Thursday, October 16, 2014

Get Real!

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my infirmity.” - 2 Corinthians 11:30

My family is private. Real private. Share personal stories on Facebook? Not happening. Answer the “How have you been?” question with anything other than “Great!” or a very, VERY short list of exciting accomplishments? Out of the question. No, their lives aren’t perfect, but you’re not going to know that. After all, positive stories make for much better dinner conversation and no one wants to be known for airing dirty laundry!

Before you can say it, yes, I am the proverbial “black sheep” blabbermouth, wears-her-heart-on-her-sleeve member of the family. If my father were still alive, he would be reprimanding me harshly for sharing my personal health information on this blog. As it is, my mother just rolls her eyes and reminds me that “No one really wants to hear about your health. It’s boooring!” Well, yes, it probably is to most people.

Fortunately, I’m not writing this blog for “most people.” I’m writing it for you, that person who, like me, is struggling to accept or deal with or find purpose in a not-so-great health situation. Someone who is actually looking for someone who is willing to share honestly and openly about their struggles. Someone who just wants to know they are not alone. Someone who wants to know there is hope.

To truly connect with one another, we have to get real, something most people aren’t prepared to do. We live by the mottos “Put your best foot forward,”  “Dress for success,” and even “Fake it until you make it!” These are fantastic ideas for business, keeping a positive attitude, and making positive impressions everywhere you go. But after awhile, it gets tiring wearing that mask, doesn’t it? Perhaps that’s why we feel safest at home by ourselves, or with our families and closest friends. Hopefully, you have at least one or two people in your life with whom you can let your hair down, take off your shoes, and relax. You can put away the perfect pretense. If you’re having a bad day, you can share it. If you’re in a bad mood, you can own it. And if you hurt (inside or out), you can admit it. You can be real.

When I first suspected my rheumatoid arthritis, I searched on the Internet for as much information as I could lay my hands on. Upon my diagnosis, I looked further to try and find some support groups. What I found were lots of people who were very real. They were raw with pain, in agony trying to make sense of their disease and trying to sort through all the options for treatment. For all the pain, though, I didn’t find what I really needed: hope. Yes, I wanted people to be real, but wasn’t there somewhere I could go that would offer both reality and hope? At the time, I could find nothing. Thus, the idea for Spring Sight was born.

One of the first questions I had to ask myself, in writing this, was “What qualifies me?” The truth? Absoutely nothing. Well,  except that you and I have a shared experience of a chronic illness and that we have the same source of hope: Jesus Christ. Paraphrasing this week’s key verse from 2 Corinthians, I have nothing to boast about other than my weakness, which is there for the primary purpose of showing Christ’s strength. It is only through faith in Him that I have hope of an abundant life, regardless of my health or other circumstances, and it is only through His power that I am writing this blog.
Spring Sight is not designed to bring attention to me or even to a particular illness like RA. It is designed to be a place where reality and hope meet. Where you and I can get real together, and at the same time, develop a real faith and trust in the God who says, “I will never leave or forsake you.” No, He won’t. No matter what. No matter how real you get. Or how good or bad that reality is today.

I am hoping that as Spring Sight’s audience grows, it will become less of a monologue and more of a dialog. I am willing to share my experience, strength and hope with you. Will you do the same for me and for the other readers, by sharing in the comments? I would love to hear your stories. Take a chance. Get real!

Get Real! originally appeared on Spring Sight blog, by Linda W. Perkins.  Get even more encouragement by following me on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

Subscribe to Spring Sight via e-mail
Subscribe to Spring Sight by Email Your privacy is very important. Your email address will not be shared with any 3rd parties. 

No comments:

Post a Comment