“I was going to have to either learn to be healthy or I’d spend the rest of my life pretending.” – Donald Miller
Those words, written early on in Donald Miller’s newest book, Scary Close, resonated with me.
Lord, I thought, I’ve stood at that same crossroad in my own journey. But, I could easily exchange the word pretending to either running or hiding too.
I was pretending to be someone I was not.
I was running away from the hard choices and decisions in my life.
I was hiding (or trying to hide) my flaws and my failures both from the people in my life and the God who created me.
As I stood at my own crossroad, there was no denying that if I wanted freedom from constantly fixing and readjusting my masks, then I would have to step into the scary and pursue that freedom. I would have to take all the energy I was expending on finding good hiding places or managing my images and put that energy towards healthy and productive choices and paths instead.
Today, I wanted to share with you all two choices I made early on that positioned me where I needed to be in order to find the freedom my heart and soul desperately craved.
The first choice: I started having conversations with God again. Every morning, He became my first conversation of the day. Sometimes, I would cry out for wisdom and understanding. Sometimes, I would quietly sit, read His word, and listen as He spoke Truth into my heart. Sometimes, I would kick and scream and argue with Him. Sometimes, I would just cry. But, the difference was this: He and I were talking again on a daily basis. No more running, hiding or pretending.
The second choice: I began intentionally putting myself in places where I knew I would have a tough time hiding or keeping my mask on. I found a church to attend. But since church is often a popular place to hide and wear masks, I knew I needed to take it one step further and find a small group to join. In the very beginning, I actually found three small groups and one woman’s group. I attended each one of them every week for several weeks until I settled on the one I sensed would be the best fit. One man even (jokingly) labeled me a “small group junkie.” But, at the time, here was my thinking:
Lord, I just spent 10 years running away from you (somewhat intentionally) and look where it got me. Divorce, addiction and debt. I’m back, Lord. I’m jumping in. I’m giving you everything. Please take this mess, Lord. Please make something out of all these shattered pieces I call my life.
And, God was faithful.
It wasn’t too long into this journey when, one night, I confessed to a small group of ladies…”I drink too much. I need help.”
That seven word confession? It was the scariest thing I’ve ever had to admit. It was the beginning of the hardest and most painful journey I have ever taken. Yet, looking back, it was also the most beautiful journey.
What scary ocean is God asking you to jump into in order to pursue the healing and freedom you need?
Go all in. Trust Him to meet you there.