These last few weeks, my social media feeds have been inundated with tragic news.
Cancer. Car accidents. Heart attacks. Brain surgery. Stillbirth. Failed adoptions. Divorce.
So much sadness.
It’s reminded me that we all have a beef with Jesus. People (me included) can often be heard reciting the chorus of things like, “It’s part of God’s plan” or “Jesus, I trust in you” or “God is good, all the time.”
But I have to ask the question: Where is the authenticity?
When our youngest son was in the neonatal intensive care unit, lying on his deathbed, Jesus and I got real with each other.
Like, really real.
You did not find me spouting things like, “God will provide!” No, my true thoughts were largely unpublishable. And I think that’s the real problem. As Christians, I think we sugarcoat life too much. We forget to build our relationship with God on real feelings, real problems, real fears, real joy and real gratitude. We gloss over our stumbling blocks with trite sayings and, in the process, scare the vast majority of non-Christians away, leading them to believe that life is all kittens and rainbows with God. Or, worse, that if you just pray, read your Bible and keep reciting positive thoughts that somehow, your life will be without toil.
The same can be said of motherhood, I think. Jenny wrote an awesome piece on the hard work of working in the trenches. Just because motherhood is hard doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it, nor does it mean that I should shy away from sharing our hard days. I mean, no need to air out all your dirty laundry, but you can’t keep it all in, either.
Bottom line? We’re all struggling. With something.
Today, it might be that Starbucks gave you a latte instead of an espresso, tomorrow it might be that your friend is diagnosed with inoperable stage four cancer. Some days the cross is heavier. And some days it’s just freaking awesome.
But gals, we have to stop this highlight reel world. Quit filtering your Instagrammed life. We have to share the realness of our lives – its joys and its shortcomings. Its happiness and its struggles. More importantly, we have to start living an authentic relationship with God.
These last few weeks Scott and I have been deep in the trenches of parenthood. It has not been fun and there have been some tears. From our kids, and from us. We joke that it took us six kids to finally realize just how much we don’t know.
This season of saying-no-to-say-yes may have been one of the most fruitful decisions we ever made as a family. In some ways it’s been like the fish bowl experiment. While the rest of the goldfish swam madly around the bowl, in search of fun, food and revelry, we sat outside the bowl and saw a whole other world. Will we dive back in? More than likely. But this time we’re diving in with authenticity. With a renewed heart. Stronger purpose. And with much more love.
It’s time to make our problem with Jesus a thing of the past.