I read a lot and sometimes a single sentence speaks to me. When it seems like that sentence is just leaping off the page for me to see it, I tend to dig in a little bit and let my mind wander and ponder. The sentence that I read on Ann Voskamp’s blog featuring Kyle Strobel and John Coe called Where Prayer Becomes Real said, “Prayer was not a place to be good, it was a place to be honest.” As I let that sentence stir in my mind. I thought about how the Lord has been talking to me, off and on, about prayer since the beginning of the year. Then my mind leaped over to a message that I’m writing about living for God rather than with Him. In my mind, the 2 things collide and seem to be running along the same track to some unknown destination. As I continued to ponder I asked the Lord, “What are you trying to say to me about this?” It was then that a statement appeared in my mind, “The hardest part about being honest, is the fear that everything that had come before does matters anymore.” When thing like this sentence show up I know that it isn’t a “God has said!” kind of thing. It is more of a place to focus and see what I find! I found fear again! There is a reason my motto is fearless in living, faithful in everything, forward regardless because fear is a hard beast to overthrow.
I tend to think I am the kind of person that is quite straightforward and will just run with the truth. I don’t always do it and when I do, it’s not always pretty. I know if I do, I will get to where I need to be. But it’s true that I often am afraid to speak the truth and, to be honest, it’s because I am afraid that whoever it is that I am talking to isn’t gonna take into consideration the last 20 years of my history. I fear that they will think I haven’t grow through things and won’t see the current situation as just another layer of learning. It’s the fear of what other people think and it leaves me with the feeling of I’m lost and I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. But it’s warped and twisted because it’s fear that is pressed through the eyes of another person and projected back on me.
At the beginning of the year, I sensed that the Lord was saying that I need to be radically honest and then radically obedient. Radical honesty requires me to show up in every single room that I am in.
It’s awkward like watching the television show Lie to Me. This show is about how facial expressions reveal when we are lying. In it Eli Loker who is Dr. Lightman’s lead researcher, decides to practice what he calls “radical honesty.” He says everything on his mind at all times and often pays the price for it. I have seen the show before but I thought it strange that I felt like watching it again at this time, in this season of my life. It’s important since the Lord had told me to be radically honest and now, here is a character, that is being radically honest. I look for connections like that! Radical honesty also allows for interpreting the expressions on your face in real-time, rather than being silent and allowing others to determine what it is they think you mean. You simply speak the truth. It’s often a vulnerable and raw process which I do not have figured out. I still leave a lot unsaid and stay in “observer mode” while my face expressed its displeasure or joy, to which I hope, some kind souls say, “what does that face mean?” rather than guessing. This leads me back to prayer and the statement that caught my attention. The first part of it says, “prayer isn’t a place to be good.” What if I leave a lot of things unsaid even when I pray? What if I’m afraid to be so raw and unfiltered just because I think it sound good to God to talk like that? Where do we come up with the idea that God wanted us to be perfect all the time and not be real? Maybe that’s just a “me” thing? Maybe I’ve been treating God the same way I don’t like to be treated – making up my own reasons for what He will like or not like without asking Him? This is quite the ponder! And if prayer is where I am supposed to be honest, then radical honesty, is the best and rawest form of prayer. I want to be as a blog post said, “seen and known in the truth of one’s own heart.” I think the Lord is digging for deeper wells in me. Well I guess the next step is whatever radical obedience He asked of me. I am thankful for this beautiful sentence in the post that says, “The good news is that God knows we don’t know how to pray.” Such lovely words for the fighting fearful.
All is grace,