Taking strides towards wholeness and confidence in Christ requires a gutsy strength. The number one reason why women conceal things is because we attach a big portion of our worth to meeting unspoken expectations from others and ourselves. I never really understood why revisiting our past was so important until I realized just how much I was hiding the open wounds in my heart. I didn’t want anyone to know something was wrong. Women in ministry are supposed to have it all together, right? We hide what we are afraid of and cover it up. Denial becomes that favorite sweater we want to wear everywhere and sometimes we realize we need a little more help than we care to admit.
We hide because we want to be loved.
We want a magic pill and quick healing because we are afraid.
We find ourselves saying, “If I’m not perfect, you won’t love me.”
Wrestling with our core beliefs, we find ourselves asking this question: Can I really find healing from the past? More than once in my life and ministry I have felt like a complete fraud. Feeling shame because we are unsure and insecure we whisper, “Lord, I believe but help my unbelief.” Can we let our belief and the sum of our mustard seed sized faith dance together with our unbelief, trusting that our minuscule amount of faith can give way to possibility? Or even deepen our faith in such a way that the believing side of us is much stronger than the unbelieving side.
In Mark 9, we find a desperate father pleading on behalf of his broken boy.
Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” (Mark 9:20-25 NKJV)
Jesus spoke to the deaf and dumb spirit, commanding it to leave and enter the broken boy no more. Once again I am reminded of just how much the enemy wants to silence our voice and the words that God has called us to speak. We accept the enemy of our soul’s accusations that God could never use someone who has walked such dusty, broken roads and our voice becomes muffled, and then mute.
We wallow on the dirty earth, throwing ourselves into the fire and water, trying to destroy the brokenness that has been with us for far too long. We have exhausted all other resources trying to fix and fill up our missing pieces. We have turned to people and pleasures and trifling things hoping to validate the bottomless soul void wrestling with our unbelief while we cling to a fragment of faith wondering if it’s enough.
God is not mad that those polar opposites, belief and unbelief, dwell together inside of us. He says, “All things are possible if you believe, let me help you with the things you don’t.” I can fix that broken girl inside, the one that has been there since childhood, and make her whole and fierce with faith. The goal is not that we would no longer wrestle with belief mingled with disbelief, the goal is that our believing, brave self will win because the God inside of us is greater than the sum of all that we are not. The goal is that we can know we are imperfect wrestlers with faith and still believe we are lovable.
We can be messy leaders unafraid to lean on Christ, ready to throw our ideas of perfection out the window for the power of the supernatural that is waiting on us to admit that we just might not have it all together.
God can use messy hearts like that and show us what beauty from ashes looks like in our lives. I have found that my messy desperation for Christ has built the most beautiful things inside of my heart, much more than faking that I have it all together ever could.