Intimacy & Transparency // The Balance
Lovely friends!! Happy February!
About a week ago, I had the privilege of getting together with one of my favorite photographers (she has creds for this blog pic), and dear friend to create some fun content and have way too much fun chatting, and catching up. — I always enjoy spending time with her and we often forget about the task at hand, and end up in a deep conversation or doubled over and in laughter before we realize our shoot time is almost up.
Have you ever heard the quote about how spending time with people who make you forget to look at your phone are the best types of relationships? She’s that type of friend.
Lately, I got to travel to Chicago and be a part of a student leadership retreat. One night I got to share a little bit of my heart and about my book, and I found myself addressing the common occurrence of someone telling me that I OVERSHARE, or share too much with the world.
To answer and address this, I simply shared how when someone asks me this or confronts me with a statement similar to that one, I often ask the person; “am I overcompensating for what you AREN’T sharing????”
The room got silent, and then people started to respond positively. :)
Needless to say, I get faced with this idea a lot.
Am I oversharing? Am I too transparent?
Which then sometimes leads to the lie from the enemy that maybe no one cares what I have to say anyways so maybe I’ll be silent. And its a harsh cycle.
Now, back to my sweet friend and our time together, towards the end of our shoot, she told me she felt like she needed to share something with me that was on her heart. Side note: if you ever feel a nudge to share your heart or you feel like someone you’re with needs to hear something, DON’T PASS IT UP. SHARE.
She went on to explain how she had battled with this recently and wanted to share something that a spiritual leader had shared with her and confronted me with this:
We serve an intimate, jealous God. And as Christians, naturally we’re going to want to share our faith, and the Gospel, and what God’s doing in our life. But if we aren’t keeping at least 50% of what God is doing in our personal walk with Him to ourselves, then we’re neglecting the intimacy that He intends to have with us. We’re missing out on a stillness in our time with Him, when we lose the obligation to share everything.
She shared this with me, and at the moment, my eyes welled up with tears but no one could tell because it was so sunny, and it wasn’t until a lunch date I had with my parents after the shoot, that I realized how incredible and simple, yet profound, and TRUE this idea was.
Transparency is one of my favorite things. I love sharing, getting deep and real with whoever will listen, but there comes a time when perhaps there is a thing as TOO MUCH TRANSPARENCY.
I don’t mean necessarily a set amount, or a set of topics that we shouldn't address. I don’t mean that at all. Because I believe that NO ONE but YOU personally, can discern these things, and what they need to look like in your own private life and walk with Jesus.
I do know, that for me, its not really about what I share, but how much, and the bondage that comes with the OBLIGATION of feeling like I need to share everything immediately, with everyone.
THE INTENT OF TRANSPARENCY IS FREEDOM. But when you neglect God’s INTENT FOR INTIMACY with us as individuals, we are enslaved to the exact opposite of the freedom that transparency should bring.
When I feel obligated to share everything thats going on in my life, before I have had time to heal, understand, process, or cope with it personally, and individually with Jesus, I am doing MYSELF and OTHERS a disservice. You see, there is NOTHING WRONG with sharing in the midst of trials, or bringing your struggles/situations to a public light.
I WOULD BE A HYPOCRITE if I told y’all this was the case.
HOWEVER, there IS SOMETHING WRONG with sharing about something that you need to seek personal healing for first.
For example, when I was beginning to battle with clinical depression and anxiety a few years ago, transparency aided in my healing, and others, because there was community and conversation that was sparked. My healing, and dealing with this struggle wasn’t hindered by my transparency in this specific scenario.
BUT, let me speak on the other side, when it may not be the best decision to share. A few months ago, I was punched in the stomach with a really unexpected break up, a lot of hurt from the other party, and several other odds and ends that come with someone with ill intent, immaturity, and a broken heart. Now, I didn’t share the specifics publicly then, and still won’t address it publicly at the moment, for several reasons. It would’ve hindered my healing. It was a subject that I wasn’t equipped to address for everyone or speak on with advisement because the negative impact would’ve far outweighed the positive. And I’m not even talking about others, rather myself.
I tend to be very forgetful in the taking care of myself, before the counsel of others. Hey, hey enneagram 2’s, where ya at??!
Its a constant battle, I’m still really bad at it to be honest. I forget to take a step back and tend to personal needs. And because of this, my physical health suffers, my mental/emotional health suffers, and so on…
So I wanted to write about this because I KNOW for a fact that I’m not alone in this. I need reminders constantly, some more forceful than others, to take a step back and deal with things intimately with Jesus before sharing them.
Because, like I said, when we aren’t leaving at least half of our walk with Jesus, just for us and Him, we are doing EVERYONE a disservice.
I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have a full cup myself, before trying to fill others cups up.
Our outpour needs to be an overflow. Always.
We serve an intimate, jealous God. He wants your time and your heart.
We can rest and praise because of that. Be still with me for a moment and do just that.