Dear Sister, Be Honest

Dear Sister,

When was the last time you were honest with God? I’m talking brutal, vulnerable, ugly truth, maybe even angry honest.

We all want to be intimate with God. We want to walk closely with him, we want that “God is my best friend” relationship. Right? Well, what if I told you intimacy requires complete honesty. Even when it’s the ugly truth kind of honesty, because God enjoys phony relationships just as much as you do.

I stumbled upon this gift as I walk through a very hard season. A disappointing, discouraging, faith bruising season. But I’ve become so free, and so close to God by pouring out my honest feelings.

I’ve been really angry with God. Disappointed with Him. Pissed if you will. But I didn’t find any freedom until I opened my mouth and told Him. One trial and disappointment after another, and here I am trying to be a good daughter that doesn’t complain (because you know complaining isn’t cool). But I’m learning that sharing your true feelings with God and asking Him to tend to your brokenness is not complaining – it’s honesty. It’s intimacy. The kind of intimacy David experienced with God, because He wasn’t afraid to tell the Lord how he truly felt (see Psalm 77).

I had a friend that wrestled with thoughts for days; concerns just burning her brain up. When she called me for a vent and prayer session, I let her say all she needed to say. As she spoke, The Holy Spirit whispered to me, “She wants XYZ, and she’s afraid I am not going to give it to her. She’s afraid I will disappoint her, but she won’t tell me.” So I told her what He said, and her response was, “I don’t want to seem like I’m ungrateful or complaining.”

Aha! Sister, we’ve been given the “children of Israel” warning so often, that we think our honesty is complaining. But if you read the Psalms, you’ll see that even the man after God’s own heart just had to tell it like it was some days. The difference is this: complaining is whining consistently about your circumstance, honesty is telling God how you feel and then leaving it on the altar. He heard you, He knows, and He’s going to fix it; no need to whine about it anymore.

Honesty brings peace. David must have figured out early on that you can’t really be comfortable in God’s presence, praising and worshipping Him when you have undisclosed thoughts and feelings about Him or anything else for that matter. So you might as well just tell Him how you feel, because He already knows, but He’s not going to intrude.

Disappointed? Frustrated? Concerned? Tell Him, and watch Him fix you and then fix the very thing you were brave enough to be honest about.

Here’s my honesty…

 

After weeks of crap, I finally said, “Okay, enough with the good daughter act. God I am disappointed! You told me I am blessed, and I feel not so blessed. You told me this was a new season, and things got worse, not better. You promised me a lot of things that appear to move farther away from me day by day. And lastly I feel like you lied, like you didn’t keep your word. And you know that cuts deep, because you gave me an earthly father that rarely kept his word through my childhood and I am still being healed of those issues.”

When I verbally vomited all that crap out, peace came over me. There, I said it! Now the elephant in the room of my heart can be addressed. God can finally step in and minister to my spirit, and that’s exactly what He did! He reminded me of His Word. He reminded me of His love (a love so crazy that He let His son die a gruesome death to prove). He reminded me that He NEVER lies and NEVER breaks promises. So I know those feelings were bogus, and that the enemy needed to be rebuked. He promised me that He always finishes what He starts. He reminded me that I was blessed, despite my feelings. He even showed me some things from my childhood that I needed to let go of. So I asked Him to help me, and He lovingly obliged.

You see Sister, He’s a gentleman. He respects our free will, and He’s not going to just barge in and fix you up. He wants you to give Him permission. He wants you to tell Him how you really feel, even if they aren’t happy feelings. And then He wants to fix you… often before He fixes the situation, but that’s cool (lol).

John 8:32

“… and the truth will set you free.”

Love,

Armeka

 

P.S. This letter has a part two 🙂

Dear Sister, Be Iron.

Dear Sister,

It’s been a while since I’ve written you, and I’ve gone through fifty shades of hell since my last letter. Somewhere along the way I must have pissed satan off, because I’ve been crushed on every side. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 has never been so real.

My character has been questioned, I’ve been attacked financially, emotionally, mentally, and even physically (hello CT scan). I’ve taken blow after blow and finally broke down and cried out in anger, “God, what’s the deal?”

For the record, God can handle your anger. It’s okay, and it’s actually a part of intimacy. So I yelled at the one person who can pull my plug if He wanted to. But I needed to be honest – brutally honest! And that honesty brought me peace, and allowed Him to address everything that was on my angry heart. It was the invitation for healing.

A few days ago the straw that broke the camel’s back finally landed. Anger and frustration were the only emotions I could muster up. My mom’s response was, “You’re frustrated and tense, and you need to relax.” As she began to remind me of the Word, I abruptly stopped her speech and said, “Ma, I know the scriptures, and I don’t want to hear your scriptures. Right now I don’t want to hear anything about God’s Word, because I’ve been quoting it for years, and here I stand disappointed (again). Save your scriptures.”

After a 12-hour work day and a car out of commission, my little sister offered me a ride home and told me I needed to vent …and then maybe we could pray.

Pray? Ha! I had been trying to pray for two days, and all I could get out was tears and the words, “God I don’t want to talk to you. I have nothing to say.”

I agreed to let my sister pick me up. On the ride home she told me, “Girl I saw your face when your mama told you to relax, and I was scared for her. You looked like you wanted to go through her.”

Cue Laughter.

“But I understand how you feel,” she said. “Some days are so hard, the last thing you want to hear is a scripture, because it feels like they don’t apply to you. Like you’re left out. I’ve felt that way before.”

Empathy.

I told my sister everything that I was holding inside. I cussed. I cried. I shook my fists and held my head in my hands until my brows burned from the friction of my palms anxiously rubbing across them. She chimed in every now and then, agreeing with points I made and sharing that she had dealt with some of the same emotions. Then she said, “Okay, let’s pray.”

Ministry.

She prayed, and when it was my turn I let tears and words flow out to God like a seven-year-old telling their dad about a bad day at school. When I was finished, she said, “Your prayers are always so beautiful. Even your angry ones.”

Peace.

Romans 12:15 instructs us to weep with those who weep, but some of us are so saved we just throw scriptures at those who weep as if empathy is unbiblical.

BREAKING NEWS: EMPATHY IS THE PERFECT VEHICLE TO MINISTRY!

When you weep with those who weep, what you will find on the other end is a heart ready to receive ministry. I think those who weep with others are the perfect vessels of iron. Their words comfort and cut you at the same time, but you don’t mind, because true friends are iron sent by God to sharpen you. My sister sharpened me that night.

The following night I had dinner with a girlfriend who is filled with 51 years of God’s wisdom and love. Every conversation I have with her sharpens me. She thinks she’s normal, I think she’s an angel on earth. Life wasn’t easy for her, so she understands my story. She empathizes when we talk about my childhood, my desires, my struggles. She reminded me to correct my thinking. She reminded me of God’s faithfulness. After a rough childhood, a disloyal husband, abortion, single parenthood, and breast cancer, she still boasts of God’s faithfulness. Her testimony and love for God won my friendship. Her empathy sealed the deal. So when she challenges me to correct my thinking and points me back to God’s word, I listen.

Sister, I challenge you to be iron. Weep with those who weep. Rejoice with those who rejoice. And when you need sharpening, God will send iron.

Love,

Armeka

 

Proverbs 27:17 (NLT) As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.