Have you been there? You know, faking fine. It looks like this; It begins with a hurt or offense that seems insurmountable and concludes with the covering up of that hurt; hiding so others don’t see the pain or ask the inevitable, “What’s wrong?” Or carrying it all on one’s shoulders because it’s too hard to explain or just downright embarrassing to speak of. The vulnerability of admitting the stupidity of the whole thing and faking fine for years is unlike no other. The explanation does not seem worth the time and energy to lay it out. Then the thought comes, “Is this really as big as it seems?” Second guessing becomes second hand. I know what it’s like to live in it.
Living the lie over and over.
At times in my life I have felt there were no options in the midst of the chaos. There is this “crazy” that one begins to think is normal. I discovered though, that faking fine is not really a good option. It leads to a bigger mess than the original that was hidden for so long. Sleepless nights, second guessing, worried about unwanted responses, the lack of protection and the list goes on. A vicious cycle and the sore festers. It causes stress and stress leads to illnesses of all types. Faking fine is like living a lie over and over again. Pretending that one’s life is well pulled together is not the answer and certainly does not bring about the freedom we so desire and long for. A lie upon a lie is trouble but the paralisis holds you there.
Honesty is such a lonely word but mostly what I need from you.
Yes, a cheap steal from Billy Joel there. What are we to do? What are the options when the pain is so great? Maybe it’s time to dive deep into the world of HONESTY; honest with God, honest with myself and honest with others. Being truthful will set us free from so many worries of the day. It’s scary to be truthful as we begin to realize the truth can and often does hurt others. The fear of losing everything is overwhelming. Will they keep me at arm’s length because they literally don’t know what to say? There are some situations that lend themselves to speechlessness, some very hard situations. But that’s OK. Just listen.
When the hurt is finally exposed and the pain runs deep, take a position of lamenting. In other words just be sad because you are sad. It’s certainly not wrong to lament or grieve. In the hurt is where God will meet us, eventually. It may not feel like it but we must face our hurt and stop faking fine. Give yourself and others permission to lament. Give them time. Too often we try to give the quick, “right” answer to fix things, when all that is needed is sympathy and empathy and a “How are you doing today?” Consider the book of Job in the Bible. All was stripped from him and many tried to give advice but Job said, “I have heard many things like these; you are miserable comforters, all of you!” Wow! Job was at the bottom of the bottom and he could not find any comfort from one of his own. From his friends he could not feed his spirit with hope. Seems rough. Learn to mourn with those who mourn.
Mourn with those who mourn
As I reflect back on some of my days sitting with those in pain, I thought of how I might have tried to comfort others. I don’t think I have done such a great job and I have discovered this recently as I walk through this very thing. I’ve been the one to give the quick, Christian answer without considering just the pure, deep emotions they are feeling and the need to just be heard and held. So I am sorry to you. I have failed to do a better job in the area of “mourning with those who mourn.” Our help does come from the Lord, but remember Jesus was God AND human too. Both are needed. Both are greatly needed still today. Take time to mourn for you, and others if necessary, in your current situation. Jumping to that quick answer may look and feel like it solves things on the outside but the digging needs to go much deeper for the healing to come to past.
For years now I have been a follower of Jesus. This is where I have my hope. His Word is where I find hope and the promise of who I am in Jesus. There I find my worth. You can too. There I know I am loved with an everlasting love, unconditional love. His love endures forever. That’s what God says. I choose to believe. Will you?
“Do not give up in doing good, for in due time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up.” Galatians 6:9