We’re four months into this year, and I’ve only posted to this blog three times. Obviously, I’m busy taking care of four small children and working from home. But, I’m also struggling with the line between writing honestly and “airing dirty laundry.” How can a writer be “real” without sharing a bunch of details that loved ones may not want shared?
I’m itching to discuss real-world issues–openly–in hopes of encouraging readers who may be going through something similar…but how much am I responsible to keep quiet and respect those whose stories are entwined with mine?
Can husband-writers be honest about issues with their wives? Can parent-writers be truthful when their children are difficult?
Should we name names?
Just how many details am I allowed to give here–before I get backlash for saying something a little too true?
Much of what I want to say involves deeply personal back-stories that would shed light on my weaknesses AND the weaknesses of others. But I don’t want to be accused of throwing anybody under the bus.
I believe most of us are starving (absolutely starving) to know we’re not the only ones whose family-and-friend-relationships are dysfunctional at times. And we want to hear more than simply, “Yeah, my family-and-friend relationships are dysfunctional at times.”
We want to know HOW.
Just this week, as I caught up with a lifelong friend, both of us were very candid (naming names) about recent conflicts. But, just knowing we weren’t alone made the problems seem a bit smaller. As we realized that both of us are having trouble with people we ultimately love (even when things get heated), I finally shouted, “WE NEED TO BE TALKING ABOUT THIS STUFF IN CHURCH!”
We need to stop offering vague prayer requests, and start getting specific with the details.
We need to stop allowing our most intimate problems to stay shrouded in darkness, just because we think that we (and our loved ones) are waaaaay more screwed up than everybody else’s.
I believe that all of us have very specific stories that pop into our head when I mention “family struggles,” and I think there is healing when we talk through them. Cards on the table. No censorship.
When does “sharing” become “gossip?”
If anyone thinks I’m overly-critical of certain people in the culture, or that I ask too many questions, let me assure that person: I question MYSELF more than anybody else. By the time I write about any topic, I’ve usually spent a looooooooong time arguing back and forth in my own mind, making sure I’m confident with any conclusions I may share publically.
That’s where I am right now.
Arguing back and forth–pros and cons–and looking for peace about my decision. I don’t want to be fake. I don’t want to feel like my hands are tied and my mouth is gagged. But my story doesn’t belong only to me; it involves many, many others who are doing life with me.
And so 2018 continues to march on, and I’m continuing to think rather than speak (or type) too much.
I’m taking care of my small children.
I’m working from home.
And I’m processing the pros and cons–arguing back and forth–wondering if and when God will allow me to share what’s really happening in this beautiful mess we call life.