There’s a song I just recently heard called “If We’re Honest” co-written and sung by Francesca Battistelli. It’s a very simple and lighthearted tune but the words have stuck with me and go through my head constantly.
“Truth is harder than a lie. The dark seems safer than the light…and everyone has a heart that learns to hide.” When I first heard this I couldn’t believe how it resonated in me. I know there are as many ways to interpret that as there are us who hear it, but for me…it’s all about hurting…when I am hurting badly I want to lie – to myself. Hide the sorrows and pain in the dark of my soul where they are safe and I don’t have to face the realities of what I may need to work through or deal with. Sometimes the lies we tell ourselves to survive are so much easier to live, than to acknowledge the truth. During those times I generally feel very much alone because I don’t let anyone in. It would be too painful and besides…would anyone understand or even be able to help? I do hide my heart at times…from myself and others. I think we all do sometimes and that’s why when I heard this next verse I got a huge smile on my face and I thought…Wow Francesca! Bold and I love it! “I’m a mess and so are you. We build walls nobody can get through. Yeah, it may be hard but the best thing we could ever do…is bring your brokenness and I’ll bring mine, because love can heal what hurt divides…and mercy’s waiting on the other side…if we’re honest”.
We are all broken in some way or other. We really are and that’s ok…it’s our humanness. We all have garbage. I talked very briefly about that with a beautiful-souled friend tonight. It’s something that is so clear to me now, but when I was in my early twenties and in the process of leaving a very bad marriage, I used to think that most everyone else’s lives were pretty damned good and problem free. Of course that was very naive, but, I think that a lot of times when we experience real hardships in our lives it’s very tempting to look at other people and feel that their lives are so much better.
I used to wonder what I did wrong…why did all of this happen to me? I didn’t see the problems others were experiencing so it never occurred to me that they had any. I had such horrible self esteem back then, and I have fought tooth and nail over the years to rebuild it…and yeah, it’s a work in progress but that’s okay! And that’s where this next part comes in… “Don’t pretend to be something that you’re not. Living life afraid of getting caught. There is freedom found when we lay our secrets down at the cross, at the cross…It would change our lives. It would set us free. It’s what we need to be.”
My interpretation? Don’t be afraid of showing others who you really are? That may be too literal. I think it has more to do with pretending to ourselves. I think it goes back to hiding our truths from ourselves…whatever they may be. We have to realize that we all have problems and we all have issues. The key is to understand that when we face them we begin to heal. We let go of the big secrets we have been keeping and we really start to heal. And to begin our healing we need to give all of the junk, all of the pain…to our God. If you are Christian, as I am, “laying our secrets down at the cross” means bringing them to Jesus, because honestly, we can’t do it alone. Ever. In my case, I was so bad, that I had no choice but to give my life completely over to God. I had so much that needed to be fixed…I didn’t know where to begin or how to begin. So I had to trust Jesus to take care of me, and it was literally a day by day, minute to minute process for a long time. I had just divorced, my Dad had just died, and I had two very young children to take care of when I wasn’t even whole enough to take care of myself. True to form though…God knows best. My two children turned out to be the beauty that got me through and I never forget that…and they are both still the beauty in my life…mwah!!
At the end of the day, when all is said and done…we need to be honest with ourselves. It may be the hardest thing in the world to be, but “the truth shall set you free”… “So bring your brokenness…and I’ll bring mine, because love can heal what hurt divides…and mercy’s waiting on the other side – if we’re honest.” I love you!!!