A few months ago, I posted a review of Stuck by Jennie Allen. Part of the amazing revelation and great conversation that I had this weekend was about how sticky it can be trying to get unstuck.
On the outside, I do a pretty good job of making people think I have it all together (unless they know about and are reading some of my blog posts). Even my husband doesn't know all of the battles that rage on inside of me. For the most part, I shove my frustrations and fears and worries and shortcomings down deep inside. I don't have a whole bunch of bosom friends, so I rarely confide in anyone. That has also caused me anxiety in the past.
And heaven forbid that I actually voice my unhappiness with myself to myself, let alone to someone else. They might tell! Word travels fast in a small town. Even the well-meaning are well-known gossips. Is there anyone I can trust? I'm a Christian, no one can know I'm not perfect! *Insert tacky bumper sticker saying, "I'm not perfect, I'm forgiven." here*
Well, here's the thing... This is something I learned this weekend and had to admit when I reviewed Jennie's study. If we ever want to get unstuck, we HAVE to say something. We have to admit to ourselves and confess to God the areas of our life where we are failing. You don't have to be abusing drugs or stealing from people or having affairs to be sinning. That's where a lot of Christians turn into Pharisees. They follow the "rules" of Christianity just fine, but totally neglect the inside... their hearts.
Sometimes I think I could easily end up a modern day Pharisee or Sadducee (I will have to look up the difference... but either way, not okay)... Spending more time on Facebook than studying our Bible can become a sin. Especially when we stay caught up on everyone's status updates, but never open our reminder on our Bible app (yes, there are even apps that allow for NO excuse). Running and calorie counting and stepping on the scale can consume our time and our thoughts and become our idol. Stressing and being frustrated about housework (laundry and dishes for example) can give us a lousy attitude and interfere with our relationship with God and with our family. I could go on and on. This is me I am talking about, by the way. I have done all those things. I still struggle with all those things. Yet, most people look at me and think, 'She is such a wise, loving Christian woman!'
Hah! I have them fooled.
But I don't have me fooled, and I definitely don't have God fooled. He has known all along and patiently waited for my to stop running in circles and Googling things like 'housework in a half hour', 'weight-loss tea', and 'read the whole Bible in less than a month'. I'm kind of exaggerating there.... the only thing I really Googled was the tea.
So, this weekend, I have come to terms with what it is going to cost me to get unstuck. And that's where things will get sticky. I've sorted out some of the areas of my life where I am failing miserably and will never get better until I follow God's plan. Time, finances, housework, relationships... I have confided in a friend and my husband. I have started praying more, especially during the chores I love to hate.
It made me sad to hear that some of the women doing the Stuck Bible study now don't like it because there is a call to admit things and confide things. Even the little things. Although, I know that I struggle with throwing out my dirty laundry in a small group setting. Who doesn't? I don't know many people who are that open. Because no one likes to help fold dirty laundry. That's one of the first hurdles. Admitting. To God. To yourself. To a friend or partner. God doesn't want us to feel trapped, to be stuck and ineffective.
Are you stuck? Is there something you wish you could get past? James 5:16 calls us to confess to one another and pray for one another. It's not easy. It has taken me years! But what a weight was lifted when I finally handed it over!
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom! 2 Corinthians 3:17