Power in Being Real

Awhile back I had finally worked up the nerve to watch one of the sermons Jonathan preached. I knew shortly after turning it on that it was something I needed to hear. My counselor once said that God knew back then what messages to speak through Jonathan, what people needed to hear. This one was all about being yourself, being real. He spoke about how God truly does create each one of us unique and with purpose. Jonathan used an analogy of how people always want to be someone like else. Like him wanting to have the gifting of teaching and knowing the Bible inside and out, like others he knew. Or, someone wanting to be like him and having the gift of being a great musician. If we are always looking to be more like someone else, we are missing out on doing the work God has for us to do. Much like a machine having many parts that need to perform a specific function in order for the machine to properly work as a whole, we as individuals are needed to use our own special gifting in order for His plan to come to pass. We are all pieces of the puzzle that are put together to do God’s work. My husband was far from perfect and he was the first person to admit that. However, he was courageous enough to often make public the mistakes he made. In that honesty, people’s lives were touched. People felt free to be themselves and know that no one is perfect. You don’t have to live in the shame that was your past. You aren’t defined by the mistakes you make. God can clean up and heal the mistakes we’ve made. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need him right?
I am reminded of the following Bible verse: 1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God…
In the darkness lies guilt and shame. The light brings grace and mercy. The light brings forgiveness and freedom.
I am still traveling through this painful path called grief. But, being able to share Jonathan’s words and stories makes me feel good. His life on this side of heaven meant something. And the revelation that his life can continue to touch others long after his eternal journey in heaven began, gives me hope, even if for now it’s just a glimmer. We may not be able to see him. We may not be able to hear his voice. But I assure you that he is not gone. And as much as I would trade anything to have him here with me now, I am honored to be able to keep his memory and powerful testimony alive until I’m with him on the other side. So, that is what I choose to do.

Be confident in yourself and who you were made to be. Know who you are, own it and be proud to be unique. Don’t hide, put on a mask or play a role. Be the same person Monday -Saturday as the the person who walks into the church building on Sunday. When you are real, others can be touched by your imperfect life and journey.

Published by Joni@GrieftoLife

Gotta love the 'About Me' sections of everything. I feel like I'm either in a one sided interview or trying to create a dating profile. "I like starry nights and long walks on the beach" Ha! All jokes aside, it is necessary to share your story. Especially in a place like this where you hope to reach people through your struggles. So here goes everything... Hi everyone 👋🏼 Grief is a journey, an ever changing and painful process. It can isolate you and make you feel more lonely than one could ever imagine. That is why I write and share my story. We need support. We need people that "get it." We need each other. I was married to the love of my life, just shy of 13 years. We went to school together, known him since elementary. He was my "boyfriend" in 5th grade. I even wrote "Joni Roberts" in my notebooks and cheered for him when he played basketball at recess 😂 We came back together when we went to the prom, as friends, our senior year in high school. That was in 1997. We started dating seriously in the summer of 1998. He asked me to be his wife in February of 1999. We said "I do" on October 2nd of the same year. We had our first child in October of 2000, our son. We had our daughter, 22 months later in August of 2002. In the time we were married, we went through more than most could go through in a lifetime. We never gave up on each other. In June of 2012, he and I were in a horrible car accident that claimed his life. In an instant, my entire world was shattered, leaving me a grieving single mother of two grieving children who are now teenagers. I'm walking day by day through life without the one that would be with me forever. I would have never imagined that this is where I would be in my life at 38 years old. But, I am doing everything I can to be strong, to raise our two children, to take this grief and use it to fuel the purpose for the rest of my days here on earth. ONE. DAY. AT. A. TIME. Today: I am in the waiting room for my first neurologist appointment. It is in the same office as my surgeon from the accident. I'm sitting here remembering myself horribly hurt and in a wheelchair and I'm overwhelmed with feelings but mostly reflecting on how far I've come. I love and miss my best friend every single day. I'm positive that won't change until we are together again. I am choosing to try and live my life in a way that would honor him and make him proud. Living With Purpose.

38 thoughts on “Power in Being Real

  1. Wow, this is beautifully written and it sounds like an awesome sermon! There is so much truth here and the earlier we learn to be our authentic selves and be real around others, the easier and better it is. The longer we wear a mask, the harder it is to take it off. For some, after a lifetime of being hurt and making poor choices, it’s a matter of learning to love the real person behind the mask to feel confident enough to show that person to others…knowing Jesus and how special each of us is to Him helps in that area so much!

  2. Hi Joni, sorry to hear about your husband. I like this piece, I can hear the love within your heart for the Father, and for your husband. As you travel through the painful path called grief, may the Fathers love forever be your comfort! God will honour you as you keep your husbands memory and powerful testimony alive, until you’re with him on the other side. You’re right, the church is not just a building, others are truly touched; when God’s people are willing to show their imperfect life, the journey. Yes, that’s the power of being real!
    Abba, I pray for my sister in Christ. You are the great comforter; blessing and honour are within your love. Honour my sisters love, as she blesses you with her imperfect life, it’s her heart that pleases you. A broken and contrite heart, you will not despise. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

    1. Yes, He does. How cool that he spoke through someone I’ve never met. Yet another example of the lengths He will go to let us know He loves us.

  3. This ppst is great. God had your plans written in the stars way before you were even thought of. Like I told my friend last night, when it comes to your purpose on this planet, sometimes God is waiting on you yo male the first mive and he will help you the rest of the way. Its like learning how to drive. At the age of 15 or 16, yhe first thing you do is ask mom and dad to teach you how to drive. If you don’t make that first move to ask how will your parents help. Taking the first step in asking is sometimes that very move God is waiting on. (Me and these long responses)?

  4. It’s so nice to be unhindered in saying what we think or being to soul we know we should be. I think that was the way it was always intended. It’s nice that your husband was so real and that you intend to keep it that way.

  5. Oh, Joni… His powerful ministry still continues through you and your blog! What wonderful encouraging words and wisdom! A beautiful post! And of course, you still grieve. It hasn’t been all that long in the grand scheme of things. Grief can be a pretty long journey. Sending you love, prayers and hugs!

  6. So beautiful! Your love for your husband is absolutely amazing . I’m so sorry for your loss but you keep him a spirit alive and this is so beautiful I know he’s looking down from heaven and smiling . Stay real . I believe if we stay real to who we are life is a bit easier. I’m always telling my kids be real be who you are do not change yourself but be a good person and you will not have regrets. God bless you ??

  7. What an amazing God! The very fact that he made us unique shows how much he wants to have a relationship with each and every one of us! He is going to be there all through the pain and the sorrow! God bless you! 🙂

  8. I was so moved by this, it almost brought me to tears. It is so touching to me the adversity and strength you have by living through Gods love. Your husband is living with and through you. Very touching indeed. God Bless, Sweetie. 🙂

  9. I am sorry you lost your husband nothing except the love of Our Heavenly Father can get us through these hardest and darkest times in our lives. You are so right about being who we really are seven days a week not just Sundays. God is blessing you each day with love from other people who are real all week long like your husband was and is in Heaven.

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