Last month I made a big-time confession on my own blog.
I was honest with my community about some large scale problems going on right now within my marriage. Right now. Not nine years ago or in our first years of it all. Right now.
What’s different about what I was able to share in my online space and others is that I’m already living in a post-crisis, fully-redeemed marriage. Just click on my (in)courage bio right there at the end. I’m sure it will say something about that.
I’m living in what is supposed to be
and a restored life.
But what I found that I was actually living in for the past two years is a marriage full of anger and resentment, bitterness, selfishness and pain. It’s gotten very bad and we have let it come to this together.
I’ve been terrified (read, absolutely petrified) to be open to anyone about this (including my own very best friends) for fear that all that I’d worked for would be lost. I’ve written a long time and spoken for several years about how to have a restored marriage and mine is imploding as we speak. I was worried what everyone would think and would we still have any friends at the end of this?
Those of you who are in any way recovered from any kind of addiction or bad-choice behavior know exactly what I’m talking about. We are scared to continue to fail. We are scared to be open about our real-world journeys because we should be better than that. We are scared to tell people we go to therapy (or we need to go) because we are afraid of the stigma. We are worried that those that have given us grace in the past will somehow run out and look at us with compassion-less eyes.
These are real fears.
But here’s why we have to be honest. Because we need to be free. And Jesus came to give us freedom.
Even if it is something that maybe we should know better about or maybe from the outside it sure looks like we have it all together, we must live in such a way that we have women and friends around us who aren’t afraid of our worst. We must live in an honest way where we can be transparent about our struggles. When we have this we have freedom.
We cannot perpetuate a community culture or a church culture that punishes the honest. Think of it this way. If I wonder if one of my school-aged daughters is lying to me, the conversation becomes less about WHAT they are potentially lying about and more about the actual dishonesty itself. “Please tell me the truth.” I say to them as we sit together. “And I will not punish you for what it is you are lying about.”
And the truth comes out.
Being a community that invites honesty is one of the most important things I think we can be to one another. A hand is held out to help rather than slap when a confession is made. The arm is given to hold around someone’s waist rather than to push the person away.
When I was honest with my community, it was easier to be honest with myself. And it was easier to begin writing with a freer hand. My community embraced me and wept for me and prayed with me and because of that I now feel much more able to be
What about you? How has honesty made you free? Do you feel like you should keep it all together because that is what others expect from you?Leave a Comment