what I do not want to tell you

Dear friend,

So many days, there are these words that I want to tell you. I try to encourage you. I try to speak hope and love into your heart. I share these glimpses of grace and mercy from the Lord. But I realize there is a lot I leave out, that I would rather not have you see because you might think less of me.

This Sunday, our pastor reminded us how we all, in fact, have these wicked hearts and that is not going anywhere. Anything good that is in me, in my actions? It is not me at all. It is Jesus. So here I am, with confessions to make because I want you to know me — just like I want to know you.

And I am sorry — for trying to make you believe impressions and not the whole truth about my heart. I’m sorry for not making space for the whole of your heart, either. the best kind of morning You ask me how I’m doing, and I tell you I am just fine. What I don’t tell you is that lately, I have been dragging my past sins and mistakes with me, letting the lies slowly discourage my heart and destroy these pieces of my soul. I don’t tell you how there are days when I don’t hope for change anymore, when I’m too tired to keep fighting this battle. I never tell you just how much it hurts that I have to fight this battle because of my own community, because of my own people — and how I think these wounds still gaping open, will take forever to heal because of it.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)

You ask how my work practice is going and I tell you that I’m seriously excited about my current speech therapy client. What I don’t tell you is that I still head out with trembling knees and shaking hands, terribly afraid to be making a mistake that will cost my client their future. I don’t tell you that most days, I actually have no idea what I’m doing and I pray that I am getting at least something right along the way. I honestly don’t know if I am.

“The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” (Isaiah 58:11)

You say I look beautiful and I thank you, shrugging it off. What I don’t tell is that I don’t believe a word. I don’t tell you how I am in the midst of this intense battle with my looks and always feeling fat — even though I know my weight is perfectly normal. I never tell you how I keep comparing myself to all other women, wishing that I would weigh less and have better hair and be comfortable in my own skin.

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.” (Psalm 139:13-14)

You ask about our family and how my parents are doing — and I answer, we are all just fine. What I don’t tell you is that a couple of months ago I didn’t visit my parents for a couple of weeks because I was so mad at Mom. I don’t tell you how I know things are difficult for them, and yet I never ask if I can help them deal with their problems. Most of all, I don’t tell you how tired I am of trying to share the Gospel with them because I hate that wall my parents instantly build between us.

“Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (Colossians 4:5-6)

You tell me that I’m shining, that it must have been a good day for me and I nod. What you don’t know is that I had a melt-down just this morning, that I was crying because I have been feeling so worthless, without purpose and without hope. You don’t see my knees bruised from begging the Lord to help and take these burdens off my shoulders. You don’t see my heart bruised from living this life.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

Linking up: Tell His Story, Wednesday’s Prayer Girls, Coffee and Conversation, Works for Me Wednesday, WholeHearted Wednesday, Coffee for Your Heart, Word Filled Wednesday, Growing in Grace, Everyday Jesus, Grace at Home, Faith Filled Friday, Grace & Truth, Fellowship Friday, Give Me Grace

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44 thoughts on “what I do not want to tell you

  1. Hi, hopping on here from the #TellHisStory link up. :) There are times that I am like this, too. When I don’t want to tell anybody about my struggles, because sometimes, just mere talking about my troubles is already an effort itself.

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    1. Ronja

      Michele, thank you so much for your prayers and this encouragement! My heart desperately needed today these words of grace today. :) Thank you so much. Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cindy

    Oh, Ronja, precious sister in Christ. Thank you so much for your honesty and openness today. I can so relate to what you have said here. Sometimes when I am asked a question, I answer quickly for fear that I won’t be able to get it all in. I noticed that yesterday and don’t really know why I felt I had to share quickly. I have purposed to slow way down when meeting someone and asking how they are. I want to stop if they need to talk. There are so many variables involved with these things you have shared, don’t you think? May we all follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, taking time to receive that leading, and even preparing ahead of time by taking time with Jesus to hear His voice and allowing Him to pour into us what is needed for the day. I hope this makes sense. Love, hugs and prayers!

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    1. Ronja

      Cindy, thank you so much for these words of grace and for letting me know that I’m not the only one feeling like this. You are so right. I keep answering questions quickly and therefore sharing only parts of each story, not really letting myself slow down to tell the whole of the story. That is definitely something I need to do more of, slowing down and give myself and others time to tell the whole of the story.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment here, Cindy! What a blessing you have been to me today. Thank you! Blessings!

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      1. Cindy

        Thank you for your response to my comment, Ronja! That really blesses me! It is indeed good to know that one is not the only one in the boat, so to speak. :) God continue to bless you richly!

