I remember the day I made a promise to God.
I was around 8 or 9 years old, coming home from Church when my parents were in the heat of a horrible argument. It began before Church and picked up right after we left. I remember sitting in the back seat when I made a vow to God that I would be the same person no matter the circumstance. I realized that no one can actually “grow” by keeping their faults behind closed doors and I truly thank God for the grace he gave me to see situations with wisdom and discernment, at such a young age.
The Fruit of the Spirit
I knew that if God created us with the intention to live a GOOD life, filled with the Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control), I had to position myself to learn what was going on inside of my heart so that I could truly heal the areas that weren’t producing that fruit. Because if Jesus is a perfect God, without sin, then He is my standard — for good reason. Hidden for those who seek him, is wisdom and a life full of freedom. I knew at the time, my parents were not given the example of how to do these things, but I also knew every person gets the same opportunity to end generational destruction.
When no one can see.
That’s what matters. That’s ALL that matters. Because THAT is the condition of the heart. When we went to church that day, no one would have believed my parent’s marriage was barely hanging on. Everyone thought we were the “perfect family”. And that’s why I made that vow to God that day. Because I didn’t see the benefit of hiding anything. If I was going through a difficulty or had a bad attitude, I wanted to be held accountable for it. I never wanted to play “pretend” because I knew it would eventually catch up to me.
That’s what Christians are supposed to be there for
Accountability (Galatians 6:1-5): Because the actual truth of a situation can shatter people’s faith when it’s eventually exposed. When my parents eventually shared they were getting a divorce, so many people were utterly confused and heartbroken. And I wasn’t surprised. I had to explain that their marriage problems weren’t new and that they hid a lot of it from everyone…as most brokenness does.
Whether it’s social media or real life, it’s easy to hide behind pretty pictures, or answer with “I’m well”, when asked, “how are you?”. I’m not saying we need to publically air the dirty details of our very real and personal problems. That isn’t wisdom. What I am saying is to simply choose not to act like everything is okay when it isn’t. You just don’t realize how much empathy, wisdom, and support people have when you share a piece of your reality. To dismiss that opportunity would be dismissing a chance for love and healing to mend your heart.
Growing from the inside out is what matters most to Jesus.
When we keep things in a place where no one can see, we begin to build a wall around ourselves. We become so internally focused that it becomes feasting grounds for Satan to devour what’s going on inside those walls (1 Peter 5:8). We become calloused, hard-hearted, and eventually unemotional to healing and redemption. To deal with the issues as they come is to invite wholeness to take place. I would much rather endure the pain of the moment than let it take root and have an even greater battle to overcome.
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said,
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
There will absolutely be hard times — sometimes more than we can bear, but he’s reminding us to give him our burdens so that he can show us how to get through the pain in the easiest way.
I’m rooting for you, friend! And if you need someone to talk to or simply pray over your situation, I’m available. Hard times aren’t meant to be experienced alone. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll connect.
Blessings to you and the journey of your heart!
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