It was 1994, and I had reached a point in my life when I knew I had to stop pretending. Stop pretending that my life was okay. Because it wasn’t. While it looked like a pretty package on the outside, it was far from pretty. In fact, it was pretty ugly. I was in a broken marriage that had lost its love and passion. I was being emotionally and mentally tormented and abused. I had been given STDs from his infidelity (thank God they were curable), I had my money taken from me, I was controlled, bullied and I was suffering internally. You see, I lived in this “Invisible Bubble” where I was not permitted to be honest and that bubble was my church.
We had been in that church for years and we had a very strong, legalistic pastor who created a culture of fear. I called this culture the “The Invisible Bubble.” The church my ex-husband and I attended taught us to lie. Not to literally lie, but if you complained or even appeared to be unhappy about anything, you were considered ungrateful to God and not a good Christian.
God was presented to us as the big fixer. And if your life was a mess, it was a mess because you did something wrong or you didn’t pray enough or you were not a strong enough Christian. And in our bubble, in our world, if you were not Godly, then you were evil. Who wanted to be seen as evil or a hypocrite.? So, I continued to suffer in silence. And when I finally had had enough…when my physical health was declining, when I was mentally and emotionally broken, I went to my pastor to share that I wanted to leave my husband. Only to be told that I couldn’t leave and that God would fix it.
I went back home, took my pastor’s advice and rejected my own truth. There are millions of women who everyday reject their own truth. We live in a continuous state of fear and denial. Because truth is, if we really opened our eyes to see the truth, admitted the truth, then we would have to do something about that truth. So often I hear women say, “I just don’t know what to do.” Yet, that’s simply not correct. We always know what to do when we live in our truth. But it’s easier to remain confused because you don’t have to choose or do something different, if you’re still confused.
We become more concerned with appearances and what other people may think of us, that we remain in a perpetual state of fear and pretense. We even paint these false images of our lives on social media because somewhere deep on the inside of us we crave, we need and hunger for others to validate our lies. This makes it easier to continue in the lies.
We finally left that church and went to a new one. At this new church, our new pastor often invited speakers to share with the congregation. These new teachings were not only liberating, but powerful. Things were not getting better at home. But I was getting better and stronger. Then one day, my ex-husband left us. Prior to him leaving, without my knowledge, he had taken the money out of the bank account, he had stopped paying the mortgage and the utilities and he took my car when he left. He thought leaving me this way would break me and I would beg him to come back to me. Little did he know, I was stronger than I appeared and I had finally stopped pretending and told myself the radical truth. I could no longer pretend my life was good. I realized that I had lived in a constant state of denial and I had disowned my truth for a long time. So him leaving was my blessing…even if I had no plan B.
How often do we do this to ourselves? It’s the ultimate betrayal when we allow ourselves to live someone else’s version of how our lives are supposed to be. I believe there are 3 reasons we don’t tell ourselves the truth.
1. We are too busy to see the truth. I was so busy running my business, raising my kids and trying to live by the rules of the “bubble” that I couldn’t see my truth. It wasn’t until I started to slow my life down that I began to really feel the painful negative effects of my marriage on my life. I encourage you to slow down, reflect and re-assess some areas of your life that’s not working. You will come to know your truth.
2. We are too blind to see the truth. I had blinders own. I was taught by the “Invisible Bubble” life to see the glass half full. And that’s exactly what I did. But what I didn’t see was that the glass was half full with murky, muddy, dirty water. I would no longer be blinded by the ideas of what others wanted for me. You must open your eyes to see what you refuse to see in order to live your truth.
3. We are too bound to see the truth. When we are “bound” it’s like having your hands tied behind your back with a rope. You can’t move, you can’t break free. My mind was bound by the false teachings of the bubble. I had allowed myself to rely on others to teach me and tell me “my truth.” It’s important that you don’t try to figure things out alone. Get some outside help from trained professionals who can help you see new perspectives of a better way. Who can help you break free from the limits of your own “bubble” in your life. Living in a bubble where everyone thinks the same is not only unhealthy, but dangerous.
All churches are not like the one I allowed myself to be caught up in. There’s nothing wrong with being a part of a community, a church, a fellowship, a culture that feeds you, nourishes you and empowers you. But what I want you to know is that NO ONE has the power to control how you think and what you do with your life. When this happens, you lose the very freedom and liberty that God has given to you.
When you become sick and tired enough of living in pretense and denial, you will do everything and risk everything to find your freedom. I didn’t know how my life was going to end up when my ex-husband left, but I was willing to go down that invisible road. That road is where I found my freedom…my Journey to Being Me! It is my hope that this message will help you will find your own freedom on this March 1st, Friday of 2019.
Did you find value in this article? What resonated with you? Are you in a bubble? What’s your bubble? What are you denying in your life? What’s your next step? Leave your comment below. Don’t forget to share this article with your social media friends.