This is something that I personally have struggled with during so many seasons. It’s something that I have to check my heart on constantly.

I’ve tried to be as honest as possible with this post because of the content. The featured image is not edited or one from a series. Not one that is specifically catching to the eye, but it is reality. Taken at 2am, right after I finished writing this blog. I think I would have been contradicting myself if I used any other image. I’m hoping, as I tried to keep things real in this post, it speaks volumes to your soul. I’m praying these words speak Truth to your heart. That it brings light to places that you believe have already been touched, but are truly still in darkness. Jesus, have Your way.

We live in a world where everything is expected to be flawless- to be perfect. But the truth is, we’re far from it. Whether you’re a believer or not, no one is perfect. So, what we do is attempt to paint this perfect picture. We put up a front like we have everything together- a facade. According to the Merriam- Webster dictionary, a facade is a “false, superficial, or artificial appearance or effect.” This reminds me of the way we try and paint our lives. We post beautiful, edited picture up on Instagram, we share “this is where I was, but now I’ve met Jesus and I don’t struggle anymore” testimonies, we post videos of us singing in worship, it could be anything. By no means am I saying that sharing things with the world means you’re putting up a facade, no not at all. I mean, I write and share my blogs, post on social media, all those things as well. But what I am saying is that we need to have a heart check

Quite often, it’s easier to put up a facade rather than being transparent about what we’re really experiencing. It’s hard in a world where there are so many expectations- from our family, work, church, friends, literally from every part of our life. We want to please everyone and so we sometimes find it easier to just put up a front like we’re maintaining all these expectations even if we’re drowning on the inside. We want the world to see a well rounded and successful individual. But in the middle of that, we easily can lose sight and things shift from being about Him to about us.

Many of my favorite Bible stories are centered around women, they’re the best 🙂 One of them is the story about the Woman at the well (John 4).  Please study this passage if you haven’t, there is so much we can learn about crossing cultural norms in order to love others!

To paraphrase, a Samaritan woman came to gather water from the well. She encountered Jesus, who asked for her to give Him some water from the well, and a dialogue began that ended in Jesus pretty much calling her out for all that she had done. He also revealed to her His identity as the Messiah. As a result, she returns to her town and shares with everyone her experience. The text reads “[that] many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony” (John 4:39- ESV). The town knew who she was and her story already. The woman’s story magnified the grace and power of Jesus. Many people believed in Him because of her story and her encounter with Jesus. Of course, the Holy Spirit is Who brings people into a relationship with Jesus, but we can and do play a role, also. How do you think that story could have played out differently if the town did not already know who she was and her story if all they knew were the pretty parts of her story?

Now let me ask you, how much more glory could Jesus receive if we were willing to share even the ugly parts of our story with others, not just the parts that make it look like we have it all together? 

It takes more courage to be honest than to put up a front.

It takes more faith to be open about our struggles and insecurities than pretend like all is well.

It takes more strength to seek out help than act like we have everything together.

However, there’s more growth that comes from being honest than trying to make it look like all is well. The current series at Shoreline City Church, a church close to my heart and future home, is currently going through is “New Wine.” Pastor Earl has been sharing about how in the pressing, that’s when new wine is being produced. More than grapes, wine is more valuable- it costs more, but there’s a process. Similar to that, in our lives there are things we walk through that make us who we are. Our flaws make us who we are. Our struggles are a part of us, but is not our identity. And when we are transparent about all this, we’re able to point others to Jesus. It truly shows that it’s not about us because we fail. We struggle. We’re human. It also helps others to see that they’re not walking through these battles and struggles alone. Honesty not only allows us to point others to Jesus, but it reminds ourselves of where our identity lies. Also, it shows others that there’s no need to compare themselves to others because every one of us fall short.  

Now there’s just two cents I want to leave with you- identity and perspective

Know your identity- I know that sounds cliche, but it goes a long way. It changes the way we live. It’s rooted and doesn’t sway according to the season or our emotions (1 Peter 2: 9-10). 

Maintain perspective- an Eternal perspective. It’s not about looking like your life is put together, but rather about how Jesus is holding your life in His hands. It’s about bringing glory to Jesus as your eyes are set on things not of this world (Colossians 3:1-2).

So I’m telling you, if you’re going through something and it feels like you’re drowning…stop putting up a facade. Seek out a friend to talk to. Spend time at the feet of Jesus and ask for direction. If you don’t know about this God that loves and cares for you, I invite you to ask Him to show Himself to you.

If you’re guilty of trying to communicate this “perfect picture,” I’m going to ask you to stop (sorry, not sorry that seems so bossy lol). But it’s not healthy for your heart, it’s not helpful for those around you, and I think it limits you from growing with the Lord.

And the most precious thing is Jesus, nothing should hold any part of you back from Him.

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