Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Untouchables - what are you hiding?

 Recently I met a woman - a beautiful woman, wealthy with lovely children.  I looked at her and remember feeling not quite insecure but feeling a twinge of envy and a moment of awe.  Then I found out the truth - struggling marriage, things not quite what they seem - pain, sadness, lost hope.

We are so quick to think we know someone by the way they dress, how they treat their children, how they interact with others.  But like an iceberg, we are only seeing a small part of what is actually there.  The hidden things, those things that they don't share with others or choose to hide all for the sake of appearances.

Like my children reminded me as I was discussing this very thought with Sean - "Man looks at the outside, but God looks at the heart".  The problem is that we have become experts at hiding.  We hide our true feelings out of fear of being hurt.  We don't say what we think for fear of rejection.  We might think we are being transparent when we bravely confess our weaknesses but really we're not confessing anything at all. 

I know that there are many things that I am prepared to talk about, and yet there are those things that I consider 'the untouchables' - .  those things between God and myself.  Yet the times I have felt the unction to confess these weaknesses or sins, it has opened up a door of freedom for myself and for those listening because everyone is  scared of being honest about who they really are.  And as I do I discover friendships that will pray and support; I discover God's grace, mercy and healing and I discover the platform for others to open up and be true to others and themselves.

Are you trying hard to look like you are not struggling because your husband is in ministry.  How can you possibly allow others to really see the truth?  Better to keep a brave face, a big smile and say very little to anyone.

Have you lost hope because you've just discovered your teenage son is involved in pornography but are too ashamed to tell anyone?

Has your husband let you down?  You married a man who you thought shared a passion for God and yet, years later he is consumed with making money and has no time for God.  He's at all the meetings, says the right things but you know the truth.

Are you so in debt but you want to maintain appearances.  Others might know you are struggling but not how badly.  You spend when you don't have but you can't seem to help yourself and now because of this you can't afford to pay your rent or your children's school fees.

You've lost the inclination to be intimate with your husband and you now suspect that he might be looking around?  And in fact you think that it might be better to get a divorce because life was so much easier before marriage and children.

Are you drowning in housework, homeschooling and children?  All day you read blogs about those "together" families and feel like such a failure.  Your husband doesn't know what chaos actually exists when he is at work all day and you're too afraid to ask anyone for help.

So many things that we can hide - all for the sake of appearances and what others will think.  And yet I know that as we talk about these things, there is an opportunity for others to step in and support you.  You don't have to struggle with this alone.  People who count,  will not laugh or ridicule you, they will want to be there for you. You might need to accept some honesty and even correction but if they are really interested in your future and destiny, they will help you to make the adjustments.  They will not leave you to flounder as you drown.  God is offering you a life rope through the people He surrounds you with - why not take a chance?


  1. It's so true.What people see isn't always the truth.People think we're 'rich'-people at church.What they don't realise is that we're still paying our car off, we live from paycheck to paycheck but they think we have money to spare-just because we have more material goods than they do.It's quite irritating at times because they come borrowing money with the assumption that we have any to spare.

  2. Appearing to be someone or something you're not so others will not look-down upon you seems to be something that happens a lot in our current society. Of course, technological access into portions of individual lives only increases the need for such behavior.

    At any rate, you've made some great thoughts and observations regarding this topic. I'm glad that I chose to read it.

    ~M. Wildflower - Visiting from "Growing Home" link-up.

  3. Thandi I so understand what you mean. We live in a lovely house but what a lot of people don't know is that most of the furniture is the owners and we just make enough to meet our needs and sometimes we don't..
    Madame Mara Wildflower (what a lovely name) - I think you are so right! I have never thought of that but with technology and social media, people are in our homes all the time and everyone wants to look as good as everyone else! I will definitely be giving this some further thought on this.

  4. Great thoughts...and what a neat photo to illustrate! Thank you for this!

  5. Thanks Sarah! I love the photo too, simply breathtaking. It's funny that since I wrote this I have become more and more aware of how much more I need to open my life up to others. I don't think its ever finished, its a new challenge every time we meet someone new.

  6. I am learning as I grow older that what I dislike in others, are often my own hidden flaws. When I complain about those things, I often realise I do the same or even worse!!
    Such pride in me brings out such prejudice against what I see..
    A constant battle to first take heed to my own flaws, before I can change the world!!
    The challenge is to be able to admit that I too am wrong!! That not everyone has to see or do things my way!!

  7. Yes, the most challenging people in my life are the ones the most like me.

  8. "Are you trying hard to look like you are not struggling because your husband is in ministry. How can you possibly allow others to really see the truth? Better to keep a brave face, a big smile and say very little to anyone."

    This struck me. I have my first counseling appointment tomorrow because at the first church my husband joined staff with I was specifically instructed by the Pastor to do just this. Keep a big smile, say very little, and be brave. I was crushed as I was essentially forced to cut off from all friends for the sake of my husband's career in ministry. Needless to say it was not a healthy environment and we are now worshiping elsewhere but this was a year ago and I am still not completed recovered. Thank you for writing this post as it gives me courage to be forth coming in my appointment tomorrow. Would you pray for me if you think about it?

  9. Spot on Mel - vulnerability is the only way to truly grow, something we've lost in our present culture.


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