The Truth About Confession

After hearing an amazing message by Kasey Van Norman about the Samaritan woman, I have been processing the difference between being transparent and being vulnerable — and how they both play out in my life.

To boil it down, transparency is telling the facts, while vulnerability is digging deep beneath the surface of those facts to the roots. There is a bit of distance that we keep when only being transparent with God or others. Vulnerability invites God and others into the heart of our situation. There is a chance for rejection when we are vulnerable. We run the risk of people seeing the real us and possibly unfriending us. And y’all, that is downright scary!

Growing up, I was more of a loner. I kept to myself a great deal. I had a few friends, but I only allowed them into my life at arm’s length. Now, I have seen and experienced both the beauty and pain of community. Often my instinct is to go back to doing life alone, but I know that I can’t. I know that is not what is best for me. I know that is not God’s design.

Over the last couple of months, there has been this war in my mind. You’re probably familiar with it. It’s the one where old memories and wounds and trauma and sins flood your every thought. At moments, this war has physically felt like a weight on my chest. I honestly don’t know that I have ever felt this type of attack from the enemy before. But, here I am, in the middle of it. I’ve been trying to fight this battle on my own. I can be really prideful at times. I’m too self-sufficient for my own good. Jesus and I are working on that.

The Lord, in all of His love and kindness, won’t let me get away with this solo game plan. He has gone behind my back and laid me on several of my friends’ hearts. They, in turn, were obedient to pray for me and reach out to tell me they were praying for me. Then, I was intentional about sharing my struggles.

There is so much of our relationship with the Father that is worked in the secret place with Him, but there is just as much work that happens within life-on-life relationships.

 

To read the rest, join me over at Incourage!

Craving Connection Review and a Giveaway!

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*Disclaimer*…I am not biased!

I had the immense privilege of being a part of Incourage and B&H Publishing’s first book under their new partnership! I’m on page 146, if you’re interested. Ha!

I’m gonna hit the strictly superficial aspects first. The cover is absolutely dreamy! The layout and printables are so cute and so useful and so practical! I love the work that the Lifeway team put in! All of their hard work and creative genius shines through! It’s beautiful.

 

Now on to some real talk…

Friendships are hard! Seriously, they’re hard! They are awkward, messy and uncomfortable. They take a lot of work and effort. But, they are some of the best parts of life. God’s design for friendship is that we become family. They are to be life-giving, hope giving and full of grace. I have had quite a bit of bad experiences with friendships. I have been hurt more times than I care to remember. But God, He has not allowed me to become bitter or resist community. So, I have pressed in knowing that God’s heart is never for us to do life alone. On the other side, I have found my people. My people are beautiful, bold, strong, full of faith, prayer warriors, lovers of God and cheerleaders of me.

We all have this desire to belong. Sometimes, we just need a resource that helps make that happen. Sometimes, we need a tool that helps us gather, that helps us grow.

Craving Connection is that resource! It’s not a long read. It’s just 30 short days. It’s intent is for gathering a couple of girlfriends or a larger group and walk through this book together.

Each of the 20 plus writers brings a unique perspective when it comes to navigating friendships. Each of them is talented, brave, kind, passionate, devoted and wise. They speak truth in love, filled with grace and compassion. They love God and community. They seek to cultivate authentic community in their places and online.

This book comes with no pressure. Take as long as you want to process each chapter, each quote, each verse and each challenge. The Lord wants to do a beautiful work through this resource.

 

 

I am pleased to announce that Icon Media is giving away a copy of Craving Connection! Simply leave a comment about who you will gather to go through this book with. The winner will be chosen on Monday, February 13, 2017!

 

 

 

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