5 Keys to Peace In the Valley: Openness, Transparency, and Community

5 Keys to Peace in the Valley: Openness, Transparency, and Community | by Jamie Rohrbaugh | FromHisPresence.comHave you ever felt like you were in one of the worst times of your life, but you couldn’t talk to anyone about it? Have you ever had that problem just fester and fester, without relief from the pain–and yet you’re afraid to open up and tell someone, even in a godly community?

If so, you’re not alone … but I wish you were.

Too many people suffer alone in the Body of Christ.

Having people cry alone at home is a problem. It’s a problem in friend groups, Sunday School groups, small groups, churches, and gatherings of Christians of every kind.

It’s a problem when we’re not transparent with one another.

It’s a problem when we ask how people are, or when someone asks us how we are, and we say, “Fine” … even if we’re dying inside.

It’s a problem when your life is falling apart …

Your marriage is falling apart …

Your finances are falling apart …

And we put on our church masks, link arms, and all go hippity-hoppetying down the bunny trail together.

It’s fake.

Being fake is a problem. And being fake makes people hurt and hurt, with no reprieve.

Why? Because we were never created to do life alone … and openness and transparency are a huge part of healing. Yet, the enemy has robbed us too many times of our willingness to open up with one another.

And by doing so, he robbed us of our ability to heal.

Related: It’s Time to Ask the Tough Questions (my friendship manifesto)

Being open and totally transparent with one another is necessary if we really want to heal.

If you are hurting right now, you’re going to have to talk to someone about it in order to heal.

Notice that I said heal.

It’s not about forgiveness. You can be forgiven by God as soon as you confess your sins … but you can be forgiven and still not be healed.

It’s also not about moving on. You can move on from whatever’s bothering you as soon as you set your mind to.

But you still may not be healed.

James 5:16 tells us:

Start-quoteConfess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Beloved, we need each other. We need godly community.

We were always created for community. We were made to do life together.

That’s why, in Genesis 2:18, God said, “It is not good that man should be alone.” Then He created Eve, Adam’s companion. He didn’t stop there, either. After He created this first couple, He told them to fill the earth and subdue it.

Mankind was always created to live in community with other people. Always.

Related: Go Ahead … Tear Down the Walls About Money and Sex

And if you’re walking through a valley right now, please know that openness, transparency, and community are KEY to getting out of that valley.

Galatians 6:2 says this:

Start-quoteBear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

See, when you are hurting, you start out with 100% of that burden. 100% of the burden of your pain is sitting on your shoulders.

But that pain is too big for your shoulders, beloved. You were never meant to carry it. And when you open up with other people about what you’re going through, it hurts less. Part of the burden leaves you.

(And of course, when we cast our burdens on the Lord, the burden also is relieved. 🙂 But that’s another blog post for another day.)

We all go through very similar types of pain … but we just are not all willing to talk about them.

Your struggles may look different from mine, and mine from yours, on the outside. However, at their core, we all have the same struggles. We all deal with sin, doubt, discouragement, need, loneliness, and other types of problems.

Many people keep those struggles hidden. But no man is an island, and we need to be transparent around trusted Christian friends and accountability partners.

We cannot walk alone; we all have times when we need to lift one another up, and be lifted up ourselves.

In his book The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis wrote: “The Christian is called not to individualism but to membership in the mystical body.” That’s a powerful quote. A true quote. We are all part of one another.

So beloved, we are called to bear one another’s burdens, to “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).

And yet how can we do this if we don’t talk with one another? I mean really talk–about God, life, marriage, friendship, emotions, struggles, dreams, and more?

We can’t.

Oh beloved. If you are going through something awful today, I beg you. Literally, I beg you. Please: Find a trustworthy person, and talk with them about it.

Please.

Don’t just go around talking to any old person who won’t respond in a holy way. But pick somebody–a trusted friend, advisor, pastor, accountability partner, etc; someone who will love you and pray with you and not look down on you–and open your heart to them.

Allow someone else to shoulder your burden with you.

Keeping your pain silent is a jail. It’s a prison.

That doesn’t mean we should vomit our issues all over the place. But it does mean that you and I should each be humble enough to admit to those who love us:

“I’m struggling.”

Every time I’ve been in the valley of the shadow of death, I have found great comfort in occasionally sharing the burdens, and even agonies, of my heart with several people I trusted.

