Should I be honest? I wondered.
What if I start crying? What if she doesn’t really have time to listen? What if she’s just asking to be nice?
I could keep it simple and say, “I’m fine.”
There I was, standing in the lobby at church waiting for my husband, when a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time walked up and asked how I was doing. Our 3-year-old had recently been diagnosed with Apraxia, a severe speech disorder, and I was not “fine.”
I was exhausted. I was overwhelmed. I was afraid.
Sometimes it’s hard to let people know how we’re really doing because we don’t want to be high maintenance, right? And it’s easy to believe people don’t really want to know when they ask. Sometimes they don’t.
But what about those times when someone sincerely wants to know and I still don’t want to tell them?
There are times when I tell people I’m fine even when I’m not, because I want to be. I hope by saying “I’m fine” that eventually I will be.
Other times I act like I’m fine because I think others expect me to be.
Then there are days when hormones trump all good manners and if my people are within ten feet they know I am NOT fine. In fact, if I tell them I am, what I really mean is that I am Frazzled, Irritated, Neurotic, and Exhausted!
But not in public. Not where others can see the real me.
And that is where I stood that day in the lobby at church. At a pivotal point of decision. Will I be honest and let her see the real me? Should I let her know how I’m really doing?
Everything in me wanted to keep my guard up, keep my heart sealed off and my lips sealed tight.
But I was tired. Tired of pretending I was fine. So I took a risk. I let my heart, my words and my tears spill. Shared the hard parts of countless assessments and an unexpected diagnosis, and not knowing if our little girl would be able to talk for years.
Kelly listened and offered to help. And prayed for me. Then she thanked me. Thanked me for being willing to be honest and let her know what was really going on. Before she walked away, she paused and told me how often she looked at my life and assumed I was fine. Had things all put together. But knowing I needed help, prayers and encouragement – and didn’t have it all figured out – made her feel normal.
God is working His grace and His strength in my weakness.
When I’m willing to be weak, He gets to be strong. When I’m willing to be real, others get to see, pray for and get to know the “real me” and the real God I desperately need and love.
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When someone asks how you are or how they can pray for you, is it hard to be real with them?