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Is That Your Real Story?

“Sometimes the story we’re telling the world isn’t half as endearing as the one that lives inside us.” Donald Miller
Speaking to a group of students at Churchill High School the other day something came out of my mouth that doesn’t very often land on the air outside my mouth.
We were giving a workshop for Look Me In The Eye, talking about different difficulties when I said: “I struggle with depression too.”
When we asked the question of the room 80% of the students said they too deal with depression. I am taken back by the honesty of these kids and wonder how many of their parents know the depth of their pain.
As a child Christmas was my favorite time of year. I remember nothing bad could happen during the season and if it did I would turn my head, ignore it and wait for the holiday to end before dealing with whatever was bugging me. (And we wonder why depression is so prevalent during the holidays)
This lie set me up for great bouts of depression following this supposed “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” I’m not trying to be a humbug but I think our culture oversells Christmas as a postcard or Hallmark Greeting when in fact many of us struggle during this time of year and a growing number of people can’t afford to “keep up” the image of a perfect holiday.
This is the time of year many send out the Christmas Cards to update folks on the “Good Things” that happened the past year.
At Christmas time there is no time to be real. You don’t often get a holiday greeting telling of the job loss, the disappointments or the trips and falls of our children. Instead we skim off the top only the cream and like the child within me, pretend like that bad stuff isn’t happening, at least until mid-January.
The older I get, the more I learn, the more I see this government created holiday as a set up. People put up their signs saying: “Jesus is the reason for the season” but is He really or do we “#hasttagJesus” as an excuse to continue the lie?
By now some of you think I’m a big humbug and will stop reading and that’s fine. Truth is important to me and one of my issues is idealism. Yes, it too is a trap but you can’t change what you are you learn to work around it. When it comes to truth there is no longer room in my world for little white lies. White lies are not white they are as black as a real lie because a white lie is almost worse to me.
Donald Miller says: “Fear keeps me from living a better story.” If that’s true what am I so afraid of? My creator tells me the truth will set me free so it’s no wonder so many people walk around in chains, burdened beyond belief, standing in line to get the perfect gift to celebrate something we call Christmas.
Let’s go back to the top of this blog and remember what really connects us with other people…..The Truth, vulnerability and the ability to conquer fear.
If we want to live a story that connects us to those around us we cannot allow our story to be fiction and expect it to sell as a real story.
Perhaps it’s time to get honest with ourselves and stop writing the story we want others to see and instead unveil the imperfections that act as an anchor for grace.