Ever had someone ask “how are you?” and you said ’good’ and then they asked “no, really, how are you?” and then you broke down crying?….no? just me?…(like seven times…since I’ve been here….).
Ever had someone ask how you are and you say “good” even though you had been in tears minutes ago?… as your daughter was being taken to the hospital because of progressing cancer….and your two year old granddaughter was taken to a different family member, because your son-in-law had already died two years earlier.
The usually smiling woman that sells fruits and vegetables (with her spunky daughter in tow) was now hacking up fluids into a bucket in her room and unable to talk because she could hardly breathe. And though the situation of “dying” continues to break my heart, what haunts me is remembering how her mother, though clearly burdened, had answered “well” when walking back to the hospital with us. I wanted to step in and say “um no, actually, she is not doing okay, her daughter is dying, thanks for asking“.
But that is the typical answer here…even if your family isn’t well, or you’re exhausted, or incredibly sick, and you are in one of the poorest countries in the world, you still answer “healthy“…”not tired“…good.
But when I think about why it’s so haunting, I remember that I do the same thing.
It’s after spending time with people who explain their hearts with authenticity…they're holding patience by a thread, batting away doubts, they felt like they blew it, they’re tired as heck… that I remember it’s not the “I’m a good person” that is encouraging or allows someone to support you, it’s the humility of the honest.
Then I think that we don’t realize how big a problem that is…to not be honestly, humbly real…how it affects fellowship for those who need an I-can-understand-that door for conversation…or our witness to those who assume they have to get well to come to Jesus. Who knows, maybe Jesus wants to butt in sometimes too and say “um, no, actually, she’s not doing okay, I was just crying with her…”.
And since we can share our struggles with the unwavering truth that "My grace is sufficient for you" and "My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9), the people around us can sense the sweet aroma of Christ as we do.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4
So as long as we‘re on the subject of true confessions, here are a few…
If I saw that a blog was this long, I would never read it.
People ask me all the time if I’ve figured out what to do next and I still don’t know what to say…I guess eventually you just jump when you reach that crossroad (as in leap of faith, not as in off a cliff).
I miss being able to talk to my mom whenever the heck I wanted (am I supposed to grow out of that?).
Even though I hate having ants all over my counter at night, I like to switch on the lights and practice being a mom yelling at my teenagers for having a house party while I was away.
I like the head wraps because I can wash my hair less (…sorry, too honest?).