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  3. Ronja,
    I just adore this post! Everything you write resonates with me (you are very talented!) and I love how you are sharing the deepest parts of your heart — not your wicked heart at all, but the one that God has made new! I so related with all you shared here — you are not alone! My sister (who is my dearest friend) and I just had a spat (we have one about every 10 years!) and it darkened my entire perspective until we got over it and got on with being sisters again. I, too often think I don’t want anyone to know that I have no idea what I’m doing. But feeling and thinking these things enables us to share them deeply and invite others along on our journeys. Thank you so much for this thoughtful post — I feel like I know you better — and I like you even more, friend! :)

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    1. Ronja

      Valerie, you had me crying with this comment filled with grace. Thank you that you took this moment of vulnerability and responded with such kindness, gentleness and grace! And that is so true — it is only when we share our whole heart with others that they can love the whole of us. The first step is always the hardest one to take, right? :)

      Thank you so much for all of this, Valerie! You have truly touched my heart today with your kindness. Blessings to you, friend!

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  4. I read your heart here. I felt mine as well. So many similarities in you and I. Lately, I struggle daily. Just when I think I have turned it over to God something slams me into a depression. But I won’t give up! I can’t give up!

    Please know that I felt your pain in the words written. I share those emotions and would love someone to pray. I will be praying for you and I will not forget. Thank you for sharing your heart you have made a difference in me today.

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    1. Ronja

      Thank you for sharing this with me! Depression is so, so hard and has a way to strip us of all the strength and hope there is. But you are so incredibly brave to keep trying again and again, and to seek Jesus in all of it! I’m praying for you, friend, and I will be carrying you in my heart! May the Lord bless you with His presence and comfort!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful post. So often as Believers we pretend that we are perfect and we are not. You honored scripture in this post that tells us, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16. Bravo fellow believer! Blessings on you.

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    1. Ronja

      Jackie, thank you so much! Thank you for reminding me of that verse because honestly, I didn’t even think of it when I was writing this. Thank you for giving me even more purpose in sharing all of this, and for receiving my vulnerability with such kindness. Blessings to you!

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  6. Rachel

    I love this, and I love your honest heart because it’s in those honest places of you that you have reached some places for me to be honest with myself as well. Thank you. Visiting from Holley’s today for coffee <3

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    1. Ronja

      Rachel, thank you so much — for this encouragement, for your kindness and grace. I’m so glad that the Lord used this to reach your heart. Honestly is a difficult thing, as often there are those parts that we aren’t exactly lying about but rather leave them “untouched”. I pray that the Lord gives you the strength to be honest with yourself, knowing that He already knows your heart completely. God bless you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for your brave transparency. You have written the thoughts that swirl through my head daily. I love that you paired the lie with a truth of the Lord. It seems so easy to encourage others, to remind them of these truths, but to change our self talk is so difficult. The only really hope of change is through the truth of scripture.

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    1. Ronja

      I once heard it said that though our feelings are real, they often aren’t the reality — and no matter what I’m going through, that’s one of the thoughts that keeps coming to me. I love that no matter what I’m feeling, no matter the lies that I so easily listen to, I can just open my Bible and see what is true instead. God sure is so good to guide us faithfully into the right when we want it. :) Thank you so much for your visit, Winter! Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ronja

      Donna, thank you so so much! What a blessing it is to hear that the Lord used this to encourage you! Being honest and transparent can be so very difficult but at the same time, we find freedom when we find Him in the midst of it all. And every step towards finding who we are in Him, we can be assured that He already knows our hearts and loves us. Thank you for stopping by here, Donna! God bless you!

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  8. Hi Ronja,

    I had the blessing of posting after yours on Holley’s link up today, and so glad I did, as I have been given the opportunity to visit you and read your post. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us. Saying a prayer for you and hope your heart feels encouraged. Blessings to you.

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    1. Ronja

      Anita, thank you so much for your prayers! I have most definitely been encouraged. :) What a blessing it is to have you stop by here! God bless you!

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  9. Such vulnerable and honest words which I totally relate too. Passing through those periods where nothing seems enough and pretense takes over authenticity…because it’s easier. So glad that all our negative thoughts and imperfections are covered by the balm of grace. That grace keeps rising up to meet us. We don’t have to be good enough because Christ was the best and He finished that work on the cross. Thank you for sharing your heart, Ronja…it’s beautiful.

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    1. Ronja

      Tiffany, that thought has been carrying me lately — that I don’t need to be good enough because I can never be good enough. Instead, I can look to Christ who finished the work on the cross. I can trust His love to reach me where I am, as I am, and I can trust His grace to keep changing my heart.

      Thank you so much for this encouragement and for the grace with which you have met me here, Tiffany! You have touched my heart with your kindness.

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  10. Your transparency and honest sharing are beautiful. I feel like I understand you, although I don’t believe I’ve ever visited your blog before. I, too, struggle with presenting myself well, or in a certain light, when often I am struggling more than I care to admit. I am learning, though. That freedom comes in being real, acknowledging our struggles – even if at first it is only to ourselves. And then finding community to love and support us. We were never meant to struggle alone.
    Blessing sweet one,
    Kamea

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    1. Ronja

      Kamea, thank you so much for these words full of grace — just what my heart needed today! It is somehow comforting to know that I’m not the only one feeling this way, that I’m not the only person struggling on this earth. There’s just something in being able to relate to one another and walk alongside each other.

