Dear Christian, It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

Dear Christian

I’d like to think I have a pretty wholesome attitude and state of mind in general. However, I am in no way immune to breaking down.

I’m not perfect (surprise).

I get stuck in my fears and my doubts.

I’ve felt hopeless.

I’ve hit my ultimate low on many days.

I’ve been trapped by the expectation to set an example.

I’ve depended far too much on myself to get this thing right.

I have handled my flaws legalistically rather than with grace.

(And trust me, my flaws are many)

I learned to be resilient and strong in the Lord, but I had lost the beauty of being broken.

We tell people to come to Christ as they are but the image we present doesn’t match our words. In perfectly groomed clothes, photo shopped images and the lack of sharing our present day struggles, we subconsciously make ourselves the standard. We praise the good but when the bad and the ugly actually come out we’re quick to shame and judge another’s walk with Christ. Since when did imperfection and human flaws become such a shocker among the body? Everyone is going through something behind closed doors, including those we admire the most.

So, I decided to be pro-authenticity (everybody’s pro-something these days right). What does that mean? That means we allow people to be human. We allow them to be broken. We allow ourselves to be broken and don’t shame ourselves for being less than perfect. Yes, we want to be an example and set a standard, but we have to stop shaming and start restoring. We have to start walking together. It shouldn’t be us pointing fingers to the cross but us saying come and sit at the cross with me because we both need Him. That is the mentality that humbly carries each others burden and rises together.

My goodness, it is okay to not be okay. You are not less of a Christian because you actually have something you struggle with (gasp!). In fact, struggling is a good sign because it means you actually have some conviction and spiritual resistance to live a life pleasing to God! It would be concerning if you felt no struggle at all. That would mean you’re spiritually dead and only dead fish float with the tide.

Here’s the reality: most Christians are going through things far deeper than what they present. I know this from my own walk. I know this from the private conversations of those struggling around me- leaders included. And that’s okay! God is dealing with us all in different ways and we don’t need to go airing out all our dirty laundry because not everything is meant for everyone. However, when imperfections do surface the goal should be to lean in with understanding and not withdraw in judgment or shame. We should never see anyone as less than ourselves. We should never shame ourselves as less. We shouldn’t be afraid to face the fact that we have something we struggle with and even though we’ve come so far we still have a ways to go. How will Christ truly restore us if we live in denial of the areas we need his strength most?

So a few points I think should be made:

Face it.

You’re imperfect. I’m imperfect. We say it but many times we don’t show it. We love to follow and reflect what looks successful. There’s an unspoken view that when you look like you’re failing in life, you’re ill equipped to lead for Christ or be held in regard. Sometimes we do need stop and get ourselves together, but we know that all through scripture God used what the world saw as failures, purposed them and shined through their weaknesses. That’s what made them so great. They were just like us. We have to stop making what “looks like success” the standard and start making authenticity the standard. This walk isn’t about never failing. This walk is about showing up and letting Christ do the work in us even though we fall short. In fact, that’s where He gets the glory- through doing things we could never do ourselves. 

At the end of the day, what matters is that we’re able to face ourselves authentically. No matter what others may think, make sure you’re not in ignorance to your own struggles out of the self-expectation to have it all together- even for the sake of those around you. It’s okay to be broken down so you can be rebuilt. Many times we need to let God uproot things that have been encamped in our spirit. This is usually a breaking process. We get it out of our system through tears, through prayer, through confession, etc. In fact, the Bible says God is CLOSE to the broken hearted (Ps. 34:18) and that He desires a broken spirit (Ps. 51:17). Why? Because this is the start to having an authentic walk with Christ.

Let’s not just judge. Let’s restore.

That’s right, we can’t be so quick to point out what’s wrong with people without trying to understand or deciding to stand in the gap for them. Otherwise, you’re really nothing but a self-righteous Pharisee. When someone is broken or stumbling, don’t just sit back and talk about how they’re stumbling. Our mission should be to rebuild each other with truth in love and in grace. Do your words build up or do they tear down? Don’t become the person who’s more hurtful than helpful. Remember, let’s go to the cross together.

Don’t just share your past, share your present.

