Silly, right? To have a breakdown because your Pinterest alter-ego is a super mom and you’re just a run of the mill, trying to survive, not fancy, not green, not hip, messy and at her wit’s end, M-O-M.
Go ahead, judge me. But here’s the thing, what this really translates into, is the church.
The Christian pin board. Imagine for a minute if we stopped pinning our successes, and instead shared our mishaps with the world. Forget the pot roast that’s to die for, let’s share pictures of that burnt meatloaf that your kid almost choked on. Or how about the cookies you made and accidentally used salt where is said sugar. Why don’t we share the kitchen fires, the sewing disasters, and the stains that your magical cleaning concoction didn’t take care of.
Why don’t we share the mess?
Forget food and clean houses. Let’s talk about life.
When was the last time you walked into your church and said, “Hey friends, I usually leave my garbage at the door, but today I decided to bring it in. This is my life. It’s messy, it’s stinky, and I really don’t have a clue how I’m going to get it together. But I’m here, and I need your help.”
We don’t do that. Instead, we sift through the coloring book and share only the pages where we didn’t go outside the lines.
The first time I ever shared my testimony I was given a standard model to follow. You start with the back story (the valley) then go into the climb (where God began to take a hold of you) and you end with the victory speech (the mountaintop). Always a triumph in the end, always a conquering of past demons. That’s great and sweet, and it sure does elicit some good responses from people. But, is it real?
What if you’re a Christian, and you’re still in the valley?
Friends, I am. There are areas of my life where I am still so broken. There are things from my past that still have a fierce grip on me. I’d like to say that I’ve moved on, I’ve shaken it off, and I’ve claimed my victory, but I haven’t. In the past I’ve been so ashamed to admit that, but it’s true.
I don’t have it all together.
Not by a long shot. I struggled for a long time with going to church week after week and seeing how put together everyone else seemed to be. There were times when I felt completely defeated because I was still such a wreck internally. I didn’t understand why I still struggled with these things, while so many others had moved on and were celebrating. Alas, I’m beginning to understand.
No one wants to pin their failures, only their successes.
We don’t want to go around shouting about our struggles. It’s so much easier to wear our “I’ve got it together” masks and just play church with each other. Forget the fact that we have brothers and sisters that are barely dragging themselves into the pews each weak because they’re so beat down that they just want to quit. Forget the way they must feel when they leave, week after week after week, surrounded by cookie cutter Christian lives.
Forget true, real, genuine relationships. Let’s just fake it, and hope to God that someday we’ll make it.
I’m tired of it. I know there is peace and healing and restoration in Christ, I’ve experienced it. But, no matter how many times I climb to that mountain top, I still find myself gravitating back toward that sinful slope. No matter how hard I have tried to glaze over the things of the past, Friends, I am still broken.
So, I’m not going to fake it anymore. Not with you here, not with my friends and family, and not with people I have the opportunity to minister to. I’m not going to share Christ like He’s a box of chocolates with a velvet ribbon.
I will share hope, but I will also share struggle.
Are you picking up what I’m putting down here? Life’s stinkin’ hard. The Christian life included. It’s hard, it’s messy, it’s unpredictable, and it is diverse. And we should present it to the world as just that. Open your heart, open your life, and get real, Folks.
– amazing blog post from Nikki