Are there things that you hide or keep to yourself because you don’t like these things about yourself or because it isn’t acceptable by the people you surround yourself with? Show you my moments of weakness? Um, no thank you.
We hide things like depression. You know, the kind of depression where that voice in your head says that everybody would be better off without us. We hide our thoughts about our bodies, thinking that we are fat when in fact we are anorexic. We hide things like addiction to drugs, alcohol, pornography, etc. We don’t like to share our struggles, afraid that it makes us look weak (as Christians appearing to be ungodly).
As a parent we don’t share how a little one drove us so crazy late one night that it caused us to shut the door (leaving them screaming in their room) then bang our head against the wall, gritting our teeth in anger (hating that we felt angry in the first place), sliding down the wall in the hallway crying uncontrollably. This is a true story by the way; I did this 18 years ago. Did I share it with anyone at the time? No way! I didn’t want anyone to think that I was a bad mom or that I couldn’t handle motherhood.
What if we began to be more transparent with each other? In the Bible it says in Proverbs 28:13, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” (ESV)
Not all things hidden are transgressions or sins. For example, I don’t think depression is a sin. I have fought depression for years. My depression was caused by a hormonal imbalance. For a long time I didn’t want anyone to know how sad I truly felt. I am a woman of faith with a loving husband and three beautiful children. We are blessed financially. I was living my dream of being a stay at home mom and homeschooling our children. People would think that I was crazy for being sad. So, I put on a face for them. That “face” exhausted me. I began to withdraw from people because it took too much energy to be around them, to appear happy, trying to be like the old me.
My point in all of this is that we need help; help from God, from our friends and family, maybe even medical help. I needed help to get me through my depression. I take an anti-anxiety medication and I am on bio-identical hormones to replace the hormones that my body quit making, and a thyroid medication because that too wasn’t functioning properly. I openly confess my battle with depression because I want to help others who struggle as well. I praise the Lord for pulling me out of the miry clay, out of the pit. The reason why I am doing so well now is because it is not hidden anymore. In the Bible it says in James 5:13-16, “ Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (ESV)
I participate with a group of homeschool moms who expressed that they would like to have an open group discussion about the struggles that we face each day. Bravo moms! I am so glad that instead of hiding behind a facade of “I am Superwoman”, these moms want to be transparent and share their weaknesses. This group of women are going to grow stronger and closer. Their whole families will benefit from it because they will take the encouragement they receive, pay it forward and use what they learn to better their homeschool, life, or marriages. I am so blessed to be a part of this group. I am going to share my current struggle (homeschooling a male teenager) with these moms; I know that they will encourage me, critique my work constructively, and will lovingly support me.
If you are struggling with something, find someone you trust (preferably a godly person) to share and talk about the issues you face. Seek godly council from someone or find a support group. Reach out. Reach up. God cares about your well-being.
Disclaimer: I am in no way saying that we should wear it all out on our sleeves, or air out our dirty laundry. I am speaking about being open and sharing with those whom we enjoy a close relationship.
May the Lord bless you!