Let’s Be Honest| By Chelsea Verdin

I was always afraid of those “TBH” posts that hit the internet some years ago. Giving someone permission to tell you exactly what they thought of you was not the best idea in my opinion. I would intentionally avoid these posts unless I knew I could get a really good response. My strategy was if I just avoided everyone’s honesty of me, then I could pretend everything in our relationship was okay. I could cover up and hide from all the things that I assumed people thought of me.

And if I am being honest, I would rather avoid honesty than confront every ugly lie that has taken root inside of my heart. Not because I prefer to remain some broken girl, but because honesty is painful. It exposes every single motive inside of my heart and causes me to really challenge myself on issues I would rather bury. It brings up past hurts, present pride, and future fears in ways that make me feel attacked.

Honesty is like eating right. We would all rather eat the cake and feel the regret of all the calories we gained, knowing it is the wrong choice, than to eat our veggies that taste like they are trying to kill us even though it provides nutrients. Honesty is the healthy foods we try to avoid, but all know we need more of it.

Recently, Jesus spoke to my heart about the importance of being honest with myself, Him, and others.

Honesty with ourselves reveals our motives and exposes sin at the root in order for us to begin a healing process.

Honesty with God helps us to enter into worship and prayer with authentic intimacy. Not just obligatory seeking, but pure-hearted hunger because we’ve let Him strip us of our masks.

Honesty with others breaks down walls of perfectionism and allows others to see that we are real humans who are figuring out this journey too.

In Lysa Terkeurst’s book “Uninvited”, she states, “Honesty is a suitor with piercing vision who isn’t swayed by pretending and positioning.”

Honesty is not phased by our charm but is moved by vulnerability.

Ephesians 5:13 (ESV)  says “But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible.”

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5 (ESV)

Lysa goes on to say, “As long as I suspect that honesty’s intention is to expose me and hurt me, it will always feel like a dangerous thing.”

Honesty is a form of light that shines on those areas of darkness that we try to hide from. Honesty calls it as it is. It does not dress it up, but rather it strips it naked. Jesus’s intention was always that we would expose sin and areas that hinder us from walking in His fullness. This way we can address it, make progress to heal it and realign with Him.

This feels painful because we think honesty means looking in a mirror and pointing out every flaw and imperfection we have with the intent of being abandoned, but it really means unwrapping wounds and allowing them to heal so that we can accept the full love of God.

It is easier for me to lie to myself about my motives and the things hindering me than it is to honestly say I need help. It is easier to avoid them and ignore them than to expose what is truly been breaking me. But honesty and vulnerability go hand-in-hand, and when done with the understanding, that honesty is not trying to destroy me, it is actually trying to restore me. I come to realize that honesty is my ally, not my enemy.

Have courage my friends. This is not some overnight fix. It certainly takes lots of practice and dedication to allow the Holy Spirit to work on your heart. If you are in a place of excuses or justifications for the things in your life, maybe it is time to get honest. Maybe it is time to reevaluate your priorities so that you can realign yourself with God’s promises. I know that honesty helps get us one step closer to His perfect will.

Label Me Not| By Stephanie Cain

Have you ever lost yourself? You travel through life, days flying past like exits on an interstate, and all of a sudden, you realize you need to Google Map how to find you – the real you.

I think everyone has been there at one point or another. We live in a world where everyone wants to fit into these perfect boxes. The thing is, we are not designed like that. Each person is so multifaceted! We are all complex, beautiful, masterpieces handcrafted in God’s image. (Psalm 139:13-16) So we put on labels to help clarify what is in our box.

Mother. Daughter. Sister. Wife. Caretaker. Housekeeper. Big. Tall. Short. Sassy. Quiet. Bookish. Athletic. Loud. Friendly. Not-so-friendly. Giving. Driven. Selfish. Professional. Hippy. Glamorous. Natural. Happy. Anxious. Funny. Boring. Weird. Popular. Loner.

By the time we put on all these labels that are meant to help “define us”, we cannot even tell what was in the box to begin with.

I struggle with this SO much! I am a relatively newlywed, new part-time working and part-time stay-at-home mom, and the only child to two wonderful parents who have illnesses and need help. I feel the weight of these labels daily. The pressure to be a great mom, and feeling like if I am not, I might ruin this gift God gave me. Wanting so badly to be a loving wife who keeps her house in order for her husband. Knowing that there is work to be done at my house, but also that my parents’ grass needs to be cut soon. Desiring to be fun and outgoing like other young moms even though you are an introvert. Striving to be skinny so the new cute trends will look good on you. Trying to have a meek, quiet spirit with a mouth that runs faster than a cheetah at times.

In the struggle to live up to these labels, I lose sight of me – the me that God made and saw as good. There is no labels, no hoops, no striving. He sees me, knows me deeply, and loves me unconditionally no matter how many dishes are in my sink.


“Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.
Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!” -Ephesians 3:17-19 (TPT)

My Facebook friend Leslie, who happens to be an amazing writer, recently posted something that stopped me in my tracks. She said this:

“We need grace to sit in a space and just BE…to remove the titles and responsibilities and roles and embrace the one identity that brings rest to the soul, ‘Child of God.’ We don’t have to strive with that name. We can fully and overwhelmingly just BE. He welcomes it.”

When I read those words, I realized how weighed down I was feeling from trying to be everything for everyone. When in reality, the most important thing I am is a Child of God. Walking in that calling will make everything else fall in line. So if you are where I was, one step away from asking Alexa how to find you, please take a moment to just BE, to remember who the Lord says you are, and to rest in Him.