One of the most painful things about having a difficult past is feeling the need to hide it. Does anyone relate here?
In my Church I don’t hear the words mental illness, suicide, self harm, domestic violence, abuse and addictions mentioned very much.
Yet these words are normal, everyday things to me. I can’t really explain about my day/year/life without using them. But I just don’t use them.
I tell a polite lie when I come to Church.
Rather than tell people the truth I cover things up. I would say to people “oh I’m not too bad” the day after my Dad would try to kill himself. I would paint on a smile and lie through my pearly whites.
It is true that most people in the Church do come from the perfect stock of Christian parents, two and a half kids and a dog. Smiles and laughter, saving sex for marriage, using alcohol safely, living what looks like perfect lives.
I always felt that I should become the type of person that is found in Church. Honestly I want to be like that – they look so happy! I believed/believe that I will get there, and I wrongly thought that I should pretend until I did.
But I found a verse yesterday which blew this out of the water for me.
“Make sure no outsider who now follows God ever has occasion to say, “God put me in second-class. I don’t really belong.” And make sure no physically mutilated person is ever made to think, “I’m damaged goods. I don’t really belong” Isaiah 56:3-4 The Message
The devil has placed a MASSIVE lie in my brain. Deep down I feel like I am in second-class, I feel like damaged goods and that I will never belong in a Church because of that. That I will never be good enough to be used by God.
Because of this I felt the need to hide, which definitely did stop me belonging. You cannot belong if you don’t show people who you are!
Here is my message today – No Christian is better than another. Perfect past or one that has been shredded to pieces, you belong just the same. Damaged people, let’s be honest about who we are and where we came from. We may feel damaged but truthfully in Jesus we are whole and valuable. Lets break the trend of hiding in Church and make it a more welcoming place to others whose lives are far from what they would choose them to be!
A fake Church is NOT a strong Church; by hiding we are doing no one any favours.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/fredarmitage/347361866/”>Frederic Poirot</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>