The Power in the Words, “I’m Not Fine”

community

“It is never just your story.” The editor’s words cut through the classroom with razor-like precision. I ponder them and am ashamed to count the number of times I thought it was.

Weeks later, as I worship with my church family, I realize how thankful I am for the truth in her words. It’s not just me. No, there are others. There is an entire body to carry me when I am discouraged, offer an uplifting word when I need it, to push me to keep pressing toward my goals.

Where would I be without them? Where would I be without my husband, who, when I walk away, tells a friend that I need a word of encouragement?

Sometimes, the worst possible answer to the question, “How are you?” is “I’m fine.” And yet so often, that is my immediate response.

“I don’t want to burden them with my issues,” I think to myself.

“They wouldn’t understand,” the enemy lies.

“They’re too busy with their own problems.”

Getting me to admit to anything other than, “I’m fine,” is often like performing a root canal without an anesthetic. I hide behind my “I’m fine” cape with ferocious determination.

Today, God showed me power behind three simple words: I’m not fine. He showed me that when I am as transparent in person as I am on the page, community is born. And in the midst of community, we rejoice in each other’s successes and carry each other’s burdens.

But to do any of these things, we must be real.

Real community never happens without the element of vulnerability.

When we put up walls and never allow people to see our struggles, all they ever see is a facade. A fake smile to go with a fake response and we all go about with our day.

True bravery starts when we truest version of ourselves, even if it starts with just one person.

What would happen if we let people in? It starts with trust, but trust always begins with putting yourself out there. With letting someone see the real you, even if it’s just a piece.

As you go about your week, in the midst of your errands and to-do lists, remember that it is never just your story.

And then praise God that it’s not.

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18 thoughts on “The Power in the Words, “I’m Not Fine”

  1. Thank you, Abby, for allowing God to speak through you this morning. I appreciate you sharing this! So needed for me today. Have a blessed Monday!

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    • Thank you so much for your encouragement, Brandi! Why is it easier to be transparent on the page? I don’t know, but I’m striving to be real in person too. It is rewarding! Have a great week, friend.

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  2. I distinctly remember opening up to a friend one time about a major struggle I was going through. Her reaction? “I had no idea!” I was stunned because to me it was so obvious, and yet I had maintained a perfect facade the entire time. If only I had let my true self show, I could have received her love and support so much sooner. You are so right that we need to be vulnerable in order to truly connect.

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    • Yes! I’ve been there too, Katie. Thinking it was obvious but it wasn’t. I’m so glad you go the support you needed, though. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here today.

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  3. Ohhh so that was just a piece of the real you!? I gotta keep digging! Ha! I wanted to tell you that when you quoted that verse in Timothy today- I realized how much you know and how little I know and how much I need you and your wisdom to reassure my doubts! I love youuuuu and appreciate you and the gnome. haha

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    • Oh, that was more than a piece, Lizzie! LOL. I felt so much better after talking to you. Sometimes you just have to get things off your chest to move on. I love you too. And I am older! I have the benefit of years. Ha! My gnome makes me wise. xoxo

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    • I am so grateful for you too, Katie. 🙂 I am encouraged by so many of the writers I’ve met over the past year of blogging and you are one of them!

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  4. I always say when we take that step to be real and honestly share our heart we also open the door for others to feel encouraged to do the same. Great thoughts, Abby. Thank you for sharing your heart. Much love. xoxo

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  5. Pingback: 3 Myths About Depression That Need to Stop | Fearfully Made Mom

  6. Hey Abby! I love that sentence: “I’m not fine.” A stroke of genius or of the Holy Spirit. I’m not sure which. It’s a great way to communicate though. When we’re not fine.

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