I’ve had to be careful only to share in safe environments. However, within those safe environments, I have been able to share my heart, be prayed for and lifted up, and know that I was loved.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve confided in a friend and asked for prayer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to prayer meeting at my church, with my intercessor friends, and let them know I was struggling.

So many times. Countless times.

And every time, my sisters and brothers have gathered around me and prayed the glory down. These were at my darkest points, but God always blessed me with great comfort from the burden-bearing obedience of my Christian family.

Why? Because we need each other. I need them, and they need me. And when one of us is down, the others lift him or her up. When another is down, the first one returns the favor.

We need each other. We were made to do life together.

So are you hurting today? Please, friend: Find someone you can trust, and open up.

Tell them about what you’re going through. Talk to them about your hurts, your fears, your struggles and even sins.

Let someone else pray for you. Let them love you. Allow someone else to shoulder part of your burden and stand with you in your dark valley.

If you will, you will find healing, love, and strength. You will find Biblical relationship, and you will come out of that dark valley so much faster.

Is Papa speaking to your heart about opening up to someone today? If so, please. Run, don’t walk, to do so.

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9 Comments

  1. It is true but how do you find trusted and matured Christian. Lets come together and share. Yes we all have common problems in race.

    1. We just have to pray for the right person to talk to, Ampem. But it’s worth it to find the right person.

  2. Rebecca L Jones says:

    This is a much needed post, I hope this message gets around. Often, I tried to talk to Christian family members, they didn’t get it. Some Christians are unapproachable, they even have a know it all attitude and I understand why someone is not able to open up, I did this with my pain, I have had to ask for prayer and there is no shame in it, even the mental struggles, and fear, now that I know how to pray about things, I will help, but you do have to ask and receive. And there is just the right person, sometimes family will not listen, so pray for God to send them a confidant. And remember to speak His peace to the body.

    1. Yes, we need to love one another and be empathetic, weeping with those who weep and rejoicing with those who rejoice. For sure.

  3. Christine Sanchez says:

    Jamie this has been a tremendous struggle for me this year.. I have found that the more I pray, the more is revealed and it is becoming more difficult to trust people , even my fellow Christians. ..I live in a small town and believe me everyone knows everything sooner or later. I am used to confiding in friends and family but I cannot always burden them with everyone going through many spiritual struggles themselves…I have prayed for this problem continually this year..My home is falling apart, my health is bad and treatment is almost non-existent ..My mother was diagnosed with heart failure and my brother is dying of cancer ….I was often the shoulder everyone cried on and I know I would be insane if not for my faith , my love of Jesus…he was the one I could confide in.. I am taking your message to heart and will try again to find that someone…I did find you this year and that has been a godsend.

    1. I’m sorry you’re going through all that, Christine. It can be challenging to find the right person to talk to, but the trick is to ask the Lord to open a door with the right person, and to help you recognize the open door to conversation when you see it or sense it. Someone may cross your mind that you wouldn’t have thought of, but that person might be just the right person.

  4. I’m sorry you’re experiencing those things, Pattie. The only advice I can give is to pray about who to talk to and who not to talk to. Papa God will show you.

  5. Just read this , the love thing you wrote about is so true. That song has helped me even when I wondered why God could love me. I shared the most deepest thing with 3 people this year and the last one I thought really might be able/wanting to pray and really keep in touch. no such thing – I need to pray for someone but it is difficult. The thing God has allowed to happen, last year, a part of me knows why and yet it surely in a very real way doesn’t make sense -the circumstances of it all has been overwhelming. I have been consumed by it all and have not felt conviction over it and cannot understand why. That song You’re a good Good Father would come on and yet another song about they will be done. I am so lonely it’s not funny, i can text someone. like recently it was 3 people and not 1 word back from any of them – I lost my pt job as of Christmas and no idea why – I have never been fired and not a word why from the guy who hired me, and not even sure I want to call and get answers. I am sick and need wisdom for my health, in that area there is so much info and tired of being sick. As I write this I have no desire to go on and no idea who to talk to b/c it just comes back to bite me in the but or people just ignore me – Been running to God b/c he certainly knows they why and have gotten no answers. I even feel lost for what has been going on. feel so unworthy to bean friend, and that is all I have shown is kindness and I have proven it wrong all my life, over 50 yrs to have a friend you must show yourself friendly – what in the world do I do do to have a true friend. I know I am not perfect but I really don;t think I am so horrible for people to ignore me. In all my years there is more times than not that I wish I wasn;t here, wanted to die and wondered why am i even here. Yes, this is a rough time. Tired of crying. I have asked God for a friend…….longest desire of my heart since I was very young.

