Speaking Hard Things
Have you ever wanted to say something to someone you care about and can’t? Been too scared and wimpy to speak truth in love? Thought you had no leg to stand on in the matter, anyway?
Well that’s me right now, anyway. And I’m considering typing it up and sharing it with words on a screen. Actually, I’m doing just that right now, yet it all feels so incomprehensible as I type.
How did it even get to this point?
See, sometimes when you know God, you can feel a pull or strong desire to do things you wouldn’t choose to do otherwise. Do you know what I mean? But, you do the thing anyway. And then you might keep doing it, praying all along the way. And then you may even continue in that direction for months turned years. Until the thing begins to implode or dissolve or becomes obvious it’s no longer meant to be.
The old square peg/round hole analogy comes to mind. Because, thing is, pieces no longer even pretend to fit like they once did. Or, seemed to at least promise they could one day in the future. In my mind and current situation, at least, that’s exactly what seems to be happening.
And I want to be honest about it, though it’s so hard for me to speak hard things. So, I’m battling hard in it daily, all because the whole idea of this whole situation I’m in, never really felt like my choice to begin with, so who am I to say, or even believe, that things should be any different than they currently are? Or, that I know better than another who may be doing things differently now or different from the way I do them?? Life is all about God, after all. Not me nor my ideas and beliefs about things . And yeah, I know that might sound kinda odd to some, but it’s what I believe.
God is the Creator of all, after all.
Seasons, Desire, Hope for Growth, and Striving for Beautiful
Truth is though, nothing about any of this feels right to me anymore. There’s too much wrong, honestly. Yet, I can’t let the whole of it go, really. And I don’t think I’ll ever let go of the whole idea completely, because there could possibly be something more eventually. Something later on. And, truthfully, I’ve never been one to give up on anyone too easily. That’s just kinda my nature. Plus, there really is love there. There always is when God’s involved.
Yet, by now I know enough to know there are also seasons for everything under the sun. Seasons, or times, when we should plant or uproot. Tear down or rebuild. Scatter, gather, embrace, refrain, keep, throw away, tear or mend. Seasons to be silent, speak, love, and even to hate. Most importantly though, this part of God’s Word in Ecclesiastes also tells us that, in spite of all of that, everything will be made beautiful in its own time.
In His own time.
And so, it’s to that very end, that I desire so strongly for everything around me to look like it’s becoming the beautiful thing God intends it to be. A real and whole and striving and good thing. And, when it’s not yet, I desire to have – at the very least – the hope that I am watching it become all that and more. A hope that what I choose to spend my time investing in, or working hard to build up, is maturing and growing and straining to reach what’s higher and better and more challenging, or at the very least, more meaningful. This is what I desire for myself and others.
What I honestly desire for you.
What’s more, I’m learning that the farther I walk along in this life, I desire, or maybe even require, to love and live in the real and true and gritty depths of that striving and stretching and trying and grasping for more. I desire to be surrounded by iron sharpening iron. I desire feasts of meat instead of sips of milk. And I desire to know that I’m actually helping others through encouragement and affection and serving and the sharing of more hope. I also desire to know that in all of that, I’m not hurting or stifling someone. Nor, trifling about, either, because that’s just the worst in my opinion. The superficial of life has never really been my thing.
The Hard Part in Love
And if you’ve made it this far, you just might be scratching your head at the vagueness of it all. And believe me, I understand and truly don’t want to be this vague since I often find that super annoying, too. But it goes back to fear of speaking hard truth and so much more. Like hurting people and needing people and writing about situations that can hurt people you’ve once needed and invested in.
Yet, I should still be able to say what I believe to someone I care about, lovingly and without fear, regardless of the consequences, if I think it’s truly important. Like, dangerous territory kinda important.
See, I just don’t even know anymore. I honestly now feel this whole attempt was easier in theory. Because, for me, this is simply the hardest part, even though I’m only trying to write it down. And even though I started all this writing about five months ago and have been thinking about it even longer!
