Sometimes I’d like to tell you a lot more stuff. Today I daydreamed about sharing some nitty-gritty details from the trenches. I’m sure you’ve come across those groups, pages and sites where other special needs moms tell their horror stories. The challenges, difficulties,and strains of parenting their child and the wear and tear of it all. Sometimes I think about posting on those outlets for the WIN. I’ve got some doozies! Whenever I walk through a really rough day, and face issues that are not what “normal” people face, there is a part of me (hint: the Bible calls it my “flesh”) that really wants to write one of those pity party posts. It would feed my pride, my competitive nature and my sense of community a lot to share our most recent Bad Day.
But I can’t. God says no. It’s a pretty specific instruction found multiple times in the Bible. And if scripture isn’t enough, when I begin composing that post in my mind, I get about half-way through when I feel the gentle reminder that that’s not what I’m supposed to be writing about. In my minds eye I crumple up the page and, although eloquently composed, toss it in the garbage.
Some may say that’s not being honest or transparent in my writing. I know many who believe that by spilling it all out, they’re helping others feel less alone. All I can say to that is, when I turn to the Bible for direction, I find really clear patterns for my speech and my witness. Psalm 35:28 says “And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of they praise all the day long.” Colossians4:6 says “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Those verses tell me that my words should be gracious and thankful and filled with praise and the reason for such is that my witness depends on it. Publicly complaining, which is now called “venting” is a horrible testimony. It might feel great to our human nature, but it doesn’t feed our spirit. If our desire is to overcome the situation, venting isn’t the answer. Not about your plight as a special needs parent, or about your job, and certainly not about your husband. Praising builds you up, complaining beats you down.
Do I ever vent? Of course! But I share my challenges, struggles and bad days with those closest to me, who form my vital support network. Oftentimes, honestly, I vent directly to God. He’s the only one who can rescue me, so why waste my breath re-telling my defeat to others. My friends will verify that I am a very transparent and honest person. I don’t live a fake testimony, or wear a mask. Not here in my writing nor in my personal life. Every post is an area where I’ve struggled – it’s what makes up the foundation for every word. But you don’t need the gorey details of my life, nor I yours, to know that we’re in this together.
This is the key difference between going to the world for help, versus fellow believers. The world will share in your misery, but the body of Christ should be lifting you out of it. There are so many scriptures about our words, and the taming thereof, but my favorite is about a woman, a mother and wife, who i aspire to emulate every day:
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26
If my words to you don’t line up with her, then I’m misleading you. I’m most likely doing more harm than good. So, before that next social media melt-down or rant to your neighbors, check in with the Proverbs 31 Woman and ask her to edit your work. You may end up, like me, crumpling the whole thought process and putting it in the trash. Instead take it all to the feet of Jesus, and feel how much lighter the burden becomes.