be driven by love and not image management, by faith and not hidden insecurities, by pleasing God instead of those around me. God offers healing to all of us. Our job is to start revealing. When we break the silence of our embarrassing moments and bring them from darkness into light, things will be different. God will make us different.
Here’s the latest for me: Since revealing the shabbiness of my current life in blog form, God has showed me that I have been thinking and acting more like a victim rather than a victor in His kingdom. Ouch. I didn’t say revealing and healing were pain-free or easy, but they are always worth it.
He has showed me that I have been looking at home maintenance as too much for me to handle, when in truth, it’s not. I have reached out for help and my awesome neighbors, the Birosaks, have helped me with yard projects. I have committed to monthly repair projects that keep me actively moving toward my goals without being overwhelmed. This month I am regrouting and recaulking the girls’ shower.
Youtube and Home Depot have become good friends of mine. And I have started living in the strength that is available to me through the Holy Spirit instead of thinking small and giving my power away. And all that from 500 words in a revealing blog.
- In case you are still worried, my blog posts are not cloaked cries for help (although sometimes I do need help but I’ve learned to ask for what I need, at least most of the time) or warnings that I’m out on the ledge of my life in desperate need of someone to talk me back in.
My blog posts are admissions from a middle aged divorced Christian woman who has four children, a high needs dog, a budget and a normal life that comes with some bumps along the way. My goal is to GO FIRST, to admit my struggles, and in some small way to give you permission to admit yours, if you need it. My goal is to NORMALIZE STRUGGLE because in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33) especially if we are Christians because He disciplines those He loves (Proverbs 3:12).
My vision is to see a world of Christian women, free to be real, so that God can radically transform them into the most beautiful authentic version of themselves, doing His work according to their unique mission. So get out there and boast of your weaknesses, creating an infectious authenticity, so that every woman (and man) can become all that God intends for them to be.