Yes, the title is a Highschool Musical reference. Don’t judge me too hard, it was an integral part of my development as a person.
Anyways, I wanted to shed some light on something that I think is really often overlooked in Christian communities, and I’ll go so far as to single out Christian young women.
I was with my best friends this weekend and we had the most cathartic ugly cry session that we’ve ever had, and trust me, we have a lot of cathartic ugly cry sessions.
This one was was pretty serious though. After watching the most beautiful and heartbreaking movie ever, A Walk to Remember, we ended up casually pouring out our deepest fears you know, as one does. I put out into the universe these painful emotions that I’ve never even admitted to having inside me.
I’m talking life-ruining fears that I stomp down to the bottom of my feelings pit. The type of thing that if I even catch a whiff of these kinds of feelings I’ll run as far and as fast as possible to protect myself from having to face them.
The kind of things that are so personal and so unthinkably sad that you could never imagine anyone else feeling because you’ve never even processed the feelings yourself.
But here we were, just some girls who met in middle school, finding out that these fears and insecurities are shared because we are all fallen people with fallen natures, fallen emotions, fallen self-image, you get the picture.
What I’m saying is that because of the Fall, because of our sin nature and worldly flesh, we got stuck with a whole mess that we can’t fix, only God can. And even that can be a tough subject to grapple with because we know that He promises to complete the good work he began in us on the day that Christ returns but that means we have our whole lives until we’re dead or raptured that we have to be saddled with all this evil.
How about the fear of being unlovable? Of never making a genuine connection?
What about the fear of never being enough? Of having something unfixably wrong with you?
Or feeling like you’re always used? Like your worth is based on what you do?
I could go on, but the point is that everybody feels these things to some degree. It might be felt with different intensity, depth, duration, and even recognition, but we are all fallen people who have these fundamental fears to deal with.
I honestly didn’t know how deep my stuffed down feelings went, it felt like Mary Poppins’ bag where stuff just kept coming out, fears that I had never recognized I had locked up inside me were suddenly brought into the light. And that, my friends, is how we deal with them.
“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible–and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.”
These strongholds on my life may not have been so obvious, but they are present and they are poison. The darkness in us should not go unchallenged, and I’d say that this deep, buried darkness is even harder to bring to God and deal with than the kind that is obvious and does have physical consequences.
Bringing your most painful strongholds to the Lord, to the light, to your brothers and sisters in Christ, is essential to conquering them. Without light the darkness is not visible, it is not illuminated, and it cannot be transformed.
Bringing some of my fears into the light meant a few solid hours of crying in my sister in Christ’s basement at 2 in the morning after the saddest chick-flick of all time, but you need to deal with these innate evils that come with being human in whatever way God and His Word lead you to.
And now that I see, now that I know, I can begin the hard work of sanctifying and surrendering that part of my life. After you bring your pain and fears into the light, struggle with them, defeat them with truth, surrender to the Holy Spirit’s work of clearing out the remains of your old self that was dead in your sins. And hey, just know that we all have to deal with this stuff, and it’s much better to deal with it God’s way than the world’s ways.