Sometimes, you don't get a choice. For all the truth you want to tell with your life, there may still be a lie in your story. As I talk about change and stepping forward into a new story, I cannot just leave out this pesky little detail. Because for all the good intentions in the world, moving forward feels like betrayal.
It's because, quite simply, the truth is very rarely how you feel. Truth is something you know, and you can make it the defining characteristic of your life, but that is a constant discipline. It's a choice you have to make over and over, every time the decision presents itself.
And you say things to people but you guard what you say because the truth is that you're okay, that life is okay, that God is good, and that this is just what it is right now. But the reality is that whatever this is right now may not feel okay. It may not feel good. So every time you choose to speak out of the truth, it feels a little like you're turning your back on yourself. Like maybe it's denial or something.
Let me tell you this: when I'm stuck in the lie, I require the truth. It's truth that brings me through dark moments. There's no telling what Hell would break loose if I let those dark moments define my truth, like so many of us do.
And either way, it feels like betrayal, right? If you speak the truth in the face of the lie, you feel like you've turned your back on the very real pain you're feeling right now. But if you speak the lie in the face of the truth, that, too, feels like betrayal. Because a part of you knows that whatever you just said isn't truth. And you're longing for truth.
The question you have to ask yourself is what do you feel like betraying? The easy thing to do is to betray the truth in the face of the lie because it's so often the lie that feels stronger. It's so often the lie that seems most real. Even though you don't want it to be. Even though you hope and pray that it isn't. It feels that way, and so it's hard to just pretend that none of that is happening.
But is your darkness worth your truth? If you knew the word God has spoken over your life, doesn't that change how you feel about the lie? It has to.
It's a delicate balance. We all know people who have struggled in the dark, and it's been pure denial. I would never advocate such a thing; you cannot answer this life by turning away. You have to be turning toward something. That something must be truth. And I think that you can say the words that don't feel true in the face of the lie as long as you're looking at what lies ahead. As long as you know that God is still God and His Word is the Word and His truth is Truth.
This truth...on the darkest days is enough of a reason to get up in the morning. It's enough of a reason to still believe. It's enough of a reason to stand. There is a way to live truth in the lie; you just have to be gracious with it. What's the truth? The truth is that I'm okay, that life is okay, that God is good, and that this is just what it is right now. What's the truth in the lie? The truth in the lie is that I'm okay, life is okay, God is good, this is just what it is right now...and it doesn't feel like any of what I just said is true.
In all the darkness, in all the struggle, in the days when this is just what it is right now, our trouble is that we're often stuck in our heads. Trying to figure things out. Trying to understand. Trying to learn to live like this. Thankfully, the Truth is not in our heads; it is in our hearts. And our hearts weren't made for understanding; they were made simply to know.
So yes, you can know truth and not understand how this is happening. You can live on and listen to the Word of God in your life without denying the shout of another voice. You can live truth in the lie, and the only thing you're betraying...is the lie. I think most of us would be okay with that.
It's hard, though. It is really, really hard.