But, I just feel like it must be said, so I should get on with it. Here goes nothing. Or, I pray it’s more like… here goes something that might be beneficial in the future or for anyone reading now…
Friend, that thing you’re into feels like a very slippery slope to me. For you, definitely. For most people, too, though. Is it true that God loves you in spite of it? Loves you exactly the way you are? Of course He does! But, He also loves you way too much to leave you that way! His desire for you is His purpose for you. Yet, these two don’t always mesh. There may be overlap, sure, but some of our desires don’t always line up with His. Some, actually, He’s simply determined to redeem because they were never His best for you, nor glorifying for Him. They were more likely cultivated out of some wound, emptiness, or lack.
Remember, our entire life is now in Christ Jesus. We are taught this early on and know it well, yet often forget that we died with Him, and therefore, live now for and through Him. Not for ourselves. Also, God doesn’t always simply remove what displeases Him from our hearts and lives like He often does in the beginning. Some seasons actually demand a willing spirit from us in order to grow. Some even demand we wrestle Him in much prayer or fight hard for what controls our minds and motivation.
And, although I do remember what I’ve said to you in the past, and it all still holds true today, sometimes loving someone well means distance and making space for others to walk in. Sometimes it means not standing by to watch an implosion because that would mean I don’t want your best. Because, honestly, I feel like that’s what’s coming. Like I’m watching a movie based on a true story we already know about someone who got wrapped up in something awful. And the whole time we’re watching, we see the main character make their choices all throughout, and we keep questioning them, critiquing each one out loud, knowing full well it all ends up horribly, since we all already know the ending! And yet, the character seems clueless the whole time. Because they are. And, blinded, just as we all can be at times. And the character’s co-stars seem completely reckless. Or clueless and blind, too. And there’s no one around to help.
And I’m over here, staring from my seat, watching the whole thing like it’s some car crash you can’t tear your eyes from. And I want to scream and yell because anger is my way of expressing fear. And I want to warn and stop you, though I stand back silently instead. And, I truly want to be brave and only care about your ultimate goodness and speak the hard truth, yet also feel like it doesn’t really matter all that much to you anyway, because I was always more of a package deal and you were dead set on walking this way all along. And I feel all of this, all at the same time.
Remember Your First Love
And yet, despite it all, I want to mostly say, with supreme confidence in our Father’s great and precious promises… there is more! So very much more that our Father in Heaven has for you than what you are settling for.
And I also want to remind you of your First Love. Remind you of how hard you fell for Him and tell you to stop wasting time in the pig pins of life, when you can be in the royal palace, covered in grace, glorifying God, while praying hard for and walking alongside others, who are deep in the pits you were rescued from.
And if I could, I’d also tell you to finally rest and listen and invest in things that won’t spoil or fade. I’d tell you to seek healing and wholeness and whole relationships that edify and encourage you because that’s what God wants for you. I’d tell you to look to Jesus for your radiance, not to others. I’d tell you that what you’re chasing will end up hounding you, or even hanging you out, all used up. I’d tell you all that endless conversation and activity leaves no room for listening and love and real relationship, either with others or with God. I’d tell you there is a way to have the desires of your heart – truly – when you give them to God and delight yourself in Him.
I’d tell you Jesus didn’t only sacrifice Himself to secure your place in Heaven, He also rose again so you could be resurrected into the new creation He holds out for you. A creation not born of the world’s desires, demands, or damage placed on you, but of the plans, promises, and purpose Your Heavenly Father has poured upon you.
And for what it’s worth, I’ll end with one last, hard truth. The drift to this place was slow, agonizing, and painful. Things just began to add up until there was no more denying change was required on my part. Our hopes no longer seemed similar, while our desires drifted farther and farther apart. Yet, I sincerely hope that doesn’t last forever. And I’ll always pray for God’s goodness to prevail and blessings to be poured upon and flowing over.
Lastly, this tactic of telling hard truth is tacky and tasteless. But it was honestly all I could muster right now. It didn’t feel right to slink away silently without some attempt at sharing my feelings. I hope and pray it will all be worth it in the end.
Oh, and if you’re reading this and see yourself or some current situation, chances are it’s only because you’ve been on one side or the other of this kind of relational drift. Not exactly the same, probably, but still similar enough to get the drift. Ha! The good news is, God is always faithful, even when we aren’t. And He will always have the final say, because…
All will be made beautiful in His perfect timing.