A Killing Silence: and why you shouldn’t keep it to yourself
Guest Post by Ruth
I found out last week that a college friend of mine, now a pastor and father of two, killed himself. The reasons he left in his suicide note were vague. When I first heard the news my immediate thought was, “What could have been so bad that you would leave behind a wife and two children?” I could come up with nothing.
This realization made me want to run to the top of the nearest hill and ask my friends to gather so I could tell them and God all my sins, all my dark thoughts, and hidden pain. I wanted to purge myself. But how often do we really do this? How often do we say, out loud, the things that could kill us if they are not brought to light?
Two days later, my friend Peggy, sent me an invitation to say “hard stuff” on her blog and I knew immediately it was in invitation to say the things that I keep in dark corners. While I am angry about the lies we believe and keep us trapped, I still find it hard to say the things that will expose my weaknesses, my sins. I find it’s best to take a deep breath and then make a list. This will be the opposite of a list I would post on Facebook…
- I have panic attacks, probably associated with PTSD
- I was a closeted smoker for 10 years
- My life is not what I expected
- Sometimes I feel like all of my insides are filled with tears
- I was recently asked what I am looking forward to, and I could think of nothing
- My back burners are lined with bubbling pots
- I could fit my faith in the Lord into a mustard seed. Of all my sin’s and disappointments this is the worst.
My impulse is to now tell you the good things, my tiny daily joys, to take the sting out of all I have just said, but that is not what this is about. One of the greatest things my friend Peggy ever taught me is that sometimes the best thing you can do when you are in pain, is to let it hurt, grieve the things that need grieving, confess your sins, acknowledge you are in need, exhaust your tears.
These things left unattended don’t die, they kill.
So instead of shouting from hilltops, my daily challenge is to say something honest and ugly to God and trust that he will grow my tiny mustard seed of faith.