Honesty comes in degrees. We can share a half-truths, partly-truths, and somewhat truths and feel unburdened by the shameful secrets we carry when in reality it is a false sense of relief when you know you didn’t really tell all.
Thursday, May 30, 2008 was a day of complete, gut wrenching honesty to the millionth degree. I say the date because it will go down in my personal history book as the day that I told the absolute truth and the world did not implode as I thought it would. I can’t take all the credit for this brave moment, it was really my friend who opened the door walked through it and invited me to join her. I covered my face and blurted out my darkest shame in the passenger seat of her car. She didn’t look at me horrified or shocked like I thought she, or anyone else that I told, would. She just nodded calmly and was like “yeah, I have struggled with that too.” Really? You have? You understand? You are not disgusted by me? You still love me? How can that be? If I would have known that I would have told you months ago! That was the starting line of honesty. Truly carrying one another’s burdens, showing deep grace and unmerited mercy. Opening the door to transparent accountability and never going back into hiding…for either of us. This is Christ actively working in my life. This is Him hearing my cry of “I hate this thing in me! i don’t want it anymore!” and making a way.
I understand when Paul says “I do the things I don’t want to do. The very things that I hate I find myself doing!” I think Paul knew that it meant to struggle with an addiction, with a behavior that you despise in yourself and yet participate in all in the same breath. I know the frustration he felt what he prayed those words, I feel it when I pray them too. Paul said, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst.” You and me both, Paul. You and me.