When the Truth Isn’t So Easy

This post is linked up to Carolina’s #OpenMicMonday:

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Writing this blog, preparing the pages of my soon-to-be-published book, and being a terribly imperfect wife and mother has not always come so easily to me. Vulnerability may appear to be my forté, but it most definitely isn’t! And this is where I see God teaching me a much-needed lesson on an almost daily basis:

John 8: 31 – 32 (NIV)

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

I am up to Jeremiah in reading through the Old Testament and it is becoming evident to me just how true it is that our human hearts are desperately deceitful, that every single one of us is in desperate need of His grace, not just once, but repeatedly, even the most loyal of God’s prophets. And that only through the Truth, Christ’s Word and Spirit, can we truly be repeatedly set free from our selfish, sinful human desires.

As a mother,  I am learning, slowly, to:

Psalm 55: 22 (NIV)

Cast [my] cares on the LORD  [believing that] he will sustain [me]; [that] he will never let the righteous be shaken.

Rather than pretending that I am the cool, collected, rational, non-emotive mother they could do with at times, I am learning to throw myself upon the Lord in prayer, crying out for Him to calm my angry, impatient and unkind spirit and replace it with His gentle Spirit of loving kindness. You see, more often than not, I am not a patient, loving and kind person, far from it. But rather than continuing in a cycle of regretful behaviour, I am slowly learning to seek God’s help in the midst of the battle. And I’ve seen peace descend in a powerful way, not just on myself, but also on my children. What is helping me is to realize my desperate need for His grace, to stop trying to battle what isn’t mine to fight against. Lies tell me that I need to try harder to be a good mother. The truth tells me that goodness comes from Christ: as does patience, kindness and self-control…and grace! Confessing, owning up to my angry, impatient, unkind spirit, in its throes, not just thereafter, is what is releasing me from my sinful flesh and ushering God’s goodness into and through me.

I am learning the same lesson in my writing. I am learning to write truthfully, rather than adjust my words for fear of revealing my own humanity, or disappointing and upsetting people. My natural propensity is to alter my words to make myself look better and not to upset people, but I’m learning to step back and wait upon the wisdom of the LORD to guide what I share. As God tells Jeremiah (Jeremiah 15: 19 – 21, The Message):

…Let your words change them. Don’t change your words to suit them. I’ll turn you into a steel wall, a thick steel wall, impregnable.

Of myself, I am not impregnable- far from! But, as I am learning to (Psalm 62: 8, NIV):

Trust in him at all times … [to] pour out [my] heart[s] to him, for God is our refuge.

His steel wall is slowly becoming mine. I’m learning to pray for wisdom, to seek godly wisdom from friends and to step into fears, trusting He will shield me.

I have been asked to share about my experiences with PTSD for a guest blog post and I won’t lie to you: sharing about this is a vulnerable, scary proposition, despite the fact I’ve blogged on it before and it’s included in my book. But, I am stepping into that fear because God’s power shines through this part of my story so vividly, precisely in and through my own terrible weaknesses. I will “Let [my] words change [others]… [I won’t] change [my] words to suit them [or myself!]. [Because I trust that God will] turn [me] into a steel wall, a thick steel wall, impregnable.” I will choose to tell the truth, so that His Glory will shine through my weakness. And I pray that you will do the same, even where it may hurt me as a reader…because if this hurt leads me to conviction and confession, it will also lead me to the release and freedom of God’s grace.

I am releasing Love Embraced, a book about my journey in and through suffering into God’s mighty arms on May 8th (Mother’s Day: in honor of her Mum, who passed into heaven on April 8th 2014, and God’s shining Light in her). For more information about Love Embraced: A Journey in and through Suffering, head on over to my author’s Facebook Page. If you’d like a free copy in exchange for some help in spreading the word on social media, come join our Launch Team: just leave me a note via a comment.

My dear friend Emily Stephenson is also promoting the book with beautiful handmade jewelry, inspired by #LoveEmbraced. Below is an example of what you can find at The Wildflower Heart:

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8 thoughts on “When the Truth Isn’t So Easy

  1. Anna, I love how you cling to God in the midst of your battles. How you don’t deny the real emotions of your situations, but instead bring them to God and let Him lovingly make something beautiful of them. Congratulations on your upcoming book! I pray that God would use your words in a mighty way.

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  2. “I am stepping into that fear because God’s power shines through this part of my story so vividly, precisely in and through my own terrible weaknesses.” Amen and same is true for me. Thank you for this post. It is a great reminder that God works best in our weakness. Thank you so much for linking up to Open Mic Mondy at Cisneros Cafe. I am always excited to see you linkup. Have a beautiful and blessed rest of your week. If you need to grow your launch team I’m happy to help with that. Let me know how I can help. I know the date is right around the corner.

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    1. Thanks, Carolina! So blessed by your encouragement. Yes, the book will be released on the 8th. If you have the time feel free to advertise that I’m looking and send them to my FB author page, where they can message me…but no worries if you’re too busy: I know you have a lot on your plate! Trusting God will get it to those who need it most. Thanks for your offer xx

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  3. Honesty and authenticity before the world can be so hard. But I think you hit the nail on the head here, Anna – it starts with honesty and authenticity with God. There is something beautiful about being able to come before Him and know we are received unconditionally. Our real stories enable others to share theirs. It allows us to link arms and share in that faith journey together. None of us has arrived, but we all walk together toward that prize of more of Him. Love your heart here – thank you for sharing it with us. Blessings!

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    1. There sure is, Tiffany. That unconditional love is so amazing. And you’re right that choosing to be vulnerable gives those struggling now the encouragement to share their hard too. One of the most powerful ways I was ministered to in my PTSD was by a woman from my Bible study, who invited herself over after she noticed my struggling heart that morning in Bible study…she listened to my story crying lots of tears as I spoke of caring for my Mum through the most horrendous of physical changes till her death. She also chose to share her own story of grief and doubt: helping me to realize that tears, anger and doubt are okay and we don’t need to be strong for God, but that He’d much rather just have our broken hearts.

      Yes indeed: none of us have arrived. Thank you for your beautiful encouragement, here and via your blog.

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