I’m going to be bluntly honest for a moment here. Sharing your testimony is so important. It could be the key that sets someone else free. I feel like it’s always the starting point to letting others know they can be free in Christ. However, if all you share is what you overcame in the past or what you use to go through but are never transparent to what you’re dealing with in the present it can really come off like “you’ve made it”. As if you were imperfect and flawed at one point but now you struggle no more. Be willing to reach out to the body for prayer. Be willing to say hey, I’ve been struggling with this too, let’s talk about it. Be willing to say, God has been dealing with me with this and this is what He’s teaching me. Be willing to be presently authentic.

Have someone you can be broken with.

Like I said earlier, your business is not everyone’s business. I want to be clear about this because there is a balance. Not everything needs to be vented on social media or blasted to the world. However, we should have at least two people we trust who we can be completely open with. People who can handle our dark and ugly, so we can confess and be free. Someone who you are comfortable being fully yourself with that will rebuild you! Because while it’s okay to not be okay, the goal is to get back up- not to live there.

Will you be pro-authenticity? Let’s talk about it! Comment below.

PS- This was written right after rising from place of feeling overwhelmed, stuck and barely facing the day…but God.

Your sister,

Brittney Moses (2)

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Hi friend, Im Brittney and Im so glad youre here! Im a Los Angeles-based author, content creator, podcast host, wife to Jason and mama to Austin. And Ive been blogging here for the past 10 years! As a graduate of psychology and research at UCLA, I help to reduce stigma and assist with helpful information at the intersection of mental health and faith, with some fun lifestyle tips along the way. So lets dive in!

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13 Comments

  1. David Whitis wrote:

    Thanks for your honest openness about your own struggles. It inspires me and helps me understand you are human and may face some of the same obstacles as I do. Thanks.

    Posted 6.5.16 Reply
    • Thank you for taking the time to read and share David! We are all in this together =) Blessings!

      Posted 6.5.16 Reply
  2. Faith Gundani wrote:

    An absolute timely and beautiful read! I will be sharing this but most importantly reflecting and meditating on these words thoroughly. I personally need to be broken before God and remember that’s ay-okay

    Posted 6.5.16 Reply
    • This is very encouraging feedback. Thank you Faith! Do what you must to to get to that authentic place with God and with yourself! There’s no use pretending we have it all together and I think there is a deeper and more mature growth that takes place when He deals with us in honesty. Proud of you!

      Posted 6.5.16 Reply
  3. Kay Ann-Marie wrote:

    Wonderful post! I think Christians (and those who have not found Christ yet.) would do good to realize that Christianity doesn’t equal perfection. That’s part of the beauty of it; Christ loved us despite our brokenness, He saved us despite our brokenness, and He works through our brokenness. Our trials and tribulations on earth bring us closer to Him.

    Posted 6.27.16 Reply
    • Yes yes and yes to everything you’ve shared! That is definitely the beauty of this relationship with Him. It’s real, it’s vulnerable, it strengthens us to continue in our calling in despite of ourselves. Thank you for reading Kay Ann-Marie =)

      Posted 6.27.16 Reply
  4. What a great and spiritually mature way to look at it. And yes! We weren’t meant to go through life alone. God meant for us to find deep-spirited fellowship and support in one another. I totally agree with you <3

    Posted 6.27.16 Reply
  5. I wrote the exact same thing last week 😉 It’s okay to not be okay!

    Posted 6.27.16 Reply
    • We’re on one accord! I love it =D Thank you for advocating authenticity

      Posted 6.27.16 Reply
  6. Katelin wrote:

    This can be such a challenge in churches today! So many feel that they can’t bring their true self to church, which is one of the flaws of “religion” over a relationship with Jesus Christ. I’ll take my perfect and forgiving Savior over a legalistic religion every day of the week.

    Posted 6.27.16 Reply
    • Amen Katelin! Thank you for reading and sharing =)

      Posted 6.27.16 Reply
  7. Mel Thompson wrote:

    I believe that many people are afraid to admit that they struggle in certain areas because they are afraid of how they will be viewed by others. This is why everyone needs at least one person that they can trust to open up to and receive the support and guidance they need..without judgement and shame.

    Posted 6.27.16 Reply
  8. Tiahna Fletcher wrote:

    I’ve been going to church more lately and have gotten involved in a couple small groups and a separate youth group and I find that when I put my faith in God I am more at peace and happier overall. As of very recently, I’ve fallen out of this routine and haven’t had such a close walk and my high-functioning depression and anxiety have been getting the best of me. This blog post alone has brought me so much clarity and peace of mind and I am so truly grateful.

    Posted 10.29.16 Reply
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