Sherry Menely writes a blog titled “Soiled Wings.” Today’s post was titled “Tarnished Halos.” I encourage you to click over and read this post. It is an excellent look at how we treat our own tarnished halo’s and judge those of others. She ends her post with this statement and question: “We all have Tarnished Halos…are you open to showing yours to others?” Being transparent and showing my imperfections to others is something I struggle with.
Normally my Friday Drolls are random or humorous. Today, I am going to forego the humor and share from my heart. The intention is to show more of my blemished halo. If you have been following this blog, there have been times I am very open and transparent. While I have grappled in doing so, it is important to be “real” in order to show the healing which has taken place in my marriage, my husband Jim and our family.
In November, I posted a series of blogs titled “Step Out Into Light.” The series was one in which hours of soul searching and prayer took place before I could post it. Even as I labored through, I knew it was God’s will to share Jim and I’s story. Jim realized it as well and was willing to be open and transparent in hopes of helping someone else who is living in the strangulation hold of this addiction.
We live in a small Kansas community, population 2,600. Two weeks ago, someone misread this series and turned them into rumors and accusations against my husband, our marriage and family. Rumors in small towns spread like wild fire. This one was no different. I can’t fully put into words how hurt and afraid I was. Afraid of the cost of the accusations against Jim, his career and our marriage, hurt by friends and neighbors who listened, repeated the rumors and didn’t seek the truth from us.
My initial response was paralyzing fear. In response to the fear, I took the series off the blog. As a beginning writer, writing with openness and honesty has always been scary for me. The last two weeks I have wondered, is transparency worth the cost? Jim and I prayed about this series, sought counsel from trusted friends and have decided it is worth the risk of rejection and continued persecution.
(Update June 2010: After reposting the series, we were asked by Jims’ employer to remove it again. Evidently, this series hits to close to home for some. Rather than appear to be “rebels” we once again removed the series. However, we will still speak out against this addiction, for now though it won’t be in written form.)
However, we continue to feel God has put us in this fight to reveal truth and healing to others whose lives are gripped by this enslavement. Scripture states in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” We realize our fight is not against the individuals who misread the series. It is against the enemy of our souls. He desires people to live with deep, dark secrets. For in the darkness the secrets grow, thrive and destroy lives.
Our “Step Out Into Light” series shows the healing and restoration grace Jim and our marriage received through Jesus. What it isn’t about is a continued strangulation hold on Jim or continued marital problems. Our lives show that is no longer the case! The reality is that the same Jesus who came over 2,000 years ago, “to heal the broken hearted, set the captives free and release the oppressed;” (Luke 4:18) healed Jim, my broken heart and released our marriage from this oppression!
Since the initial post of this series, there have been individuals who have contacted us in response. Either they too are seeking freedom or have been set free. Praise God! Yet, it continues to be our desire to see other individuals free from the snares of this addiction and come to freedom in Christ. If you or a family member are struggling, feel free to contact us directly. We would be honored to pray with you; share resources we found which help bring freedom and most importantly, we will trust God to do in your life what He has done in ours.
If you are a church or small group, seeking someone to speak on God’s healing and restoration Grace in light of this devastating addiction, feel free to contact us. We are now scheduling speaking engagements to show our “tarnished halos” while sharing our story.
Jim and Bridgit Smith