A Much Need Verbal Slap In The Face

By Deanna Davis

Eccl 4: 9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

Pr. 27:5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love.

I was doubled over in grief and trying desperately not to vomit on the sidewalk. The news of my second miscarriage in a few months was more than heart breaking – it was soul shattering. How could God let this happen? What on earth had I signed up for in becoming a Christ-follower? And if this was my present, what was in store for my future?

Barely intelligible through gut-wrenching sobs, I cried out, “I guess this happened because there is some lesson out there God wants me to learn. And I must not be getting it.”

I could run through all sorts of theological reasons why that statement just might be true. God is sovereign and nothing is ever out of His control. Had He wanted to, He could have stepped in at any moment and stopped the loss. God does indeed use all our circumstances for good and continually teaches us through whatever happens. I knew all the church answers, but…

In that moment of honesty, when all my filters of self-restraint were stripped away, when unimaginable pain squeezed me beyond what I thought I could endure, out popped a deep seated lie that had been hidden in my heart for years. I thought God was a terrifying cop, waiting to pounce on the slightest infraction, a heartless teacher, rapping my knuckles to drive a lesson home, a taskmaster more concerned with what I did for Him than how I received love from Him.

“Deanna, that is a lie! That is a lie from hell!” As my good friend spoke, she grabbed my face in her hands and pulled me so close, she was looking right into my tear-filled eyes. And I instantly knew her words were true. She was verbally slapping me in the face, showing me greater love than any hug could have in that moment and opening my eyes to something I was incapable of seeing myself. Evidently I had internalized some pretty severe lies about God’s identity and intentions towards me. Wow! What bravery for her to go there with me and say what I really, really needed to hear in that moment!

Where these lies came from, why they were so powerfully lodged in my heart, how God used this event in my life and the resolution of the theological questions it raised is too much of a story for this post. Those things will pop up on my blog Intersections before too long. But one thing I learned is this: having a truth-speaking friend who is courageous enough to wade into very deep relational waters with me is invaluable, life-giving and something EVERY believer needs.

Deanna is the author of INTERSECTIONS.  In an effort to briefly explain the depth of her writing, I can do no better than to quote her, “Pain, nature, ideas, culture, choices, emotions, creativity, relationships, the scriptures, significant conversations. These are the places where ordinary intersects supernatural. What happens during and after those moments is worth a blog.”

P.S. You can see what I wrote today on Deanna’s blog at http://www.deannadavis.wordpress.com