Reservedly Transparent – Honest & Open

December 9, 2008

This is a continuation of the thought I began to develop in my last post. As I have already said in that post:

I tend to be a fairly transparent and open person. … I somehow simultaneously manage to be fairly quiet and reserved in the midst of that transparency.

The last post discussed the quiet end of this supposed duality. This post explores the excessively honest end.

Sometimes, I am shamefully honest. Like those times when someone asks, “How are you?” expecting a nice, “Great! how are you?” in return. Instead, they get, “I’m having a rough day.” Or, worse, “Ummm… I’ve had a few worse days.” Or, even worse, I may give them a 30-second summary of the pain and hurt in my life that I am feeling that particular day.

You see, if I really am feeling especially great, we don’t have a problem. But the reality of pre-Day-of-the-Lord existence is that there is PLENTY of pain to be felt, if my heart is open to feeling it. The main problem with this is that it catches people off guard and can make them extremely uncomfortable.

Like I said in the last post, I figure I don’t have anything to lose if people know the truth. God knows the truth. He’s still sticking around. I know that people don’t always respond in the same way. But if they don’t stick around, it’s not going to cost me that much… because they can’t convince Him to reject me with them. If my affirmation is coming from men, it will be costly… but there’s already a problem if my affirmation is coming from men.

The reality is, when it comes to relationships with people, I have many friends who have seen some of the darkest places in my heart and are intimately acquainted with my weakness…. and are still loving me in the midst of it. (Let’s face it, if they are really my friends in the first place, they are going to see and experience all of that stuff, because I don’t really know how to rightly shut the truth off.) I’m pretty phenomenally blessed, when it comes to good/true friends.

Since I usually perceive little cost in my honesty, and because I am learning to be a lover of truth, that means that me talking equals me talking pretty openly. Really, the things that I am most interested in talking about are the deep things of the heart. (I am, after all, a girl.)

Thus, if I am having an emotionally challenging week (day), that reality is almost guaranteed to show up on my blog (or at least my facebook status updates) in one form or another. The only way that it won’t show up is if I am not blogging (and this is often the reason that I am not blogging).

I know my level of honesty can sometimes make people uncomfortable. Sometimes this may be the result of me communicating something that was inappropriate to communicate. But I am convinced that this is not always the case. Sometimes honestly is uncomfortable because we aren’t used to it. And sometimes the truth is just… awkward. But that does not always mean that there is no value in the truth being expressed. As my friendship with a couple of Bryson brothers has taught me, awkward isn’t exactly the worst thing in the world (a valuable lesson indeed). I used to be terrified of it. But… enduring the discomfort of awkwardness has brought significant good to my life, on my occasions.

I blog because I want to communicate something. (When it comes to needing to process, I have three far more favorable outlets: prayer, a journal, and good friends.) The necessity of being a little bit vague and the reality of exposing my heart and my emotions are not too high a cost for what I want to express when I choose to express it.

People often remark on my vulnerability and transparency. I view it as primarily operating as a strength in my life. Yes, there is a weakness dimension to this. But most things about the way we work have dimensions of strength and weakness. I know, however, that my choice to live openly before others (to the extent that my heart is open to the Lord and alive) can be of benefit to those around me.

So… there you have it. I am reservedly transparent. Or something like that. 🙂



  1. Vagueness and reserved transparentness can speak volumes without a lot of words. I’ve always admired your willingness to share both your pain and your joy. We can pray for you just as effectively when you feel able to give details as when you do not.

    You are special and precious in His sight – mine,too!


    Mrs. I : )

  2. Thank you, Mrs. I!

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