You’re not the only one

You're not the only one

 

 

 

Think you have problems?

You’re not the only one

Sitting on the exam table in a flimsy gown, she looked at the floor and swung her feet. The floral print gown opened in the front as well as the back. She pulled the gap tightly closed in her clenched fist. Nevertheless, I could see red splotches spreading across her chest before she finally mustered up the courage, “This is really embarrassing, but….”

 

My heart ached as she stammered out her concern. My heart ached even more because she thought she was the only one dealing with such an issue.

In reality, it was the fourth time I had heard the same concern. Let me clear, it was the fourth time THAT DAY I had heard the same issue. Let me be even clearer, it was only 11 o’clock in the morning.

We stuff our stuff because we think our issues are unique #beReal #community #rtp Click To Tweet

STUFFING STUFF

We all walk around stuffing our stuff because we think our issues are unique to our hearts and minds and lives. But when we are bold enough to share we find a hundred other people who feel the same way. Then, and only then,  God uses our troubles for His glory.

2 Corinthians 1:4, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” NLT

ASK ME HOW I KNOW

Because I have talked to you; yes you. I’ve talked to countless women about their deepest fears and greatest concerns when I was a gynecologist. Don’t worry, I am still bound by privacy laws. Now that I am a writer, I talk to people everywhere. And guess what? You really aren’t that different. The struggles you deal with inside your home and your head are universal. You’re in good company. It’s been a long time since anyone told me anything that shocked or surprised me. I’ve heard it all.

Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” NIV

GET HELP

Secrecy is Satan’s tool. Isolation keeps us from getting the help we need by taunting us with shame. The fact is until we admit we have a problem, we can never fully deal with it. Denial keeps us from Jesus who completely understands every struggle we face.

Hebrews 4:15-16, “We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all-all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” MSG

GET REAL

I know you are insecure, lonely, scared of the future, jealous and broken. Trust me, I understand; from the inside out. We are all dying on the inside trying to pretend our life is half as wonderful as everyone else’s Fakebook life (no that’s not a typo). Let’s stop and be real. Not only will it rescue you, it will save others.

John 8:32, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ESV

SAFE BET

I sincerely want to thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. It empowers me to share my own emotions. It’s no longer a gamble that maybe you feel the same way I do sometimes. I know you do, because I talked to you.

2 Corinthians 2:16, “This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on?” MSG

THIS IS DANGEROUS

Still, I find writing is dangerous. My thoughts assembled by various combinations of twenty-six characters are on display for you. Vulnerability is scary, but it’s also a gift from God. So I allow the words to spill freely, often with tears, and offer them to you. Maybe, just maybe, someone knows exactly what I am talking about.

2 Corinthians 4:1-2, “Therefore, since we have this ministry because we were shown mercy, we do not give up. Instead, we have renounced shameful secret things, not walking in deceit or distorting God’s message, but commending ourselves to every person’s conscience in God’s sight by an open display of the truth.” HCSB

Surely I’m not the only one, am I?

 

It's more fun when you join the conversation

  1. This is so true! So many times, throughout my life, I’ve felt like I was the only one going through something, only to find out, I wasn’t. I truly believe the saying that everyone has a story to tell and I thank you for telling yours and connecting with my heart.

  2. This post is so empowering for women who feel they must hide their struggles
    And bare them alone. The enemy of our soul, wants to isolate us from what makes
    US strong.

  3. I had a pastor’s wife who said it this way: “Secrecy breeds sickness.” Even knowing that, it feels safer somehow. Thank you for sharing your encouraging words today.

  4. It’s always an encouragement to know “even they” struggle. Not that I want that for anyone but it really does take the power away from “I alone”…God allows us to grow through difficulty. Just wish my first response would embrace that. Slow learner here! Thanks for your transparency.

  5. I’ve learned through my nearly 8 years of blogging that people are more attracted to our vulnerable heart as we share open and honestly. That doesn’t mean we share EVERYTHING, but the person I want others to see is the messed up, broke and bruised woman who is experience His grace every day.

  6. Thank you so much for putting your thoughts out there! Not only are you an excellent writer, but your words inspire us all!

  7. I just joined a Celebrate Recovery group. I have ALWAYS thought that I was the “only one”. That SHE couldn’t possibly be struggling with a spiritual stronghold. But if this small “microcosm” of Christians in this wonderful group struggles with an array of sins, what does that say about the whole of Christianity? All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. So we love each other, support each other, and bear one another’s burdens. until He comes to take us Home.
    I’m Caroline and I struggle with loneliness and depression.

  8. Just what I needed to hear at just the right time. It’s hard to not be the “church lady”, but it is exhausting to be fake. Thank you for being real.

  9. Oh, my, goodness, I am not the only one. I have recently started attending a Celebrate Recovery group. And SHE was there. The one with no hang-ups. The one with no Spiritual strongholds. Could she really be like me? Struggling with sins, addictions, real people problems that only God can heal?
    In this microcosm of Christianity, a CR group, could there really be so many Christians who are in need of His healing? I thought I was the only one and hesitated to go. I have been a Christian for most of my 60 years, could there really be anyone that I could relate to? Someone that I felt comfortable bearing my soul to? YES, YES there were!! We have ALL sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. We ALL need His healing and forgiveness. If this is just a tiny group of Christians that love God and want to please Him, how much more are out there, on their own, trying to survive this sin-sick world. Let us pray for one another, and encourage one another. Life is so hard, but Christ is coming to take us Home to be with Him in Glory. Praise God for His indescribable gift. Thank you, Vickie, for this amazing blog. God Bless, sister-friend!

    I’m Caroline, and I struggle with anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

    I love you, Vickie.

  10. Such an important message! I can remember similar conversations when I was working as a mental health therapist. It’s amazing how we all think we’re the only ones with a certain issue and, as a result, feel we must walk through it alone. I think we need to break down those barriers and start being more transparent with one another about our struggles and issues. Thank you for contributing to that with this post!