My Motivations For Transparency and Why I Need Openness In My Life

For those who don’t know me personally, you wouldn’t know that I am as just open here as I am in person. And sometimes I wonder if I’m too open. I wonder if I’m making a mistake. Should I be embarrassed?

I wrestle with this. And maybe I am too open, but is that really a bad thing? I really couldn’t say. All I do know is my own experience and my own reasoning. Isn’t that true for all of us?

I suppose one of my motivations for transparency lies in my faith. Christians are called to speak out about their struggles so that fellow believers can help build one another up. To keep each other accountable. Because let’s face it, following any religion is hard and it’s unreasonable to do it alone.

And that’s a big motivator for me. Do I make mistakes? Do I sin? Do I represent Christ poorly? Yup, all the time. And I want to be held accountable for that. I want to know when I’ve messed up, so that I can fix it. So that I can apologize and clean up my mess, because I will make a mess of things. I’m human. That’s the grace of God, the confidence that I can screw up, apologize, and it’s forgiven, it’s forgotten. No matter how big or small, my mistakes are always redeemable. God’s offering, I might as well take it.


But outside of my faith, I have other reasons. Memories in my past of cruelty, prejudice, sexism, and hate. I have memories of good people, respectable people, turning on me in private. Tearing into me and spreading lies about me.

When your nightmares become a reality and hell becomes a place you frequent, it becomes hard to trust. Hard to believe. Hard to hope. And living in hell taught me that I wanted to be free. That I wanted to be more than my past. My past taught me that some of the kindest people we know are often the cruelest. My past taught me to look for lies. To look for deceit.

And so I live a transparent life. I speak candidly. I want you to call me out on my mistakes. Because I know monsters and I don’t want to become one. Living in secrecy, hiding who we truly are, breeds evil, and I desperately want to be good. To distance myself from my nightmares, look in the mirror, and see a whole, loving and kind woman. I am and will be more than my past.

I’m Not Sure What I’m Doing, But Here I Am

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I’ve never really had it figured out. The life plan, the career path, it all seemed…wrong in some way. I have my interests and my passions: interior design, painting, writing, philosophy, reading, mothering, loving my best friend, faith.

All of these things bring me fulfillment. But, together, these things don’t make a career and to abandon one in pursuit of materialism, well, it violated my inner values. Thankfully, I have a husband who understands that I’m a circle trying to fit into a square world.

And when I was pregnant with Brielle, I thought, “Finally, I’m where I’m supposed to be. Living how I should be living.” And that piece of me that is always searching, found rest.

But she’s gone now. And I’m lost. I’m searching. Unsure of what’s next. Afraid I’ll fail. Afraid life will never go back to normal. It’s not as simple as just having another baby, because there will never be another Brielle.

I over think. I over analyze. And I’m, slowly, learning to say, “Whatever. God, just do what you want. I’m tired of this.”

He’s very patient with me. And, sure enough, when I let go, things start moving forward.

I guess, what I’m trying to say, is that I’m not sure where I’m going. I’m not sure where this blog is going. I’m not sure of it’s purpose, I’m not sure I’m doing it right.

And in a lot of ways, it doesn’t make sense. I’m not a person that likes attention. I’m a hermit. But here I am, pouring my heart out for the world to see. Exposing myself, warts and all. And I couldn’t tell you why.

I don’t understand it. I just know that I feel compelled to write. I feel an urgency to share and I write as I am prompted to do so. I don’t have answers. I don’t know what this means. I’m just relying on faith and following God as He directs me.

So, if you could, please be patient with me. I’m not perfect, I’m a mess. But this blog, it’s something I need to do. It scares me, it hurts me, and it puts me in a position that I don’t necessarily like.

But, it feels right.

I’ve found love, encouragement, support, and authenticity through this blog. I’ve grown spiritually and emotionally. And I accomplished my original goal, love for Brielle.

This place I’ve created is precious and beautiful to me. And I’m thankful for everyone who cares, who has loved and encouraged me and my family. And, I guess, I’ll just keep on writing until God says it’s time to stop.

Following directions is going to take some getting used to.

I Am Free!

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I feel like a whole new person. Like I’m me again. I’ve let what’s happened in my life totally derail me. I let doubt get in my head and destroy my confidence, my belief in myself. And I did that. I let that happen.

I needed to stand up for myself, I needed to be clear that life has thrown me a curve ball, but I’m going to move forward. I needed to have the confidence to say, “Nobody is perfect. I’m not perfect. And I’ve been down.”

I needed to know that I have the freedom to speak. The freedom to make mistakes. The freedom to hurt and not cover it up with a smile. I needed the freedom to grieve, but find true happiness in my grief.

And I am really happy. I’m free. I’ve spent my whole life trying to get away, to live without fear, and I did it.

And I feel…right. Like I’m back on the path I’m supposed to be on. Life threw me into a viscous cycle of doubt and heartache. I always want to know that I’ve given everything my all. I don’t want to live with regret. But my fear and doubt was eating me alive. Leaving me to question myself.

But I don’t doubt myself anymore. I still struggle with heartache, but I can be confident in God. And I’m free. I don’t have to silence myself anymore. I don’t have to hide. To live in fear.

