It used to be TV and magazine ads that would make us feel less than. Now? It’s social media. We see so many friends, acquaintances, and strangers posting about their lives — and it all looks perfect. Maybe it’s a beautifully prepped meal. Maybe it’s perfectly placed holiday decorations. Maybe it’s the kids winning an award, participating in a sport, or having the most magical birthday party ever. Maybe it’s a couple posing with big smiles and breathtaking scenery.
We see these things and we tend to think wow, they’ve sure got it together. What we don’t see is all the fights with the kid to do the homework that led to the award. Or, the counters covered in dirty dishes with flour spilled all over the floor – just to the left of that perfectly prepped meal. And, we don’t see the broken relationship behind that couple’s empty smiles.
It is so important that we stop and realize that we are all human. And, our lives can be as ugly as they can be beautiful. There are days when it is easy to hold our heads up high and there are other days when a crane would surely help.
So, for transparency purposes – and the fact that I want to be real – I’ve decided to lay out some confessions for you. Six, to be exact. Then, I am going to challenge you to do the same. Together, let’s get rid of all this perfection and embrace the chaos – us living through real life.
Confession #1: I get up extra early about 50% of the time.
I have blogged before that getting up early is the perfect time to spend with God. The house is quiet and the world is just coming alive. I seem to find, however, that I can only manage this every other day. I try – I really do. But, no matter how great my intentions are, I whine for the snooze button. I am convinced that if I keep at it, I will be able to get there one day – early to rise every day. Oh – and I am not saying that I don’t spend time with God each day, it’s just not super early like I’d prefer.
Confession #2: I have really bad anxiety.
I have had anxiety for as long as I can remember. In fact, I think I had it as a kid and didn’t know what it was back then. I remember my mom taking me to the doctor and asking the doctor to fix me because nobody knew what the problem was. It’s super hard to put true anxiety into words – especially when you don’t understand it. I was on medication and off medication. Side confession: I am not a fan of medication.
Since coming to know God, I have struggled with the fact that my anxiety means I am not relying strongly enough on my faith. Because, well, if I have faith that God is handling everything, why am I all worked up, right? It makes me question if I am not a good believer. I write about this a lot because it is a very real struggle of mine.
I love God with all my heart. And, I do rely on my faith. Sometimes, though, things get the best of me and I falter. It happens. Truth be told, though, I am getting stronger. You will be hearing more about this.
Confession #3: I’m not a fan of speaking.
Surprise! Bet you didn’t expect a writer to be an introvert! ha! Just kidding. We all know that most writers prefer, uh.. writing to speaking. 100%! I always stumble over my words and I had to take speech class 3 times in college before I got all the way through it (with an A, even)! Yet, I was the kid who was stoked to get that 25,000 word research paper. Go figure.
Know who else stumbled all over his words? Moses. Yep. The man who God used to lead the slaves out Egypt and into the wilderness in preparation of entering the Promised Land. I remind myself of this because that means there is hope for me, too!
By the way, can you believe Moses argued with God, saying that he wasn’t capable of completing the job? I imagine God shrugging his shoulders and sighing, like – Fine, Moses, you can take your brother Aaron to handle the talking if you must.
“But Moses pleaded with the LORD, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” Then the LORD asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, Please! Send anyone else!”
– Exodus 4:10-13
Confession #4: I love animals.
I was a vegetarian for many years out of compassion for animals. For health reasons, I started eating meat again a few years ago. My compassion for animals never wavered. I’ve quickly learned, though, that I didn’t need to and I have now been vegan for several months – and plan to continue that journey.
Yes, I love animals. Yes, I want good health. But, do you know that it was a vision that brought veganism back into my life? I was reading my bible and I so clearly saw a fist holding up an animal heart while squeezing it. The blood came pouring down the arm. And, well, something just told me to stop. Weird, I know. But, it happened and it was so real and so vivid that I still can’t shake it. So, I just don’t eat it.
Oh, and I love my dogs more than I probably should.
Confession #5: Speaking of visions, someone’s words made me question my relationship with God.
Several years ago, I was new to my faith and having a conversation with a close friend of mine. I mentioned to her that I saw something – and that I knew it was God showing it to me. She laughed. Like, really laughed. You know, the kind of laugh when you’d go running out of the cafeteria while the whole school was pointing and laughing at you. It was that kind of scene. Or, so I felt. She proceeded to tell me that God only speaks to us with scripture. That he reminds us of verses. Nothing else.
She hurt my heart. And she disrupted my relationship with God.
I guess because I was new to my faith, her words made me start questioning everything – especially my relationship with Him. While it still sometimes gets to me and I need reassurance, I now know that he does communicate with us each in different ways. Perhaps he only speaks to her in scripture, but that is not how I hear him.
This has made my relationship with God stronger — and it has opened my eyes to the differences between all of us. It also shows me just how personal our relationship with God is.
Confession #6: I wish I’d known God sooner.
I knew of God my entire life, but I didn’t know him. Growing up, we didn’t go to church and we didn’t pray as a family. Not that this is a bad thing, it just wasn’t what we did. My parents would say things about God or about the Bible, but I didn’t want to hear it. Why would I? It was something that didn’t hold significance in my life, you know?
There came a point when I went through something terrible. Really terrible. And, I felt so alone and so helpless. This was a dark, dark place. And, truthfully, looking back, I wish I had known God then. I wish I had him in my life when I was facing all I was going through.
But, guess what? I may not have known that he was there, but God was there through it all. And he saw me through the other side.
“What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go.” – Genesis 28:15
Well, there you have it – my confessions. It feels so good when we get to know the real versions of each other. Comment below and leave a confession, will you? Or, send me an email. I’d love to get to know you.
Until next time… ❤