      Thank you so much for your wisdom here, and for this much needed encouragement! It’s been such a blessing to my soul today. Thank you.

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  11. So brave and powerful is the truth. I can relate to so many of the things you didn’t want to tell us, and I’m thankful to know I’m not alone! So glad I hopped over from Fellowship Friday!

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    1. Ronja

      Thank you so much, Liz! You are so right, it’s just so comforting to know that we’re not alone — and you have encouraged my heart today by letting know that I’m not the only one feeling like this at times. :) Thank you so much for your visit, and these encouraging words! Blessings to you!

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  12. There is great power in authenticity and honesty, and your post is proof of that truth. It is so hard to confess what is really going on in our hearts on the hard days. I’m blessed by your words and the verses you share. I’ve felt so many of these very same things. Today I posted on another site that I didn’t link up on Strength to Let Go of Insecurity at http://www.plantingroots.net, if the topic hits home. It is a lot of what God has been working into my life as a result of my own battles with the very things you share in this post. Blessings. I’m so glad I linked up with you at Grace and Truth today.

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    1. Ronja

      Ginger, thank you so much! Insecurity is definitely something I battle with a lot, which is why confessing the reality of my heart can be so difficult, I believe. Thank you so much for your visit and these kind words, Ginger. I’m heading over to read your post now, friend! Blessings to you!

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  13. Thanks Ronja for your honest and transparent post. I think most of us, if not all of us, wish we could just be more real with our sisters in Christ. But most of the time we feel that we can’t. I am linking your post to my blog round-up today.

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    1. Ronja

      Aimee, thank you so much for your kind words and for linking up this post on your blog! I do think you’re right; that most of us would like to be more real with our sisters in Christ but it sure is difficult. Being real makes us vulnerable, and we can never be certain how our “real self” will be received by others. But I believe that we can make a way for others to be real by being real ourselves, and risking that vulnerability. Sure enough, it’s likely that we’ll get hurt by others at some point but we can always run to our loving Father, who will answer our cries and remind us that He is our shelter and our hiding place.

      Thank you so much for your visit, Aimee! Blessings to you!

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    1. Ronja

      Thank you, for letting me know that I’m not alone feeling like this on some days. Thank you for your kindness and grace, Mary! What a blessing it is to have you stop by here! God bless you!

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  14. Thank you for sharing. It takes so much courage and Jesus to share your innermost thoughts and feelings. Because you’re able to share this, i know God is working on your heart to mend it. :) Be confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of the Lord Jesus. Phil 1:6. Be blessed Ronja :) <3

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    1. Ronja

      Marquitta, thank you so much for these words full of grace — just what my heart needed right now! :) The Lord sure is so good to us, to keep transforming us from glory to glory while He loves us just as we are every step of the way. Thank you so much for your visit and this precious encouragement, Marquitta! God bless you!

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  15. You minister to so many of us through this very honest, vulnerable, open post. Thank you for this. It’s beautiful. I can relate to so much of it. Praying you know (and I know and we all know) more and more how true those Words our Father gave us are and that our hearts and minds line up with them. Much love from “Espressos of Faith” via Grace & Truth!

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    1. Ronja

      Thank you so much for this kindness and encouragement, Bonnie! I’m so thankful that there is a Truth in His Word for every lie and struggle we face in this life — and how we can pray His Word for every moment and situation of this life. Thank you for visiting here, Bonnie! God bless you!

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  16. Ronja, I want to hug you for the following reasons:
    1. Because your authenticity inspires me.
    2. Because I identify.
    3. Because seriously, who doesn’t just need a random Monday hug?

    You are touching lives, friend. Press on. <3

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    1. Ronja

      Sharita — thank you, thank you, thank you! I honestly didn’t think this would get this kind of a response — or any response at all. The Lord sure knew what He was doing when He prompted me to write this. :)

      Thank you so much for your kindness, dear friend. :) And hey, I’m all for hugs any time. ;)

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  17. Sharon

    In your willingness and courage to tell us these things, I am washed over with a sense of freedom. Lately I have also been caught up once again in the remembrance of past sins, and guilt has been a close companion. Lately I have cried my eyes out on more than one occasion over some very difficult days with my aging mother. Lately I have wondered who I am, and what am I doing, and where am I going…and does anyone really care about any of that?

    You, my friend, have been vulnerable. And in your heartfelt sharing, I felt my heart calmed. It’s all about the journey, and part of the journey is taking off the masks and baring our souls – and then being reminded that we are not alone. We have each other, and we ALWAYS have Jesus.

    Thank you for this. I needed it so…

    GOD BLESS.

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    1. Ronja

      Thank you for sharing this with me, Sharon! I so relate to what you described, especially all those questions running through mind. All of these things are hard and heavy to carry with us, and even more so the more we have. Thank you so much for your kind words full of grace and tender encouragement! You are so right, it’s all about the journey and not the destination — and I need to remember this more often. God bless you, Sharon!

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