Have you ever been asked the question, "How are you doing, and the programed response you've used all day long was- good, great, going well, awesome, blessed, I can't complain....? I was thinking the other day that these are sometimes my go to phrases and responses to that question. Now let me ask how often you have asked that question to others and really don't even pay full attention to the answer because you are just expecting one of the typical responses above? Im guilty! No I'm not necessarily expecting someone to pour out their heart each time I ask that question or give me some sad detailed story buuut would it really be so bad occasionally for people to feel like they can be genuine in their responses? (S/N-if those responses really do explain how you feel-Im not referring to you haha) For example yesterday, Im sure I was asked several times at church how I was doing and Im about 100% sure I said a few of my go to lines to many people, but if I was being vulnerable some of my actual responses would have been more like: exhausted, emotional, confused, conflicted, waiting to hear from God, feeling pulled in multiple directions, and I have some big decisions to make. Honestly a couple of those feelings came over me just from an experience that occurred at church.
Why is there this need for everyone to always look like they have it all together? Don't look or seem fragile, don't share what is really going on in your life Heaven forbid we actually experience issues and or conflicts in life. I feel like one of the worst things I can do is pretend that I have it all together. I would hate for people to look at me as a person, wife, mother, friend and think WOW she has it ALL figured out because I truly don't!! I'm always making mistakes and lately Im a bit of a basket case when it comes to figuring out my life. I often wonder if God probably chuckles at me when he sees how all over the place I am, all MY hardcore planning/ ideas that jump all over the place, coupled with my limited listening skills when he is trying to help guide me. I know it's exactly what I do when my own child Malachi, asks me for something and then tries to boss me through the whole process and I'm thinking "girl just let me handle this-I know what Im doing." ;)
I'm typically an open book. I have to say after a lot of crazy and hard times from my youth, a time in my life when I didn't want stand out from the crowd and I just wanted to be "normal" (whatever that is??), I eventually found my place and voice. I finally got beyond myself and realized that my story and experiences can actually help others. I also realized that my testimony is the best way to share my faith. I know that God had been watching over me all these years even though some of my experiences were hard and I wouldn't wish them on my worst enemies. The fact that I am still standing today can only be explained through my faith in God, because I know I could have taken a much different path in life without him. Being a self-discloser has also helped me build REAL relationships with others and some of my favorite people are so open and real about life.
Sure I want to live my life and experience the JOY that only God gives, so that my feelings and/or mood isn't contingent upon what is going on in life around me- but I'm also human! The next time you either ask or are asked "How are you doing," I want you to remember that even if things are perfect in your life, someone else may be experiencing a lost job, a exhaustion from a newborn baby, issues at work, financial strain, extended family issues, relationship expectations, student loan woes, and the list goes on. Also just because someone may say things are good, doesn't mean we can't always be praying for them anyways.