No More Faking Fine
Please welcome guest blogger Esther Fleece, author of the new book No More Faking Fine.
As I awoke on my honeymoon to a cool breeze in Mexico, I wasn’t prepared for what the day would bring. Just days into being married, we had snorkeling planned, along with laying out, drinks by the pool, and a fancy dinner. It was time for me to relax considering the busy season I had just endured. After all, waiting thirty-four years for marriage certainly afforded me some non-drama time at the ocean, don’t you think?
I checked my phone before we headed out for the day and noticed I had received a message from a former family member. I say former because I hadn’t talk to this person in years. I had been abandoned as a teenager, but my past felt like it was a lifetime ago. Even still, it took only a moment to remember the painful emotions my past entailed. I felt a pit deep down in my stomach. Should I share this phone call with my husband, or pretend it never happened and let it go away? I knew hiding my emotions from him would be hard (and not healthy for our marriage) and so I brought it to his attention.
We used WI-FI calling to return the phone call to this family member only to receive the news that my biological father had passed away. His death was tragic one — tragic in the sense that he died alone. Tragic in the sense that I will never be restored to him on earth. Tragic because even though he had abandoned our family decades earlier, his death still pained me. I felt his loss all over again. And grief entered my previously happy honeymoon.
Grief is a funny thing. We are hardly prepared for it when it comes, and we don’t like walking through it, whatever it shows us. Yet if grief happens to all of us, how can we process it for the better, not waste away in our sorrows and in our pain?
A NEW LANGUAGE
Even if the death of a loved one sometimes means relief, there is still grief. And even when we are at the height of success or experiencing happiness, we still cannot prevent hard things from coming our way. Happiness is temporal, and so is pain. And while grief may last through the night (or several nights) joy will come in the morning (Psalm 30:5).
Lament is a word we don’t use often, yet lament is what gave me my voice back again. All of us will lament, and even when things are going our way, lament is still a language we will need to be comfortable with. Lament is defined as a passionate expression of grief or anguish. And if we are not experiencing a lamenting season right now (a season that includes pain, disappointment, or heartache) I guarantee that there is somebody in your circle who is.
God is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in Spirit (Psalm 34:18). And if God is near to us in broken seasons, what makes us run away from them? If God is near to our neighbors in their heartache, what is our excuse for being absent?
How do we respond to the young mother who is facing infertility?
How do we comfort the empty nester or the widow next door?
What about the couple who is facing difficultly in their adoption?
Stuck inside a hurting marriage? There is a language for that.
We can always take our cries to God, who has time for us and pays attention to our cries. We have a Savior to meets us right where we are at, and not where we tend to be. And even if you don’t consider yourself a person of faith, you can still say “No More Faking Fine.” For all of our relationships are better when they’re honest and fake-free. Won’t you join us? There is a way to deal with our disappointment and failure, and a hope that we can be sorrowful and rejoicing (2 Corinthians 6:10) at the same time. I’m glad my faith has room for both.
Esther Fleece is an international speaker and writer on millennials and faith, leadership, and family, recognized among Christianity Today’s “Top 50 Women Shaping the Church and Culture” and CNN’s “Five Women in Religion to Watch.” As founder and CEO of L&L Consulting, she works to connect influential individuals and organizations to their mutual benefit. You can follow Esther’s global adventures on Twitter @EstherFleece and at www.estherfleece.com.