I’m free to be myself. I’m free to be the person I’ve been trying to be. Life feels good again. I’m hopeful again. And I’m comfortable.

The Lord is good. He has heard me and He is guiding me out of my pain and suffering. And this makes me glad. This makes me joyous. Praise the Lord! I am free!

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The Lord Is My Rock

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I don’t feel weak anymore. I don’t feel lonely anymore. I don’t feel helpless anymore. I am strong and the Lord is on my side. He sees my heartache, he sees the injustice I’ve been shown, and He knows my heart.

My God is great and powerful. He is always faithful and has never left my side. I know His presence and I know His favor. God has blessed us and He will continue to do so.

Storms will come, tragedy will strike, but my Lord is always faithful. He is always good. He is always just. And He will always stand by my side.

In Him I have no fear. In Him I am confident. In Him I am strong. Life may try and derail me, friends may betray me, and I may suffer, but my heart belongs to God. I will serve Him for eternity and do so with a glad and joyous heart. Nothing and no one can come between the love I have for my Lord or the love He has for me.

2 Samuel 22: 2-7, 18-37, 47-50

2-7

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
     my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
He is my refuge, my savior,
the one who saves me from violence.
 I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and he saved me from my enemies.

 The waves of death overwhelmed me;
floods of destruction swept over me.
 The grave wrapped its ropes around me;
death laid a trap in my path.
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
yes, I cried to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
my cry reached his ears.

17-37

He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
 He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
 They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
but the Lord supported me.
 He led me to a place of safety;
he rescued me because he delights in me.
 The Lord rewarded me for doing right;
he restored me because of my innocence.
 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I have not turned from my God to follow evil.
 I have followed all his regulations;
I have never abandoned his decrees.
 I am blameless before God;
I have kept myself from sin.
 The Lord rewarded me for doing right.
He has seen my innocence.
To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
to those with integrity you show integrity.
 To the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
 You rescue the humble,
but your eyes watch the proud and humiliate them.
 O Lord, you are my lamp.
The Lord lights up my darkness.
 In your strength I can crush an army;
with my God I can scale any wall.

God’s way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
For who is God except the Lord?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
God is my strong fortress,
and he makes my way perfect.
 He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
 He trains my hands for battle;
he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
 You have given me your shield of victory;
your help has made me great.
You have made a wide path for my feet
to keep them from slipping.

47-50

The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock!
May God, the Rock of my salvation, be exalted!
 He is the God who pays back those who harm me;
he brings down the nations under me
and delivers me from my enemies.
You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies;
you save me from violent opponents.
 For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations;
I will sing praises to your name.

Do Not Fear!

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I don’t always talk about the Holy Spirit. It’s kind of one of those topics that we all kind of avoid. It’s spiritual, it’s not a science, and experiencing the Spirit isn’t something everyone is open to.

For those that aren’t familiar with the Holy Spirit, it is: 1 John 2:20, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, Mark 13:11, John 14:17, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:38, Acts 10:44, Acts 13:52, Romans 5:5, Romans 8:5, Romans 8:26, Romans 9:1, Romans 15:13, 1 Corinthians 2:4, 1 Corinthians 6:19, 2 Corinthians 6:6, Galatians 3:2, Galatians 5:22

There have been times in my life when I have clearly felt the Spirit, His will, and His guidance. One example of this was the all consuming faith and peace I felt when Brielle was born.

I felt Him again this past week and weekend. My heart, my spirit felt like it was on fire, and I felt His anger. I felt a power, a force I cannot describe. He has watched me suffer, He has seen my pain, and He knows my innocence and I felt His anger. I have suffered long enough and it’s time to fight.

But I doubted my feelings. I doubted what I felt as real. And then we went church. Dr. Cooper took the stage, and I saw that he too, was on fire. He preached against those who try to intimidate us, who try to derail us from our path in life. He spoke against those who speak with hate against the children of God, and he spoke of how God is with us and He will fight for us. With Him our Goliath will be destroyed. That we must stand firm in Him, confident in God.

And I felt it. I felt the Spirit, the fire, the rage of the Lord. I was too tired, too weak to even stand, but I felt Him. And I knew, it’s time to fight. The Lord is on my side, He is my strength, and He has had enough.

David and I got in the car and he turned to me, with a huge smile on his face, “Can you believe that sermon this morning!? I haven’t seen Dr. Cooper that fired up in a long time. God is fighting for you. He’s fighting for us. Don’t doubt yourself, God gave you this message, He is on our side.”

That night, I felt prompted to write a post, and I flipped to my Bible for a verse, praying God would guide me to the scripture I needed, and I was amazed. I was comforted. God is great and powerful. He is faithful.

My Bible later opened to Exodus, it just, fell open. I turned my attention away for a moment and when I looked back, my Bible had changed pages to Exodus. Which was a bit of a jump. I almost didn’t read it either, but so many things had happened that day, that I thought I should read. I’m glad I did. I read the story of Moses and the plagues of Egypt. And this verse jumped out at me.

Exodus 14:14

“…Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today;…”

You can see Dr. Cooper’s message here. It will be available until June 26, 2016 give or take a day. And then, I think, it will be available here.

I highly recommend his Valleys series and Get Well Soon series. The Valleys series is about going through life’s hard times. And Get Well Soon is about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and faith.