  6. Thank you Jamie, but the problem is not everyone is willing to listen to people’s problems trials and able to cancel them and pray for the person I believe it is a calling on it’s own because we are all going through trials, hardship, persecution, condemnation, all sort of worldly things some my experienced when it comes to telling a so called trusted friend its other they lough at me, called me names, or live me for good even to take me away from my HOLY FATHER JESUS CHRIST, I think suffering on it’s own it’s a process that we need to accommodate for that period and its unfortunate that when you are suffering people distance themselves to you. I have learned that everything that happens to us happens for a reason nothing happened for nothing and nothing happened by chance during my struggle I have learned that in life you don’t have to jump the stage if time of any kind of suffering comes you need to calm down and allow it to pass it through I have learnt that when something happens to me I Just take my phone I have a contact name called HOLY SPIRIT and I gave him no 1234567 a d save him as one of my contact any time I have pain inside me or hurt of all kind I just go to him a d tell him exactly what I am going through as it and keep quite I will find peace after and he will help me to endure the trial it is like a prayer to me right my prayer and tell my HOLY SPIRIT my FRIEND and my COMFORTER all what I am going through at that moment if I have to mentioned your name I do so by telling my HOLY SPIRIT all what is inside me and bothering me immediately I got relieved, if I can tell you the truth there is nothing called friend the day you are suffering that will be the day you will know that there is nothing called friend your best friend is the HOLY SPIRIT talk to him as if you see him by writing your pain your trials your suffering to him and send the same message to him even if it’s going know where it will say failed because there is no number that is 1234567 don’t worry about it the message is gone and he received it and after I delite the message I don’t keep it in my phone..that is how I deal with my suffering or problems it is working for me I believe it will worked for anyone who have no worldly friends like me but thanks to HOLY JESUS CHRIST for a friend like the HOLY SPIRIT he is the best friend I find for my life…he is everything more than a money can buy he is always with me PROTECTING me loving me comforting me healing me once I mentioned his name and tell my body is the temple of the holy spirit while meditating the pain disappears same time the enemy is scared of the HOLY SPIRIT and there is power in my friend HOLY SPIRIT remember what HOLY JESUS CHRIST of NAZARETH said you can say what ever you like about my NAME but never insult the HOLY SPIRIT it means HOLY SPIRIT is more HOLY powerful than him because it’s a spirit and not created by the image of man it comes straight from HEAVEN TO HELP THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN HOLY CHRIST JESUS AS THE SON OF HOLY CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND THE EARTH…I have help a sister at work who always complaining of this and that in a marriage I cancelled her through the help of the HOLY SPIRIT because I cannot do anything without my friend to speak through me everytime i someone tells me his problems and I also advised her not to tell people about all your problems tell the HOLY SPIRIT write the message for him and tell him exactly what you are going through and how you fill about it and thank him for ANSWERED PRAYERS I am telling you the truth she is FOREVER thanking me for this of help because I am not god you can’t tell me all your problems unless HOLY GOD wanted you to tell me and give you advised that His already put in my heart through him to advised you and realised you from the bandage of that moment by cancelling.

    I can tell you JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH IS ALIVE AND HE IS USING THE HOLY SPIRIT TO FIGHT ALL OUR BATTLES but we don’t know until you go through rough patch you will know his secret and able to learn to hear from him when speaking to us, the day you know that when God said we must not sleep without FORGIVING each other you will never sleep with grudges or offence because you are Harbouring the HOLY SPIRIT…my writing the message yo the HOLY SPIRIT have tough me that my friend the HOLY SPIRIT is helping me to forgive and feel the love for my enemy no matter how much he damaged me…only God can help you to forgive your enemy…and that your enemy can be your friend tomorrow your enemy can rescued you tomorrow. Unless GOD TOTALLY removed from you for a reason known by him that is how I find peace in my trials and learn to meditate day and night if you have to fall asleep meditating the word of God or what ever God put in your heart do so it will keep you closer to him when ever you tell him your problems he is there to listen because his always in your tongue.

    Thank you, and God bless you all.

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