Being Completely Honest was Scary … But it Changed My Life (Part I)

I’ve been dealing with an issue for the past couple of years. It’s frustrated me. It’s confused me. And while I was scared to take the step necessary to break the cycle, I had finally had enough and took that first step.

I’ve been afraid to be honest with God. Completely honest with my feelings. Sounds stupid, doesn’t it? For those of you who have a personal relationship with God, you’re probably shaking your head, thinking I’ve lost it. “He already knows everything you’re thinking, Cheri. Did you really think you were hiding from Him?”

I know. I know. I’d tell myself that. “Cheri, He knows what you’re thinking anyway. You might as well tell Him yourself,” and yet, I couldn’t put my thoughts into words. I was scared. I think it was a throwback to when I used to envision God as a Judge waiting to hurl lightning bolts down on me for sinning, for being angry (sometimes at Him), for still struggling with that same mountain, for whatever. Regardless of knowing better, none of those truths stopped me from hiding from Him.

Until I couldn’t hide anymore. I mean, I still could if I wanted to, but I didn’t want to. He used the pandemic period to deepen my trust in Him. He had carried me through that period of history with His Peace, and both my faith muscle and trust muscle had grown immensely.

So one day, it started around the time I was ready to get rid of my mountain for good, I decided I was going to be completely honest with my Father. I told Him what I was doing and why (even if it involved actively choosing wrong decisions or deliberating sabotaging myself). I would sit there and emotional eat bite-sized pieces of candy, running to chocolate comfort, but inviting God into my pity party instead of purposefully withholding the invitation.

But it wasn’t just emotional eating where I was completely honest with Him. I was honest with Him about all my feelings. About what I wanted, about how I didn’t think x, y, or z was fair. About how I was exhausted and I couldn’t do one more thing…”but if You want me to, Lord, I will.”

And do you know what happened? There were no lightning bolts. There was no thunderous voice from Heaven telling me how much He disapproved. Instead He met me on the bed with the bite-sized candy bars and whispered ever so softly, “You really don’t need those, Cheri. I’m here. I understand.”

He has put Peace in my heart and grown an excitement in me that the dreams I whispered to Him could happen when the time is right, and to keep working with diligence in the meantime. He has gently corrected another area of my life that I thought I had “fixed,” when in reality there are more layers that need to be peeled away. And He showed me the layers that need to be peeled away aren’t because I’m some horrible person who “doesn’t learn and is the worst (wife, mother, fill in the blank) ever.” No, He wants me to work on these layers for my own physical health to thrive and also so that my relationships with those I love the most will be better than it is now.

I now look forward to sharing everything with my Father. In fact, by plunging in and starting, I want to go to Him first, before others, because the responses He gives fill me with unconditional love. And I told you the responses above. He doesn’t give me the answers I want immediately. He gives me the best answers which sometimes include grace, sometimes include waiting, and sometimes include gentle, loving correction. He doesn’t condemn me for being human. He doesn’t condemn me for my mistakes. He comes alongside me and rewards me for being completely honest with Him, and then helps me fix the situation in a biblical, godly way.

Being completely honest was scary, but it completely changed my life.

© Cheri Swalwell 2021

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