I receive messages quite often from women that either start or end their message to me by saying:
I have no one else to talk to.”
Included within the body of the message is usually a paragraph or two of their personal story or a struggle they are walking through.
My heart is heavy for the women who are not only going through these marital struggles, but more so that they feel isolated and alone.
I appreciate people connecting with me through messaging, but this one line has always jolted me. It breaks my heart that people have no one else to talk to.
Is it because of a lack of trusted friendship?
Is it because of a lack of courage to be vulnerable?
Is it because of fear of what others might think or how they will respond?
Is it easier telling someone who is a stranger?
Is it easier telling me because I am open and honest with where I am?
These are the things I wonder. I remember what it was like when I felt isolated in my struggles. I didn’t want to tell anyone close to me because I was embarrassed. I was convinced we were the only ones struggling the way we were. I was scared of being that vulnerable.
You know what changed for us…experiencing other couples opening up honestly about marriage. Their courage, gave us courage. We trusted them and we began to open up too. We had someone to talk to. Now we could have chosen to not talk to them. We could have kept hiding. Had we avoided vulnerability in community we would not be where we are today in our marriage.
We had to choose to be vulnerable. We had to choose to talk to the people who were closest to us.
God designed people to experience intimate relationships. Intimacy in talking and communicating where are hearts are. It is in those real and real hard moments that we are confronted to address where our hearts are. God designed us to talk. We need to have the courage to talk. We need to be vulnerable.
How can we bear each others burdens if we don’t know what those burdens are?
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
A friend in your close community cannot bear your burdens with you if they don’t know how you are burdened. This disrupts the unity in the body of Christ, because we cannot do what God intended for us to do.
My husband and I have been walking with close community for about 7 years now. Different people, but the same body of Christ. We have been honest and open, letting others know our burdens. The awesome part is that these people walk with us, challenge us to live according to God’s Word, they keep us accountable, they have provided for us in our lack, and they have encouraged us greatly.
If you choose not to let those close to you know your burdens then how can you be challenged in your perspective, your actions, and your words? How can they keep you accountable to how you live? How can they comfort and encourage you?
If you choose not to talk to someone close to you, you miss out on the blessing the body of Christ can be.
And…sharing your struggles with me is not the same thing as talking to someone in your personal community. Sure, I can encourage you, but I can’t challenge you and walk through life beside you to keep you accountable. There is just no way for me to do that. And it would be wrong of me to not encourage you to find close community who can walk through life with you and bear your burdens.
While I love that the women in the Unveiled Wife Community trust me and find the courage to share their struggles with me, I have to encourage and urge you to be willing to find the courage to be vulnerable with those closest to you. As much as I try to pray for each prayer request and my heart truly feels heavy for the struggles the wives are facing, the truth is I can never replace the gift of face-to-face friendship.
Please don’t wait until a friend finds you, or until a friend is vulnerable with you. Have the courage to seek and pursue friendship. Have the courage to be vulnerable.
Find someone who you can talk to.
I know it is not easy. I know relationships can be messy. I know talking to others can be a terrifying move. It is not easy, but it is worth it!
I hope this is an encouragement for you today. Maybe you are not struggling in your marriage, but you know a friend who is. Be vulnerable with them even still and invite them to be vulnerable with you. This kind of intimacy in friendship is priceless.