Too afraid to be real

Facebook and Instagram can really paint a beautiful picture sometimes.  We read the funny stories our Facebook friends have shared or scroll through beautifully posed pictures that show how happy everyone is.  You read the memes that tell us to live for the moment, drink wine and ignore the mess, or that make a joke out of an unsavoury situation.  You see the photos of family vacations, date nights and milestones of children.  And all the while you scroll through wondering how they can be so perfect…

So you put away the phone or computer and you look around at the dirty dishes, the laundry pile, dog hair on your floors or you recall the way you yelled at your kids earlier (didn’t I just read that blog on 50 ways to not yell at your children because it will scar them for life and they will become criminals?) and you remember that the budget is tight that week because the car needed new tires.  You don’t see the perfection that is in everyone else’s photos or posts.  You don’t have the enthusiasm that they seem to have.  The thoughts that keeps racing through your head, how do they have it so together?

The answer is they don’t.

Nobody does.

The problem that I am seeing and that I have experienced with this is that everyone is too afraid to be real.  We are too afraid to go to our friend and say, “I am struggling in my marriage,” or too afraid to ask the other mom at the park if she would just watch your kids for a minute because you need a time out.  We are too afraid to go to our church because the pastor’s wife is so sweet, kind and always brings the best casserole dish to the potlucks and tell him that you don’t want to be a wife anymore because with a wife like his, how can he possibly understand what you are going through.

Instead hide in our houses and try to keep it all together.  We just keep cleaning the house.  We keep going on the play dates.  We live separate lives from our spouse because you have forgotten how to connect with each other.  We go further into debt because we don’t want to tell our kids they cannot have something that their friend has.  We strive to do better and better just to keep up with the Jones’.  (Who by the way, are trying to keep up with another set of Jones’)

Until it gets to the point that you message a total stranger on Facebook because your husband is cheating on you and you feel too ashamed to go ask for help from your family, friends, and church community.  You cry out to someone because they commented in a group not to give up on your marriages.  And you send them a message, “hello, do you have a minute?  I need to talk to someone and I don’t know you but I was hoping you could tell me things are going to be okay.”

Her heart was broken and as I read her messages, I could feel her shame.  Yet, she had absolutely nothing to be ashamed of!  Her marriage was struggling and she should not have felt shame to go to someone for help but because everyone always seems to have it together than we do feel shame to ask for help.

Relationships require work whether that’s friendships, marriage, or your relationship with your children, they require work.  There will be good times and there will be bad times.  There will be times that are ugly and there will be times that are amazingly beautiful.  It’s all part of the journey.

We need to be more real.  We need to be more willing to open up to your friend and say, “I’ve been there.  What do you need?  I have a book that you could read about this that really helped me.”

Most importantly we need to remember that Jesus created a path just for us.  He destined us to greatness and He told us that it wouldn’t always be easy.  He can heal anything.  He can give grace for any situation.  He can take away the burden from you and carry it for you so that you can breathe.  Just pray.  Stop checking out Instagram and pray.  Tell Him your needs and pray because the person you think is perfect, the person you think is having a great life, the person who you feel can always find the good in every situation…. they just dropped to their knees in prayer for one reason or another so if you want to learn anything from them, then learn to pray.

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