Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"You Want the Truth..."

The scene:  a military court martial, a courtroom filled with high ranking officers.  Jack Nicholson is sitting in the witness chair, testifying about the Code Red he ordered as a disciplinary measure for a young soldier, against military protocol and regulations.  Tom Cruise is grilling him like any good hotshot attorney would.  (And doesn't he just look YUMMY in that uniform...I've totally got a thing for guys in uniform!)  The interrogation begins innocently enough, but goes nowhere.  And then comes the climax...after a particularly heated exchange, brave, bold military attorney Tom demands: 

"I want the TRUTH!"

Angry, indignant commanding officer Jack thunders back: 

"You want the truth?  You can't HANDLE the truth!"

OH!  I love this scene!!  It's one of my very favorite scenes of any movie, ever. It's just so eyes literally can't leave the screen when it's on. (And not just because Tom Cruise is hot!  Really!)  The drama just overwhelms and entertains me.

What's this got to do with the price of tea in China?  Well, not much, actually.  But it has a lot to do with where I am in life right now, in a twisted kind of way, I suppose.

I got called on this very thing today by a person who's opinion I greatly value and respect. Oh, not the movie.  The scene.  The truth.  He caused me to question whether I'm living the way I want to be living...walking the talk so to speak.  And that's a good thing to consider.

One of the things that I've committed to in life (and on this blog) is living in a transparent manner.  I'm not always completely successful at that, but for the most part, my life is an open book.  And I do that for several reasons.  I feel it keeps me accountable to my friends and family, which is important to me.  It helps me make good choices when I'm sometimes tempted to not, because I know that people will know about it.  That's a big motivation to think things through!  And really, honesty is one of my core values - something I prize greatly in my relationships and work to maintain.

But here's what my friend had to say about my last blog post.

Where's the truth?

At first, I argued that.  My last blog post was filled with truth...very painful truths in my opinion.  In fact nothing in that post wasn't accurate.  But then I realized...truth is more than just being accurate.  It's portraying the ENTIRE situation with authenticity.  And when viewed through that lens, my last blog post was lacking.

So, here's some truth that was missing from my story...

The truth is...this is the most difficult thing I've ever done in my life - remaking me, handling the physical pain that my knees produce on a daily basis, dealing with a marriage that has huge problems and may not survive, questioning every aspect of my life and being willing to change things that don't make sense to me anymore or don't fit with the person I want to be.  That's HARD...and it's a heavy load to carry around every day.  Sometimes...many times...the weight of it overwhelms me and I'm not sure how I'm going to keep on going.

The truth is...I hurt.  A lot.  I smile and I maintain the most positive attitude I can because at my heart, I truly am an upbeat, happy person.  But I ache.  Physically...emotionally...mentally.  And I wonder when that pain is going to stop...if it ever is going to stop...and life can be easy and carefree again.  I honestly wonder if it ever really was easy and carefree, or if I just wished it to be so and ignored too many things that should have been confronted years ago.

The truth is...I question.  Myself.  My choices.  God.  I'm not feeling like the "good little Christian girl" so much these days.  And I know God can handle that...that He's bigger than my questions and doubts.  That He even WANTS me to question Him and own my faith as I work it out.  But what about my friends?  I wonder if my friends will get that...and so I try to keep that a little bit hidden from them and sometimes give the "Sunday School" answer to questions they ask.  "Oh, yes, I know God is good and He will work this out."  Well...what if He doesn't?  Or what if I don't like how He works it out?  What if my marriage doesn't get healed?  What if my knees are in constant pain the rest of my days?  Then what? I question that often...and I don't have any answers.  God and I wrestle with this on a daily basis.

The truth is...I'm lonely.  Oh, I'm surrounded by loving, supportive friends.  Don't get me wrong!  I'm not physically or emotionally alone in this world.  In fact, I've been overwhelmed this week with the love and encouragement that has been shared with me since my last blog post.  I'm always humbled by that.  And thankful to God...because I understand the true gift it is to be loved by these people.  But alone and lonely are two different things.  Please don't be offended and think your friendship isn't important to me.  On the contrary, it's vital to my well-being.  But at this moment, sitting here on my bed writing this post, I feel lost and lonely.  I want so badly to belong to someone, but I don't. I need to value my own company more than I ever have in the past, and I'm just not completely there yet.

So why am I sharing all this truth with you tonight?  Well, a few reasons. 

First and most importantly, because it IS the truth.  As I mentioned earlier, living in a transparent way is a choice I've made.  I don't usually hold things close to the vest.  I like living as an open book.  It may not work for everyone, but I'm OK with it.  And by not balancing out my story for you, it wasn't as open and honest as it should be.

But here's the other reason.  And I honestly struggled with this one, but in the end, sharing won out.  So many people have been impacted by my life on this blog.  And that amazes me.  It humbles me.  And I feel it deeply as a responsibility that I've voluntarily taken on as a blogger.  It's not ME making this impact.  It's totally God.  I know that.  I relish in that!  But He's using my life to inspire and change others.  Because I'm willing to be "out there" so to speak, to share it all...the good, the bad, the ugly...He can USE that and change other people's lives who are looking for hope, support, help.  But if I only share the good...the successes...the nice, neatly packaged truths - and neglect to show you the other side of that...the me who hurts, questions, doubts, fears...then I'm missing an opportunity to show you that if I'm getting through all of my crap, then you can get through yours too.

I don't know what your struggles are.  But I know you have them.  We ALL do.  It's a promised part of our heritage since the fall..."In this world you WILL have troubles..."  But I love the next part of that verse.  "But TAKE HEART!  For I have OVERCOME the world!"

Because God has overcome...I am an overcomer.  That's a process...and I'm not yet there.  But I'm working it out.  He and I are wrestling it out.  Daily.  I am overcoming.  And the great thing is, I'm nobody special...I'm just plain, old ordinary Angie.  And if I'M doing this...YOU CAN TOO!

Like I said, I don't know what your struggles are.  But I know this.  You have the power to overcome.  It's in your DNA!  Tap into it!  Lean into the pain, not away from it.  Trust that you can defeat your own demons because greater is He who is in you than anything or anyone in the world trying to defeat you.  Cling to the promises of the Faithful One. 

When everything falls apart, He WILL hold you together.  I promise you that.  It doesn't mean it's easy.  It's not pretty.  It hurts in fact.  But He will.

So there's the truth.  The real truth.  Can you handle it?  Sure hope so!  Thanks again for being along for the ride.  It's a bit bumpy right now...but I'm hoping for smooth sailing again sometime in the near future.  You know me...positive and upbeat...and hopeful!  :-)

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