One day a couple of years ago I heard Natalie Grant's song "The Real Me" and I could only sit and listen to it again and again with tears running down my face. (hear the song here) I felt like she had captured my life totally in that song without even knowing me, except at that point I didn't know how God really saw me. I felt like I had to go through each day "living a charade" and pretending like everything was ok, when it really wasn't. No matter what show I was able to put on for others (read HUGE walls put up so no one could see my pain) God saw what was really in my heart and mind. I always had felt like I was judged by others, and I didn't like being cornered by others (this actually has happened) and badgered if they thought I was upset by something.
I think this is one of the reasons I was so shocked when we first visited our new church. They have a prayer time during the service and if you have something tough going on in your life you can go up to the front and have someone pray for you. I know that in our old church no one would have ever gone forward, but here people flood to the front every week to have someone come along side of them and pray with them. How refreshing to be in a place where it is ok to be real! The reality of life is that life isn't always happy and perfect, sometimes we struggle and it is during those times that we need friends to come along side of us to encourage us and be there for us, not to judge us.
My encouragement for the day is to find a friend that it is ok to be real with! Someone who will come along side of you and show you God's love no matter what you happen to be walking through. Someone who is safe enough for you to be able to break down some of the walls that have been built up inside to prevent you from getting hurt. Trust me, I understand how hard this is! These walls often take years to build up and won't come down overnight, but the process of bringing them down brings healing, and it is so worth it!