I recently had a horrible fight with my teenage son and called him a word which begins with an a and ends with an e.
The mom who writes about Jesus and has an inflated puffy head because she doesn’t “cuss” in front of her kids.
I was horrified.
Then I had to ask myself, “Am I horrified because of the word I said or because I don’t want anyone to know the anger issues I still struggle with?”
Really my ego and pride are quite nauseating at times.
I’ve been asking Jesus for seventeen years how to get well.
He always tells me the first step and I still hate the answer. So, of course my two-year old tantrum self eats ten bags of potato chips, buys new throw pillows, then posts about the new pillows on Facebook to get the thumbs up that everything is indeed splendid.
In the Bible it’s called sanctification, in twelve step groups it’s called recovery. Either way, the first step to wellness is getting brutally honest with yourself about yourself.
And hello — who willingly signs up for that?
None of us want to peer under the covers of our hearts and see what dark, creepy issues may be there.
And guess what? We all have them. Welcome to the club: no one is exempt.
Even your aunt who goes to church three times a week, wears flowery dresses, says words sweet as a honeycomb and makes the best gingersnaps has some probs.
Or the friend or relative who would do anything for those she loves, but still gossips incessantly.
Or the woman who serves in women’s ministry at her church and has a husband who hits her, but refuses to leave because she “loves” him. She can’t and won’t allow herself to see she is enabling him and in fact not really loving him or herself.
Because here’s the brutal truth: change, getting honest, and becoming well is gut-wrenchingly hard.
It is time-consuming, painful, and takes serious soul work.
It’s more than just going to an altar on Sunday, or confessional, or saying I’m sorry. Yes, those things are good and freeing, but if we have baggage we’ve been lugging for years, it’s going to take some time to unload.
And, it may, God forbid, take us actually getting off our phones in order to hear God speak. Or even taking the antidepressants which have been in the cupboard for a year.
Recently, I needed to see some things about myself in order to get revelation and heal, but like I’ve said before, me and Jonah are toxic BFF’s.
So, after all my fleeing, and the potato chips making my pants too tight, I finally gave up and crawled up in God’s lap.
He spoke to me about the things I was afraid to see. Not in a shaming way, but in a tender (but we still need to deal with this) way.
You see, you and I are scared to look within ourselves because we are frightened the things we do are who we are. But our Father in Heaven knows anything we do which harms us or causes us to run is not who we are.
He knows the things we do to numb ourselves and why we eat five thousand Oreos in one sitting. He knows the love or attention we didn’t get as children and when it shows up in our toxic needy ways.
And here’s the cockamamie truth I still struggle to believe:
He loves the old us, the new us, and the us we are yet to be.
And will always show His kids the path to wellness if we ask Him.
Honey, getting honest may be hard, but it’s the most courageous and kindest thing we can do for ourselves and our people.
Stopping the sick and unhealthy cycles in our families and homes is one of the greatest gifts we could ever give to our loved ones.
And here’s the truth: becoming well is not a one time gig or yearly “wellness” doctor visit.
It is an ongoing journey with our Abba Father, asking Him for the courage to look within and let Him heal us of our pasts, destructive habits, pride, excuses, and hiding.
It’s taking responsibility for ourselves and our choices.
It’s no longer blaming others for our unhappiness or unhealthy patterns.
It’s making the decision over and over again to run back home.
Dear reader, if you are afraid to look under the covers, please let me say, I so get it.
But, what you also need to know is you are not your issues. You are not your destructive patterns. You are not your sin. You are not your past.
The big monsters you are so afraid of don’t scare Him in the least and His ginormous, ridiculous love squashes the little fear mongers until they have to flee.
So I challenge you, dear reader, to turn around and take that first step.
Talk to your Abba. Ask Him for the courage to get honest. Crawl in His lap. Uncover your eyes. You are safe and you are loved.
Head home, my friend, and be well.