Question: In what areas of your life can you practice more honesty?
Simple…all areas. I feel the pressure to keep it all together. To look, achieve, and be what the world wants me to be, what people want me to be. My focus can be so easily stolen from eternity to seeking out the momentary, putting all my time and energy into things that are temporal, instead of towards people who are lasting.
The things are heavy, the degree, status, appearance, juggling all of the hats and labels to fit into a mold. A mold that I despise. A mold I have never fit into, but secretly always wanted to. I have wanted to be that girl who has it all, but life has shown me that having it all doesn’t mean anything without Jesus. I know so many who have the job, social status, community…all the things that look like a thriving and healthy life, but are dying on the inside. Because like me, smiles do not always depict the real story within. Just because someone serves, cares, and checks in doesn’t mean they do not need people to serve, care, and check in on them.
I guess I should just cut the crap and say it. I do not like the church and I do not like Christianity. I love Jesus and believe that he came, lived, died, and rose and is coming again, so that I could know him and live in forgiveness and freedom. Jesus did not come, live, die, and rise so that I could keep living inside a facade that is made of service, love, and grace, but keeps brokenness hidden inside. I spent a good hunk of my life hiding myself and running away from lies I told and believed. I found Jesus in the midst of the darkness and now live in the light.
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
Living in freedom through salvation is not about hiding out and keeping secrets, it is about living boldly and out loud. I am tired of living and feeling obligated to keep my brokenness and the hardships that come from this broken world hidden for the sake of keeping face within my religion.
I do not have it figured out. I just know I love Jesus and I love people, even though they drive me insane, but I know I probably drive them mad too. Dancing around pain for the sake of religions face, is the very thing Jesus died to set us free from. It starts when we make our church our god, instead of letting God be our God. I have always heard in the church about “your faith becoming your own”, and it is true instead of leaning on what my parents have said and taught me, I chose Jesus as my Savior because I could not live on my own. I could not save myself or make myself worthy. I am Hannah, because of what Jesus did for the world. I am alive, because He saved me and healed me. He loved me when no one liked me and He will never stop being in my life. He is my Savior, he saved me and continues to heal me. But, there is another crutch outside of the family unit, there is the church.
I did not know how easy it could be to switch the crutch tendency to the church, till I realized I had done it myself. It is easy to become dependent on others who believe and center Jesus on them. Instead of putting Jesus first, the church becomes first. The church then became what my devotion and desire to serve was about, it was no longer about Him, but them.
Here me, I think the church is beautiful. I grew up in the church and I have been through the wringer with the church. I am a believer that meeting together with other believers is a great encouragement to the soul and a source of accountability, but that building full of people should not become or ever be the source of hope, service, and salvation. The church can’t save you or me. It is a gathering of broken people who more often than not are pretending not to be. But instead of being honest about their burdens, cover it up by talking about God’s faithfulness. Maybe those people are preaching truth to themselves. But I would appreciate a group of people who are willing to say life sucks right now and it is taking every ounce of discipline to just open the Bible each day and to believe that God is in this with me. That is reality. This life of faith is hard as well as good.
Just to be honest. I would love it if every Christian would cut the crap and be real about their life. I love Jesus and life is hard. I love Jesus and I struggle with sin. I love Jesus and sometimes I do not want to go to church. I love Jesus and the Christians around me drive me insane. I love Jesus and I turn to Him when I am doubting and struggling. It is a struggle. My relationship with Jesus is imperfectly beautiful, and I am the imperfect part. This is my life. It is messy, beautiful, painful, and abundant.
I truly love my life, ick and all, because it is what I have been given and I know its goodness is not dependent on circumstances but my Savior. That is truth. But, I struggle with holding on to that truth. There are days I just want to scream at the top of my lungs, and never speak to another soul again. I struggle with loneliness and my health. My identity is a place where I feel attacked the most. Why can’t I find a place within the church when I already have a place at Jesus’ table? Do I really want to get married or do I want to be just so everyone will shut up about my relationship status or lack of one? These are just a few of my broken places.
I am tired of being snuffed out. I am tired to being told to be quite and watching others struggle alone and be made to believe that keeping quiet about struggles is acceptable and the ticket to inclusion within the church. It is not of God’s heart. Jesus it is not an invite only party, but an invite your friends, family and every stranger is welcome here party.
This is just part of me being honest. Will you be honest too? Life is too short to live a lie.