Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I don’t want to lie anymore.

Things are not fine in my life right now. As a matter of fact I am unbelievably angry and bitter. Last week, I was crying all week. I haven’t written out these feelings because part of my job as a minister’s wife is to encourage people and try to hug away other’s pain. I haven’t been able to do that lately.

Two weeks ago I received news that shattered a false reality. Blinded by the lies of some and by my own inadequate way of watching life through rose tinted glasses, my world crumbled. I won’t go into detail of what has brought me to my knees as of late out of respect for dear ones, but I will tell you out of utter desperation to get things of my chest that I am sick of disillusionment.

So often in my life I have asked or been asked “how are you?” Easily and systematically I reply “fine”. The words “how are you?” don’t really mean…”I really want to know how you are doing”. They are just a simple greeting although, they shouldn't be.

I am not fine. Not today and maybe not for a few more days.

I think it is safe to say that I won’t ask anyone how they are doing unless I really truly want to hear. Because we should want to know how people really are doing; because we should not want to force others into lies and false realities.

There are broken people in this world. There are broken Christian people in this world. I am ready to be real. I am ready to watch Christians be real with each other.

Watching hurting people from the sidelines clues you in on a few things. Bottling up pain only creates bitterness. Sharing the load makes life lighter.

We are so afraid of each other’s rejection or ridicule. This is a real fear because there are some Christians who find it their duty to condemn after a confession. I've never quite gathered the purpose of that kind of rebuke. Once someone confesses to a problem there is no need to further destroy or ridicule them to their face or behind their back in an attempt to make oneself feel sinless.

We are also afraid to hurt other’s feelings. Let me be a testimony to you that hiding your brokenness will do more damage in the shadows for you and everyone else.

It is time we meet people where they are. There are no perfect people. There are no perfect lives only perfect lies. Being real with each other is a dirty process. People cry. They have real problems. Sometimes those problems are horrific, but life can be horrific and we are called to love regardless. Sometimes leaders make horrific mistakes because they are people too... just like you...just like me.

Whenever I am faced with a heart wrenching ache of a bombshell and whenever someone lets me down I remember King David. The bible shares that David was a man after God’s own heart. God loved this man. I’m not going to mince any words here. David was a jerk. He watched another man’s beautiful wife bathe like a peeping tom. He misused his rank and authority to have sex with her. When she became pregnant he sought out a way to murder her husband. Nice guy, huh? This is the man after God’s heart…the man God loved.

If this is true then God can love me. If this is true then God can love any of us.

Consider the world looking in on a bunch of liars. We smile and pretend life is fine on Sundays then we go home and ache alone in our little dark corner trying to hold together the pieces of a crumbling life…alone.

Forget that the world claims that we are hypocrites. Duh. They don’t get it.
Forget the world’s lie that claims that you can make it on your own. You can’t.

You and I need each other. We need people to help carry life’s burden. We need to experience forgiveness and acceptance and unconditional love. That is what the church is for. The church was never intended to be an arsenal of liars who condemn the one courageous honest soul that confesses their humanness.

Simply said, I am looking for authenticity. I want to hear about your joys. I want to hear about your successes. I want to hear about your hurts. I want to help bear the burdens.

It is time to stop lying to each other. If we have hurt or disappointment or sin that is a struggle the best way to deal with it is to share the burden.


  1. I'm so sorry for your pain, Caryn. May God use your pain to reveal Himself to you in a way you have not experienced before. I am praying for you. Grace and peace, Diane

  2. Boy can I identify. I couldn't agree more. And I can also attest to the fact that sometimes as a minister's wife, it is not always safe to share what you are going through. It's sad, but it's a reality.

  3. Caryn, thanks for being so open and authentic in your post. I too long for Christians to "get real" without fear of judgement. I hope you will continue to find encouragement in God's word and that He'll deliver the peace you especially need right now. =)

  4. I think I'll be circling back and rereading your post many more times -- a lot to think about. Ironically, it makes the second blog entry in two days that talked about hiding our true feelings and emotions. I think God's trying to tell me something.

    What I've found lately is that even in the most loving church families, people find it hard to know that you hurt. People want to "fix" hurt and sometimes it just can't be fixed. That's where I struggle today. Sometimes I feel that if I share my hurt, then I need to let people "fix it."

    And sometimes, it's hard to explain how you can hurt at one moment and be okay another. It's not always one side of the coin or the other.

  5. Interesting comments and thoughts. Caryn, are encouraging people and hugging away their pain really mutually exclusive with showing your pain and frustration? I don’t think so. Who ever told you that was wrong. It’s time to take that burden off of yourself. We will always fall short of other people’s expectations. Worry about Christ’s expectation. If I don’t know that you hurt, i.e. are normal, I will always be afraid to share my pain with “the minister’s wife” and that will further the “lie“ of the Church.

    Am I afraid to share my struggles with the Church? Loaded question. The Church is a community made up of individuals in all stages of growth and stagnation, imperfections and fallibilities, including trustworthiness. I cannot expect the entire body to be at the same level of growth, or at such a level of Christ-likeness that they would have to be in order for me to give the details of my struggles. YES I am unwilling to share ALL of my struggles with the entire Church, but I am not afraid to share that I do have struggles with the entire Church. I do need to develop relationships in that community so that I can give my friendship and set the example of what Christ wants a friend to be, and to put love in action and not just words. That means it’s going to hurt. How I deal with the pain is the refining fire. I would probably do what you did. Blog it out, kick and scream inside, maybe even kick the dog, and pray. A lot. Then go right back and put my hand on the stove for more, because I am commanded to love. Not be a doormat, but to put myself out there to be Christ on earth. It’s not us and them, meaning the misguided Church of Christ or my particular congregation. It is between God and me. Every time. Pray that we have the strength to keep the rest of the stuff as background noise.

  6. Thanks, Caryn! It's amazing how alike we are or that we're at the same place spiritually. I can so relate to this concept of being authentic. It's one reason I started my blog: Because I want people to see the real me, and because I hope that it will help others show me the real them. We're called to minister to a hurting world, and it's time to stop pretending that we don't all have real struggles that we need encouragement for. It's why God gave us the beautiful gift of fellowship.

  7. Two comments. One, Terri S has some good points which I have made to other people in ministry. You teach us how to behave by how you behave. I don't know where these notions that people involved in service are to be above reproach came from but they have been around as long as I am aware of.

    As a result of that, at a painful point in my life when I was in service, I learned to answer "fine" knowing that I was answering spiritually -- not physically or emotionally. That is still true of me when I answer "fine."


All posts must include names.
I will not post anonymous messages.