Don’t you hate feeling vulnerable?

I sure do. Really freaking hate it. I care way too much about what others think of me. And I can’t stand that about myself. Feeling vulnerable makes me think of confession. Telling someone the deep dark secrets of my life that I wish I could erase gives me the hebe-geebees.

[tweetthis]I don’t think confession is good for us, I think it’s great for us.[/tweetthis]

It’s Biblical. And it’s essential for our health and maturity. I’m more specifically talking about confessing our junk to someone other than Jesus. James 5:16 tells us, “make this a common practice: to confess our sins to each other so that we can live together whole and healed.” This verse is easy to ignore, and often is.

Confession makes me feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. It forces me out of my comfort zone. But, getting out of our comfort zones is one of the greatest things we can ever do because it leads to change on the inside and growth on the outside. It’s rarely ever fun (and that ain’t no joke).

So what’s the key in all of this?

Confession comes down to honesty and authenticity. Being authentic, being who we were created to be, can cause us to feel vulnerable. Being authentic creates discomfort, but ultimately produces growth. Or for all you math and science guru’s, I came up with my own formula. Check this out:

Confession= honesty=vulnerability=discomfort=growth.
(That felt smart.)

Let me explain.

If you have continued reading my blogs, (bless your sweet heart) you know that I’ve talked about some very serious things. I’ve talked about depression and suicide and my sister-in-law’s freakish dog. I mean, stuff that’s hard to share. There’s certainly been some vulnerability on my end to publish these things. Okay, I’ve felt very vulnerable, especially since I’m such a people pleaser. Too often asking the question, “What would people think?” instead of listening to what God says about me. I think most of us want other people to think we have it all together. Right? But take a minute to think about that. What the heck does that even mean? It’s one thing to have it all together when we’re making supper, but having our lives all together? That’s never the case.

The posts that have been the hardest to write, those that I’ve feared sharing the most, have no doubt been the most healing.

For me, as well as those who’ve read them. It’s truly amazing to be who you really are. To live that out is absolutely freeing. It’s a blessing to be authentic and real. So as a Christian I know I’m a jacked up sinner. Like, I got lots and lots of issues (just ask my wife). But, if confession is so freeing and amazing, why wouldn’t I keep doing it? Why do I try to pretend everything’s okay? In short, I pretend because I’m a fearful dingbat who so desperately wants to fit in and create this facade of someone who has his ducks in a row. Well screw that! Yeah, screw that is right. I’m a sinner. I got problems. BUT… (drumroll please). Jesus got us y’all! We’ve been redeemed by His blood. Because He absolutely loves, adores and delights in us, in spite of us, he died for us. HALLELUJAH!

With that in mind, there’s something I want to get off my chest.

Something not many people know. I’ve struggled with an eating disorder at different times in my life. Like fo real. Oh, you thought only women did? Wrong. My thing was binging and purging. You see I love food, especially sweets. But they ain’t good for a professional athlete. So I’ve always strived to eat clean, seeking to gain any advantage I could that would translate to me being a better player on the field. I remember I use to do it as a teenager. I was so obsessed and driven as a youngen that I wouldn’t allow myself to enjoy “bad food.” And if I did, (God forbid eat a cookie) I binged. I would eat anything and everything in sight that I didn’t normally eat. But it didn’t stay down for long.

There was a period during my time playing for the Colorado Rapids where this ravaged my life.

Leading me to the deepest and darkest pit of hell I’ve ever been in. It played a huge part in my depression, leading to thoughts of suicide. Why? Several reasons, but I’ll name a few: my unhealthy desire to succeed, my unhealthy body and self-image, my vanity, and my huge tendency to make soccer my idol. At the end of the day, it’s all about identity. My entire life, in fact, still to this very day, I struggle with the urge to find my identity in soccer. It’s a constant battle. Like every single DAWGON day. God is continually teaching me that He’s the only way to true fulfillment and joy. Drafted in the first round? That dream came true, but fell way short in filling the hole in my heart. MLS Cup? Got that too, but that hole, it’s still there. Jesus is the only One who has ever filled that hole!

Eating disorders are a serious thing.  People die daily from them. And it’s something that I’ve battled with, on and off, for years. I’m doing well with it now. But like a lion ready to pounce (1 Peter 5:8) Satan’s always waiting and ready to whisper sweet nothings in my ear.

That was really tough to share.

But I know it will be worth it. I had to face my fears and be transparent. Whatever you’re struggling with, I want to challenge you to share it with a trusted friend, mentor or family member. I promise it will bless you. Guaranteed. As we share and open up, we learn that others struggle just like us, with many of the same problems. It doesn’t mean we’re different or weird or an anomaly. We’re all the same. We’re just human. And we’re loved extravagantly more than we can imagine by Jesus. He takes all our brokenness and hang-ups and shortcomings and He does what only God can do. He heals, redeems and restores. He takes our poo-poo and makes it filet mignon.

Don’t you want to live free and stop pretending?

Oh come on, we all do! So get out of your comfort zone. Find a friend or mentor who you can be completely honest with. Share your deepest secrets. Just do it! Ask God to give you the strength. It will be hard, I can also promise you that. But let Jesus do what He does best: HEAL!

I’ve heard it said, that we’re either growing toward Jesus or falling away from Him. We’re never staying the same. I don’t know if that’s true, but it makes sense to me. Which way are you headed? Up or down? Toward shame and pretending, or toward redemption and healing?


By Wells Thompson