So I know you all are probably thinking you read that wrong, but I promise when you’re done walking with me, you’ll likely wanna take my advice lol. With access to the world via social media, I feel like we are all now so quick to post our thoughts and feelings in an online forum without much discretion in the process. I have said it time and time again, and will continue to affirm that our dirty laundry does NOT belong in these social media streets lol HOWEVER…My opinion has changed over the last few months just slightly. While I will likely forever hold true the belief that relationships and really ultra personal details of your life should stay offline, there are some things that I think are ok to make public. You’ve witnessed firsthand my personal career transition since March through blog posts, tweets, and IG and what I’ve learned from my transparency is what I wanna share with you tonight. So with that said, here are the top 5 things I’ve learned from making my problems public:
1. People need to know how to pray for you and what exactly to pray for.
Over the last few months that my plight has been public, I have received tremendous support and encouragement from folks close to me but also from the people I least expected. I honestly believe that because of the prayers of my friends, family, colleagues, and others, I have truly been sustained in a way that wouldn’t have been possible without their advocacy to God on my behalf. Sometimes God takes notices when others rally behind you. I LOVE JAMES 5:16, especially the New Living Translation which says, “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.”
2. The enemy is put to shame, publicly.
Sometimes we need to talk about the things we are struggling with so that the enemy (in all his disguises) knows that he cannot win by silencing us. One of the strategies the enemy uses to keep us from progressing is to make us feel inadequate, unworthy, and ultimately ashamed of our various trials and tribulations, but the Bible CLEARLY instructs us to lean on the strength of others when we are down and almost out. Proverbs 12:25 encourages, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” Don’t be afraid to share your anxieties so that the people around you can offer that “kind word”.
3. So others can watch God work and give Him all the glory.
The Bible is full of stories where God uses the lives of His people to demonstrate His ultimate power, love, grace, mercy, etc. If I never told the people around me the transition I’ve been going through in the job-hunting process, then no one would ever know the incredible faithfulness of God simply by seeing the end result. Those closest to me KNOW how hard and stressful this experience has been and yet they’ve been able to clearly see how God has been moving since March. Recently I came up against a MAJOR roadblock for the number one job that I want right now, a mountain so big that ONLY GOD could move, so what did I do? I told everyone I knew what that roadblock was SPECIFICALLY so that when God came through and moved that roadblock out of the way, I could brag about how amazing He is and publicly give Him the glory. -And of course He came through. Psalm 118:28 says it simply and beautifully, “You are my God, and I give thanks to You; You are my God, I extol You.”
4. It allows others to rejoice with you when you win (or support you when you don’t).
There’s no greater feeling than being able to rejoice with someone in their victories, great or small. I have so many people on edge right now awaiting word from me for a HUGE job that I may or may not get this week. Prayers have gone up, fingers have been crossed, and now we wait. I think what encourages me the most in this instance is that no matter what happens this week, I know the people around me are ready to support me in whatever way needed. How can we celebrate with you, if we don’t know what you’ve worked through? How can we console you if you don’t share your losses? I shared Ecclesiastes 4:9 last week, but love the extended verses through verse 12, which say, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
5. It allows someone else to be inspired by your walk.
Honestly, the most humbling thing I’ve learned from the experience of making my problems public, has been the responses from folks who I didn’t even know were being impacted. 3 of my closest colleagues who have supported me in this transition told me recently how my process and faithfulness to God has truly inspired them in their own walks. While I had no clue my uncomfortable career change and almost forced dependence and trust in God was being closely watched, I now know the impact ones story has on others. Sometimes the ONLY REASON you are going through what you are going through is simply so that SOMEONE ELSE can be inspired by your testimony. After all, isn’t the goal of being a Christian to actually win others to Christ? How can we impact a non-believer if we aren’t transparent enough to share our struggles and the process behind each victory? Psalm 34:8 is probably in my top 10 fave verses lol, which says “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Essentially, we want to inspire others to wanna “taste and see” how amazing a relationship with God can truly be and that cant happen if you’re not sharing!
:::Just as a small disclaimer::: I’m hopeful you all understand that when I say share your problems publicly, I do sincerely mean with people who you trust and who love you unconditionally. Be forewarned that sometimes you cant share EVERYTHING with EVERYBODY, so be sure to ask God for discernment of who you can spill your heart to.