The best way to shock someone is to be honest. If we think about that, it’s true. Most of the time I sense people are telling me what they think I want to hear. If they knew me they would know I prefer the truth. I can handle it. Maybe for some the truth stated will cause a wilting to the ground like the wicked witch at the end of the Wizard of Oz, but not this girl. I figure that’s the best benefit of being a “woman of a certain age.” I know who I am, and can stand up to opposition, criticism and the truth. My closest friends don’t agree with me on most things and that’s what makes our relationships vibrant and exciting. Let’s wrangle an idea down to its core and find out what the truth is.
The bible says the truth will set you free. That’s not just true about the truth of Jesus and the saving grace he offers, but it is also true about most problems we tend to avoid, cover up, disguise, hide, run away from, and spend a lot of energy convincing ourselves it is anything but what it is.
For example, I can’t count how many years I blamed my parent’s divorce for most of my personal problems. “I’m a child of divorce. Sigh. That’s why I am stuck.” I finally got sick of myself using that crutch and when I examined the lie I believed I stared down the face of the issue and when I saw that I could own my problems I could also start making better decisions. I learned that my past can make me better, and allowing it to make me bitter was causing decay in my soul.
Donny is a first born like I was, and this position in the family gets used as a test rat for most parenting decisions. We are more reasonable with Jordan and Kevin than we were with him. That’s the plain truth. I admit to him we parented his emerging teen years from a place of more fear than faith. I would do it differently if I could do it again. But I can’t. He has mentioned that he’s struggling now with some issues because of how strict we were when he was starting high school.
Finally, I shared with him, “I spent too much energy blaming my parents for their mistakes and the misery it caused me, I don’t recommend it. Try and forgive me, and own who you are, and make decisions based on what God wants you to do rather than the mistakes we made that make you feel like you have a handicap.”
Another example is our work in Uganda. All through the last year of working with Another Life I would sigh and wish we could just part ways and manage the orphanage ourselves because we clashed in our goals and ideas. But I was tied to these children and I couldn’t walk away. Discovering the truth of all Adams did wrong to us through the year hurt deeply, but more importantly it set us free. We are able now to establish our own ministry there in Uganda without the untrustworthy middleman. The past hasn’t made us bitter, it is going to make us better. And that’s the truth, which means now we are free.