When you are going through same old struggles, it always appears that someone else has it better than you and that you are the only one in this particular hard situation. It is so easy to fake it. To act like you got it all together when deep down inside, you know that you are not happy and you are simply going through the motions. You look at others and again they appear to have it all together — the perfect career, marriage, family, house etc. To top it all off, you begin to beat yourself up and condemn yourself. And you think, “if only I hadn’t done this or that. …if only I had waited a little longer before making this decision, I would not be here today… If I knew then what I know now or if I knew that it was going to be like this, I would have never done or said such and so….” Realize now that the same individuals who “appear” to have it all together likely have the exact same struggles that you have. We are masters at deceiving ourselves and others when it comes to the truth of what is really going on inside of us. Beloved, God is not fooled. He can see through the façade and the illusion. He sees our hearts (1 Samuel 16: 7) and he weeps when we keep trying to fix ourselves and maintain the façade at the same time.
Because God gave us free wills, He does not override our power of choice. He will gently nudge us; speak to us through circumstances, His Word and through the pain of our lives. In His grace, He will allow us get to the point where the pain of our situation becomes so great that the pain of change seems small in comparison. He will let us sit right in our stinking mess as long as we are more interested in maintaining our illusion than receiving help. It is the only way our stubborn pride will be broken enough for him to come in and help us. Sometimes we have to get the absolute lowest point possible before God is able to come and do His thing. Sometimes we think we are letting go and letting God, but all we are doing is laying it down at the altar and then turning around and picking it back up because we just don’t trust God’s ways or timing.
One of the primary reasons for the current pain is the fact that we are not created to live our lives one way on the outside and another way on the inside. In plain slang terminology, we are not created to “Live a Lie” or “Fake the Funk”. Living like this for years takes its toll on our minds, wills, emotions and our bodies. It impacts our relationships with ourselves and others. But yet we keep living like this because we want other people to believe the lie and think that we are fine. We don’t want them to worry. We want them to see us handle it well. As time continues on, we develop a complicated way of rationalizing our dysfunction, frustration and mess to continue the outward façade. The reality is that we can’t keep lying to ourselves. That is what causes the constant low-lying frustration and inner turmoil.
On top of that, the daily reality of our choices and all the unanticipated and unforeseen consequences that go along with it begin to weigh upon our minds and hearts. This is the place where if you are not rooted, grounded, fixed and founded in the love of God, you will become rooted in bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. This particular place can be extremely dangerous because bitterness and resentment is like spiritual poison that you feed yourself. It is very deceptive because you can feel perfectly justified in harboring, re-hashing and nursing the hurts and wounds. The problem is that it keeps you stuck in the rut and in the façade – no better off, but getting worse (Hebrews 12:15).
In our humanity and pride, we think that we can read “Self Help” books, magazine articles, Google or Yahoo search everything and “fix” ourselves or our situation in isolation and no one needs to know. The problem with “Self” Help books is that it is because of “Self” that we are in the mess we are in to start with. My “Self” is what got me in my mess, so how can my “Self Help” get me out? The problem with this route is that we were created to process life in the context of relationships not all by ourselves. We can only do so much on our own. Sometime the key to your healing, deliverance and peace is tied up actually talking to someone else. Sometimes a key conversation or a nugget of wisdom, revelation and knowledge from someone who is godly is exactly what you need. By being in the context of community and close relationships we can accelerate the process and our situation changes much more quickly than if we shuffled along all by ourselves in our pride and isolation trying to figure it out. (Proverbs 11:14, James 5:16, Hebrews 10:25) We realize that we could have shaved years off of our pain and suffering if we reached out earlier.
The first step to living truthfully is to come clean with God with all of your mess, struggle, heartache and pain. He already knows and sees it anyway and loves you regardless. We have to acknowledge that we are deeply and profoundly sinful, full of ourselves and what we want, think and feel. We desperately need the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ and to come in and do in and through us what we simply have no power or capacity to do in and of ourselves. This requires humbling ourselves. It requires giving up our perceived smarts, rights, and our notion of what we think our life should look like. It requires that we actually become a Believing Believer. We have to believe in our minds and hearts – not emotions — that Christ can actually change us in our daily lives. Sin was taken care of on the Cross; therefore it is not the focus. The focus is now on allowing His Grace to transform our lives from the façade to grace and truth. We know that our lives don’t match our dreams that we had in our heads. The way of getting the life we thought we wanted is not producing inner peace and did not turn out like we thought. Perhaps it is time to for us to try life the way God created and intended for us to live it. He created us and He knows what to do.
Secondly, we must come to grips with the fact that true and lasting transformation and life change does not happen overnight, but is rather an inward process that manifests outwardly over a period of time. There is no magic wand, no Five Tips for Success in Life in 30 Days, no easy formula for making significant emotional, mental, spiritual and relational shifts. Any time there is growth and change; there will be some element of discomfort and pain. It requires significant energy to start and sustain continued change. It requires the power of God. It requires help from others. There will be set-backs, disappointments, and aggravation. There is no way around it. The beauty of this process is, when you actually allow Christ to change you from the inside, you will notice that the others around you begin to change as well.
Finally, we know that our Savior, Jesus Christ, died to enable and empower us to live in grace, truth and authenticity in our lives (Hebrews 4:16). Once we truly accept and receive his death on the cross as the means for us to live with harmony and grace on the inside, then and only then will we find that our internal and external lives start to match up. When we get rooted in God, we are no longer living a shallow façade. Ironically, it is in the storms, struggles and pains of the façade that actually causes us to drive roots deeper towards God. When this starts happening, there is no need to live a lie, fake the funk, and go through the motions. We are grounded in God. We have the peace that passes all understanding. We are now living free.
- Vulnerability: The Key To Empowerment (ashasmashley.wordpress.com)
- The illusion of alone: Inspiration of the day. (thedivineipo.wordpress.com)