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  • Writer's pictureSylvia St. Cyr

Learning to Be Honest, Even When It’s Hard

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

When you pray to God, do you ever sugar coat things? Do you thank God for all you have and then stop? Or do you perhaps find it hard to pray whether you’re high or low?

This morning, on my drive to work, God downloaded a beautiful revelation and I want to share it with you. Let me back up for a moment and say that in 2018, I have been really focusing and learning about being honest.

Honest with myself, honest with others, and honest with God.

Growing up being a people-pleaser, I never thought I could tell the truth if it meant someone might get hurt, or I even thought they might get hurt. In my mind, if a person heard what I was truly feeling, and it hurt them, they may not like me anymore. That was something I just couldn’t risk. So I learned to put on a big old mask with a plastic smile.

Now I didn’t have a terrible childhood and I was mostly happy, but honesty was something I struggled with.

I guess somewhere along the line, I believed that if I was honest with God in how I felt about something, it would mean that He would turn away from me. If I was honest, maybe He would be mad or even worse, disappointed that I wasn’t a beaming, joyful Christian.

As I said, I have been learning that that is a disgusting lie. (“By coincidence”, this year every book I’ve read has address this topic of being honest. I love it when God knows what I should be reading and I think I picked up a certain book by chance.)

So while I was driving, God gave me this beautiful picture of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, right before the soldiers came to take Him away. Father God was speaking to me, asking me to look at the example of His Son, and to take it to heart.

In Matthew 26, right after the disciples and Jesus share the last Passover meal, Jesus says in verse 38, “My soul is overwhelmed with grief, to the point of death.” Wow! Now that is an honest statement if I ever heard one.

Then, in verse 39, He says, “Father, this is the last thing I want. If there is any way, please take this bitter cup from Me.” And once again in verse 42, “Father, if there is no other way for this cup to pass without My drinking it—then not My will, but Yours be done.

This is the example Jesus left. This full blown anguish and grief of a man about to carry the weight of the world’s sin on His shoulders, be nailed to a cross, hang, and die.

Jesus did not sugarcoat how He felt. He poured it all out there and was completely real, open, and honest with His Father, because He knew He could trust Him. Jesus knew He was fully loved, and this opened the door to being fully real, open, and honest.

If Jesus was perfection in flesh, and this was His response, then I can absolutely follow suit. In fact, this is what God wants from us, His children. He wants our hearts cry, no matter how pain-filled or torn it might be!

Little by little, I have been learning to trust God with my honesty right where I am, and I have seen a God who won’t turn away in disappointment. Rather, He fully envelopes me with His tender, beautiful, strong embrace.

I can share everything with God.

This includes my joys as a parent, and my sorrows. This includes my raging PMS. It includes missing the daughter that never made it into my arms and the grief that comes with that.

Full, bottom-level honesty.

In her newest book In the Middle of the Mess, Sheila Walsh says, “Skimming over pain doesn’t build faith, it builds shame and isolation.” This is not God’s intention for us. He wants unity and wholeness for His sons and daughters.

Healing from a hurt, or even going through grief, takes time. We cannot rush the process and we are allowed to be honest with how we feel throughout it all. I think it’s important to surround ourselves with the type of friends that will sit with us in the “muck” of sadness, and not tell us to get up and get over it!

Let’s take our example from Jesus, the Son of the living God. When He was “overwhelmed with grief” He fell prostrate on the ground . He didn’t mask the pain or run from it. He felt it all and it showed. We can walk this way too, being fully honest with what we’re feeling and where we at. Heck, our God is big enough for us to ask “why” over and over, and even scream or swear at Him.

When you allow yourself to feel it all and be honest about it, that’s when the healing comes in waves of love!

“God will never run from the real you. He will pull you close.” – Sheila Walsh

I’ve found that a great way to start being honest with God, if it’s been a long time, is by writing exactly how you feel in a journal. As you write, more honest, bottom-level pain and hurt may come out, and that is good! Remember, nothing can separate you from the love of the One who made you, so dig deep, and watch as the Holy Spirit moves and starts the healing process within!

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