Let a hero see you.
I have this broken-hearted brave life. Part of it is simply what life brought me. Part of it has been my choices. Part of it is where a big faith leads you.
I can never be alone in this choice of a life. I need people to carry me at times. I have learned this.
Strong us don’t like to be carried. I’m over that lie.
Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15.
It has helped to get over this lie because there are lots of Bible verses about such relationships. This is just a cursory grab of Bible verses about this. There are a lot. There are some favored ones here too.
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2.
To be carried at times by people is vulnerable. Mostly because it has been people who have hurt me so much. But I still can’t live this brave life alone.
This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 1 Corinthians 12:25.
I need encouragement. I need cheering on. I need to be told that I made the right choice.
But here’s the thing. Not just anyone can tell me that. For it to sink into my calloused heart it has to come from people who know that calloused heart. (“Sink in” is used intentionally here because it takes a while to hear at times.) It is those people I have allowed into that uglier calloused heart of mine (or is it beautiful?) whom I believe are being truthful (and not just fans of me).
Boy oh boy oh boy do I need encouragement. That sort of encouragement.
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11.
I’ve mentioned often how I need people to pray for me because there are times I just cannot pray any more.
I make sure I know who these people are in advance. When those days hit (I don’t see them coming) these people are a text away and ready to pray. I can crawl into my emotional mess of a ball and not feel bad for not having a word to pray because I know others are doing that part. My only responsibility then is to eventually move from that emotional mess of a ball.
These are people I have identified as being cheerleaders of me but who also dare to ask me hard questions. People whom I know are not afraid of this depth of pain. These are people whom I also know pray and pray boldly. When I see this combination I directly ask them if they will be “on call” for these very moments.
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10.
I also have an email list of people whom I can send out a collective cry for help. This gets even more vulnerable. I’ve had to ask for groceries. I’ve had to ask for a car to use. I’ve had to ask others to make prison visits in my place.
I’ve had to make these hard asks or sink further. I could make these hard asks because of the people I’ve intentionally put into my life. I wrote a book dedicated to these people in my life.
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. Hebrews 10:24.
Something shameful at times is at the root of my breakdown moments. Another crime and another arrest. Another financial sideswiping loss that I can’t see a way through.
Too many others (maybe you?) typically deal with shame by withdrawing, hiding, silencing ourselves, and keeping secrets. Putting on that “I’m okay” mask. Maybe even peppering it with some Christian words.
Some others start seeking to appease and please as a way to divert out of the shame. To hide from the shame.
Some do the opposite. Some power over by being aggressive. By using shame to fight shame.
Some use a variation of all three.
But…all of these attempts move us away from connection. They are powering over moves to power over that shame. Which moves us out of connection. Which moves us away from these heroes.
Not everyone has this place in my life. In fact the list is small. I wisely choose who I expose my vulnerability to. I know I cannot bear to be smashed even further by trusting fools.
This is a lot of intentionality. This is a priority.
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2.
Thankfully these trusted heroes guard me from oversharing. Oversharing is really a numbing behavior. Oversharing is dealing with the shame in such a way that you overshare to get a shot of dopamine from attention. Or you overshare as your excuse why no one understands you. This excuse then keeps you in your shame, keeps you in your small world, with someone (often an anyone) endorsing that shame-filled decision.
What a trainwreck. People avoid trainwrecks. I could have a reputation as a trainwreck and then never receive the help I need to get through.
And I really need to get through. To find these relationships requires some work but necessary work. Some trust too.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16.
I trust certain people. Now I can live my life slightly braver. And get through when I believe in my smashed heart that I can’t.