I saw a post on Facebook from the page The Hands Free Revolution, and it inspired me. The last few months have been rough, and every word you have read here has been hard-fought for. Back to this post. It talked about how our stories were written in the lines of our faces, especially the lines where you would see tears. That resonated with me because there have been a lot of tears in the last few months, a lot of pain, and a lot of hurt. Pain that I have felt uncomfortable sharing in person, and pain that it has taken a lot for me to share by the written word. This post, however, showed me how important it was for me to share my story even if it was messy and even if it hurt. It inspired me to finish writing an essay about the defining moments of my life and inspired me to write this post today.
Why can’t we share our broken and messy stories in the church and feel safe with our brothers and sisters in the sharing? Why can’t we feel love and acceptance from others even if we do have a messy and painful story? That’s what Jesus would do. He loves us in spite of all of that, and He’s calling us to love each other in spite of all of that. It’s what grace is, and I don’t think we’ve done a good job in the church of explaining it or living it. We jockey for position in the church like we do in society, and I think, unconsciously, we want Jesus to see us as the best.
Jesus’ own words in Scripture though invalidate those thoughts. Matthew 20:25-28 says, “Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave–just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'”
Matthew 23:11-12 has more thoughts in the same vein. “The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
So, we’ve clarified that Jesus wants us to serve and not to try to be the best while we’re here on this earth. What about giving each other grace and a safe space to share our stories? How do we let people know that a place is safe and that love and acceptance will be given despite the brokenness and messiness of life? This is a hard one. Hard for the people who will receive those stories and hard for the people who will tell them. No one likes to cry even though God did make tear ducts for a reason, and no one likes to think they will be judged. But, sharing our stories is healing and hearing a “me too” can be the most healing of all.
Being able to write my essay on the defining moments of my life and being able to write this post have been healing for me. I need to do more though especially when I’m with my brothers and sisters at church. I need to be willing to share my story out loud, broken and messy that it is, so that more people will be willing to share theirs. Share it even through tears and through fears of being judged. It is the only way more of us who are believers will have the courage to share our own stories.
So, I make this promise to you all. I will share my broken and messy story through words and out loud so that more people will know about the love and grace of Jesus Christ!
God’s blessings on all of you today!