August 11: Hope for the Crappy Christian, and Everyone Else

"No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world."
~Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society

In the days since I posted Confessions of a Crappy Christian, I have found a new sense of hope, renewal, and peace. There is something to writing things out. To letting them go. To seeing them in front of you in black and white.

They become real.

Words have power, and God can use them in powerful ways, even in the life of the one who penned them. I've always been a visual learner who enjoys the academic process, and once I learn something I'm excited about it's a natural tendency to want to share it with others. It's a completely unnatural tendency for me to want to share the hard things I learn about myself. But I have found that to be the most helpful part in healing and moving on--the sharing and speaking of the shameful things, the difficult things, the deep struggles.

I've cried, a lot. Because when you see it there, in black and white, the reality can finally sink in. You can see it for what it is. What you've been trying so hard for so long to run from, hide from, ignore or suppress has finally bubbled to the surface. To overflowing. And it's out there.

And you find that this scary thing, this terrifying secret you've been holding onto, had become like the monster in the closet. The wolf under the bed. The alligator in the toilet. Tip-toeing around the secret has become so normal you're afraid to get up and move or leave the room that is your stagnant life. For so long you've been afraid to really live because of a fear that is so completely irrational. And when you finally turn the light on, you can see for yourself that there's nothing really there.

It was your head. Stuck there. Imagine that.

Once the light is on, you can finally see God clearly again, putting everything back in perspective. And He reminds you, in His gentle and graceful way, that you never had to take on such a burden in the first place. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Living in freedom feels so much better then being stuck behind the door of shame.

Now that you've outed this struggle, God can begin His redemption. He will bridge the gap between where you are and where He wants you to be, and all He needs is your cooperation. There will be hard work and and sacrifice involved, but He will order your steps and provide for your needs. And you don't need to do a thing except say YES to God each step of the way.