Our guest blogger today is author and speaker Lindsey Bell. Lindsey and I are mentor moms for The M.O.M. Initiative and we met for the first time when we both spoke at the Better Together Conference in Jacksonville, Florida. Lindsey and I have a heart for women struggling with infertility. She shares about her miscarriages and secondary infertility, as our daughter Shannon also shares in my book Dear God, Why Can’t I Have a Baby? I know you will be blessed with Lindsey’s post today as she encourages us to be authentic in all circumstances.
Three Reasons Authenticity is Worth the Risk
By Lindsey Bell
It’s so easy to be fake, to put on a smiling face when someone asks how you’re doing and to answer back, “I’m doing good. How about you?”
It’s tempting to pretend you’ve got it all together…especially when everyone around you seems to have it all together too. You certainly don’t want to be “that girl” who always has issues.
I know because I’ve been that girl. I’ve been the one who seems to be struggling all the time. I’ve been the girl whose faith is ugly, who is dealing with doubts and questions I don’t want to admit aloud.
One thing I learned during those years, though, is that sometimes authenticity is God’s tool to heal your heart. It certainly was for me.
My “Authentic” Story
About four years ago, my husband and I began battling secondary infertility.
In 2010, we lost our first child to miscarriage. Then followed miscarriage #2, #3, and #4.
I know for some, especially if you’ve never had a miscarriage or didn’t really struggle with yours, miscarriages might not seem like that big of a deal. But to me, each loss stabbed my heart just a little bit deeper.
Each loss also led me to question God’s love for me. I knew he was capable of fixing whatever was causing our miscarriages, but for whatever reason, he chose not to.
For a while, I tried to hide my brokenness. I assumed (mistakenly) that if I didn’t show how broken I felt, it would go away.
The problem with this kind of thinking is that brokenness doesn’t go away. Broken things don’t get fixed unless you let Someone put them back together again.
It was only when I started sharing about how hurt I was that God began healing my heart and putting me back together again. He used the people around me to shower me with His love…to remind me he did still love me, he was still with me, and he had heard every single prayer I uttered to him.
God used my authenticity to bring healing, and I believe he wants to do the same for many other women as well.
The problem is, we’re afraid to be authentic. We’re afraid of being judged, rejected, or abandoned.
I won’t deny the risk. Authenticity is risky…but it’s also worth it.
Three Reasons Authenticity is Worth the Risk:
1. Authenticity opens the door to real relationships.
C.S. Lewis said that “friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another:
What! You too?’”
How many times have you struggled with a problem and thought you were the only one? But then, when you finally got the courage to share your issue, you realized many other women had been there too.
Real relationships are only possible when both people are willing to be real with one another…real about their struggles, their successes, and their lives.
2. Authenticity opens the door to real healing.
Jennifer Rothschild told a story in her book God is Just Not Fair about a speaker who carried a glass of water with her onto the platform as she spoke. This woman held the glass of water throughout the entire presentation.
At first, holding the glass was easy. After all, it was just a glass of water.
But as the class wore on, everyone in the audience could tell the woman’s arms were getting tired. That glass of water—that didn’t weigh much—felt like it weighed a ton because of how long she held it.
You and I often carry around our own glasses of water…our own worries, fears, insecurities, or problems. We don’t want anyone to know what we’re carrying so we pretend it doesn’t exist.
The problem, though, is that it does exist, and it’s getting heavier the longer we carry it alone. Our sisters in Christ can’t help us carry our glasses if they don’t know about them. Likewise, God can’t carry our glasses if we’re not willing to let him have them.
3. Authenticity opens the door to God’s glory shining through us.
I love this quote by Kaci Calvaresi:
“God can’t use a redemptive story that you’re not willing to tell.”
God wants to use our stories to show his glory, but He can only use them if we will share them.
Authenticity is scary at times. It’s risky. But it’s also worth it!
Let’s talk: why do you think it’s so hard to be authentic with one another? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts . . .
*photo courtesy: Foreman Photography
About Lindsey Bell:
Lindsey Bell is the author of Searching for Sanity, a parenting devotional designed for busy moms. She’s also a stay-at-home mother of two, minister’s wife, avid reader, and chocolate lover. You can find Lindsey online at any of the following locations:
Her blog: www.lindsey-bell.com
Her website: www.lindseymbell.com