A bit of story-type writing to start this one off...
She'd held it all together for so long. She was proud that she could do so. Looking from the outside no one knew that storm that was brewing deep inside. She wasn't even completely aware of it either; she'd pushed it so deep inside.
Life just kept going. Work. Family time. Responsibilities at home. Church commitments. Time with friends. It didn't stop with the challenges of life. The outside looked the same no matter what.
But life inside was not the same. Change and uncertainty. Unexpected loss. She had no control over most of it. But she kept on going, doing all the same things.
She shared snippets of the inside with a few people. But no one knew the full story. She kept it to herself.
Until one day she couldn't. It just became too much. She could no longer keep the storm deep inside. It came to the surface and interrupted her carefully planned life. Things just couldn't keep going the same anymore.
The strong one wasn't anymore. The one everyone else depended on wasn't there to be depended on anymore.
Life came tumbling down. Or, at least, the false one that had been presented to others did.
The truth is, she was kind of glad it did. The pressure of the pretending and pushing through had been exhausting. There was a freedom she didn't realize she could find in admitting she didn't have it all perfectly together all the time - in admitting she needed help right now.
That story is one that has been true of me at different times in life. And maybe has been true of you as well.
So often we go through life pretending we have it all together. Pretending we're all fine. When the truth is anything but that. And eventually we find ourselves at the end of all we can do and our perfectly constructed world comes crashing down around us.
I've been thinking lately about why we're so often reluctant to admit we don't have it all together all the time. The truth I've come to is a hard one to swallow. But sometimes the truth is - even when it's also helpful and something we need.
We don't admit it's not all perfect because of pride. Our pride gets in the way of our being honest.
We may even have people around us who would care and help if we asked, but our pride still keeps us from asking. Our pride keeps distance between us and those God has placed in our lives.
Scripture warns us of the dangers of pride. The way it sets us up to fall. The way it isolates us from others and from God.
We have to deal with our pride before it deals with us. When we do, we learn to ask for help from others and from God before we find our carefully constructed world crumbling around us.