(Don't have time to read? Listen to me read it here!)
Have you ever heard it’s unwise to share your trials until you've passed them? That you should keep quiet in the storm, only sharing victory after you've completed that season. I sure have...and it left me paralyzed.
I was reading an Instagram caption from someone that I admire and they mentioned this idea years ago. I stuck that thought in my back pocket for future use. It sounded wise.
Fast-forward to the wave, or should I say the crash of storms, that rushed over me years later. I pulled that piece of advice out of my pocket and wondered how could a person ever serve God in that way when their reality was nothing but a trial.
Was I to stop everything and hide until the winds stopped blowing and until the waters became still?
It literally had me stuck. Ever been stuck? Not fun is it?
BRING ALL ADVICE TO GOD!
I felt the Lord leading me to question even wise men’s advice. Was it Biblical and did God tell me this? No and no! This piece of advice is a principle many follow, but it’s not always true. God sure didn’t tell me to do it.
Quite the opposite. I believe God was leading me to share “in the middle.” Ahh! In the middle of the stormy hot-mess. Without all of the answers. Not knowing when the rain would end.
He didn’t want me to tell every tiny detail of my circumstance. But, not sharing anything put me in a state of silence towards people when I did have things to say that would glorify God and could encourage others.
WHY WE LOVE THE PSALMS?
Do you know why so many people love the Psalms?
It’s because the songs and prayers found in them are raw and honest. Human pain is expressed, yet the God of the Bible is still magnified!
There, we see a man after God’s own heart crying and asking difficult questions.
David says things to God we gasp at, but we secretly think them and find relief in David’s audacity and humility.
"How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long must I wrestle in my soul, with sorrow in my heart each day? How long will my enemy dominate me?" Psalm 13:1-2
Sister, those were songs! Songs that were actually sung. Many times we see instructions for the director and instruments before the verses.
SEEING GOD WORK THROUGH THE PROCESS!
It is so encouraging to witness the pain and then see how awesome God is in delivering versus just only hearing the testimony. We can relate to the tears and the testing.
OH, BUT... PRIDE!
So, as I looked at the advice I clung to from the Instagram caption, I wrestled. Oh, but most people go by this rule! Oh, but who wants to hear this? Oh, but I don’t want pity; I want to ultimately bring God glory. Oh, but… Oh, but…. Oh, but….
Here’s the truth, friend, my pride didn’t like being the weak one!
The boasting in my weakness part, when everyone ‘seemed’ strong, didn’t appeal to my flesh. My wrestle was with the flesh and it took a while before I saw again that my life isn’t about me.
This is true about you as well.
OUR LIVES BELONG TO GOD!
Your life isn’t about you! Your life doesn’t even belong to you. If you are in Christ, He purchased you, redeemed you, on the cross. If you are not a Christian, God made you and your very breath is a gift.
The bible says that offering our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice is our act of worship! We must ask Him to help us do this.
Now, it doesn’t mean telling all of our business; It means obeying God. It means loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And, to love our neighbor as ourself.
LOVE REQUIRES VULNERABILITY!
Let me tell you something about this...it requires vulnerability!
Sometimes it involves sharing in the middle...not when we have it all put together, cause when did that help anybody? Actually, when has "everything put together" ever happen?
MY REAL AND HONEST TRUTH
Here is my truth.
I am not always okay... especially in this current season of life. I am having seizures weekly. They are not fun and they often times make me really tired so that the rest of my day is spent recovering.
In general, I struggle with fatigue, because of PTSD. I see a counselor once a week to work through past trauma and it affects my body. I typically have less energy than the next person.
Sometimes, I have a very bad concentration that I find it hard to write, think, read or anything else but stare at the wall. Those times come and go throughout the day. It’s hard.
I have cried a lot, having not understood why God would take me down the long road. And, have kept this truth to myself and only with the close ones around me because you know...I felt you can’t blog about this stuff “in the middle.” You've got to pass through first...not true!
All of this is 100% true. But, I also have more truth.
ALSO, MY REAL AND HONEST TRUTH!
Here is my truth.
God is good. He is my Shepherd. He leads me and has never forsaken me. He has taught me humility. I have learned what the love of the Body of Christ looks like. Christ has been my Savior every single day.
I now realize what a gift it is to be able to simply lay in bed with no pain...which I had once taken for granted. All good things are gifts and I know this by experience, not by solely reading about it.
God is my refuge, my safe place. He continues to draw me closer, even when I tend to wander off. His Spirit teaches me and reminds me of truth...the very Truth I must stand on and fight with!
I am protected and I have a greater hope that can’t be stolen, will not rust, or be destroyed. Jesus Christ, my Savior, prays for me and I will one day see Him with a glorified body. My confidence can’t be in this world, it is in Him!
THIS IS NOT IN VAIN!
All of that is 100% true and I have learned it through suffering and the time it has given me to read and study God’s Word. Nothing is in vain. Your circumstance, my friend, is not in vain!
Everything God does will bring about good for His children and will allow us to see more of His glory (Romans 8:28)!
The advice to not share until you have passed through trials might work for specific tests from God and might even work for some people in general.
For the circumstance I am in right now, it doesn’t work!
I actually feel lead to do the opposite. I am going to share “in the middle.” It is what I have to give and God’s strength is seen in my weaknesses. I will boast in God’s strength!
Many people like, Amy Carmicheal, Charles Spurgeon, and even David from Scripture shared in the middle...and they are a great help for others (like me).
Sister, I am learning it is okay to share the hard and messy truth with God and even with people, as long as we keep our eyes on our Strength, Christ Jesus!
If you are struggling, tell someone! If you feel lead to encourage someone with what you have learned, share it. Only, don't despair, hope in God.
And, when He brings us completely through, all praise will go to His glorious Name!
Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow!