As my kids got in the van for church on Sunday, my girls noticed their car seats were in the wrong place. (Yes, I had to move them.) So, I told them to fix it. Well, apparently one of them didn’t want to. Thus, they began bickering.
I just ignored it, buckled in the baby, started the van, and headed to church.
Well, the bickering didn’t stop. And then the boys started.
I just ignored it. But it kept getting louder.
So I did what any good mom would do… I decided to turn up the volume of the radio… hoping they’d get the point…
They didn’t. The bickering continued.
So finally, I turned down the radio. “Guys, if I can hear you bickering over the radio, there must be a big problem. Knock it off.”
Amazing. The bickering stopped. The radio was turned back up. We continued to church listening to music and singing along.
The bickering… the noise… it didn’t stop on its own. I had to address it.
I’m not sure what the noise, problem, sin, struggle is in your life. But one thing is for sure, if you don’t address it, it will not go away.
If you continue to pretend like that problem is not a problem, you cannot grow.
If you continue to sweep it under the rug, it will never be exposed. Thus, you are stuck.
I can very specifically remember God telling me it was time to stop sweeping a situation under the rug. It was time to start telling that part of my story.
You see, there was a turning point in my life. A point in which God became the key player in my life story.
Prior to this point I was doing life my way. I was chasing the world. Trying to find happiness in all the wrong places. I was miserable. I was tired. And I didn’t know why.
I ended up going through some intense counseling. And once the truth surfaced, I was able to fully accept the grace of God that had been chasing me my whole life.
My life began to radically change. My focus changed. My motives changed. The way I saw things changed.
But what happened in the counselor’s office… that was part of the story I didn’t want to tell.
She gave me a pretty serious diagnosis. She helped me identify toxic people, actions, and thoughts. She helped me tear off all the masks I had been wearing and helped me see who I was.
Though she also lifted the diagnosis, it was part of this story I didn’t tell. I just wanted to sweep in under the rug. I wanted to pretend like it wasn’t a chapter in my life. It was like- I knew about it, learned from it, and am fine now- so everyone else is too.
But that’s not the truth. At all.
And by doing this, I was down-playing what God had done, is doing, and could do.
I thought I was protecting the people in that story by not sharing it. I thought I was protecting my image by not sharing it. But the truth was-I really did not want to deal with the consequences of telling that part of my story. In my mind, I already knew what would happen. It seemed unbearable.
I cried and told God I didn’t want to.
He showed me the Garden of Gethsemane. Guess what, Jesus didn’t want to either.
I cried some more. I got it. I needed to share the whole story. So, I did.
In my mind, it was to help someone else… possibly someone in a similar situation. But as time would show me, I may help someone else… But really this was about freeing myself from a hidden part of my story. I couldn’t just turn up the Jesus and expect the noise to go away. It needed to be confronted, so that I could give God the room to make something beautiful out of the mess.
And just like God always does, He had a message for me the next day at church.
The message just so happened to be covering a family in Genesis- Isaac and Rebekah. Isaac is the son of the promise God had with Abraham. He is the one who would make Abraham’s descendants as numerous as the stars. He and his wife had twin boys- Esau and Jacob. Here’s how the Bible describes their family dynamic:
“27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. 28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob. (Genesis 25)”
Did you catch that? These parents played favorites. And it wasn’t just a little thing. It was a big thing. Rebekah actually helped her favorite son steal her other son’s birthright and flea his wrath.
In any other story, this would be soap opera coverage. But this isn’t any other story, it’s God’s story. And these flawed humans are important to God’s salvation plan!
Look the point here is- they were dysfunctional. And God used them anyways. He used them despite their dysfunction for His glory. The Bible doesn’t overlook the fact that they were dysfunctional. It doesn’t hide the favoritism. It doesn’t highlight it either. The Bible simply states it as a fact.
Fact- Dysfunction is dysfunction. Sin is sin. No matter how big or how small you may think it is. Sin is sin.
Sin separates you from God unless you confront it, confess it, and repent.
God is bigger than your past. God is bigger than your regrets. God is bigger than whatever the fear is that is holding you back from confronting the noise.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that confronting that noise was easy… sharing that part of my story was hard… very hard… It cost me relationships. It cost me the image I had made for myself.
But what I gained was so much more. Peace- indescribable peace!
God walked with me through that season of my life. He comforted me. He defended me. And he brought me new meaningful relationships and purpose.
If there is noise in your life, pray about it. Pray and listen. Maybe… maybe… it’s time to confront that part of your story you don’t want to share. Maybe it’s time to admit to yourself that you don’t have a perfect life. (No one does- and that’s ok.) Maybe… just maybe you need a Savior.
Stop turning up the noise and start letting God move in your situation.