Back when I was in high school, we read a book called Sex God by Rob Bell (who is absolutely, fabulously amazing) in a summer high school girls’ Bible study. To be completely honest, most of us didn’t actually own the book (we listened to it on tape when we met and then discussed it), and I really don’t remember much of what Bell had to say, but I do remember this:
“Some of the most comforting words in the universe are ‘me too.’ That moment when you find out that your struggle is also someone else’s struggle, that you’re not alone, and that others have been down the same road.”
Have you ever thought about that? What an amazingly true statement.
Have you ever listened to a song, any song, that had lyrics that just spoke to you? That you could completely relate with? That’s one of my favorite things about music. There’s an element of connection there. A feeling that we aren’t alone. Someone, somewhere has felt what we have felt and is sharing that experience with me. It’s a truly magical phenomenon.
This is why one of my core values is “the shared experience.” I think it’s amazing when people can go through things together and understand one another, but it’s even more amazing when at first you don’t know that someone else has shared your experience, and then you discover that they have.
Tonight I got to talk to a friend whom I’ve recently been getting to know about something I was struggling with. Turns out he often struggles with the same issue. How awesome is that?
I feel like as Christians, so much of the time we are hesitant to be honest and share what’s going on in our lives, what we’re struggling with, for fear or judgment. We feel that since we are Christians, we’re supposed to be perfect, or others expect us to be perfect. This, of course, is not true at all.
Christ calls us to belong to the body of Christ and to have community with one another. Part of that community is being open and honest with one another and sharing our struggles. Chances are that God has put someone in our community who has dealt or who is dealing with the exact same thing we’re dealing with.
I have found this to be true in any community I have opened myself up to (Phi Lamb retreats, Kadesh groups, people from The Rock), and I know I will continue to find it true as my life progresses.
I guess what I’m trying to say is share your struggles, because finding someone else who has felt the pain you felt, knows exactly what you’re going through, is the single most comforting thing you can experience, and chances are that other person is thankful that they have someone to share with as well.