I recently had an experience that reminded me of the grace of my God and the beauty of the Gospel. I share this with permission and in an effort to let it be known that it is ok not to be ok. It’s no secret that my first born daughter is recovering from an eating disorder. Last week my wife and I had the privilege of attending a support group with fellow parents who are in the same position as us.
I was struck by the power and beauty of the experience. Here we were, a group of broken people searching for healing, comfort, truth, and redemption in the shared experiences of each other. Nobody was making excuses for where we were. Nobody desired to stay where we were. Everyone wanted answers and healing. There was no pressure to enter that space to perform for anyone. It was ok not to be ok.
In addition to this, while April and I were attending our session with parents, my daughter was attending her regular meeting with a cohort of peers who are also recovering from eating disorders. It is of note that this group gives her a community that would be very difficult to find elsewhere. She is in fellowship with patients looking for healing. It is ok not to be ok.
It wasn’t lost on me that this experience was more open, more grace filled and more authentic than many church interactions I’ve experienced. Again, neither of the groups mentioned above exist to simply celebrate or excuse brokenness. Rather, they are groups formed with the purpose of bringing about healing for their participants. How much more should we be able to find this security and subsequent healing in our Gospel centered communities—our churches?
James 5:16 says, “ Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” May it be that we as believers are always ready to share the hope, love and redemption that we’ve found in Christ. May our brothers and sisters ever feel comfortable sharing their needs with us. In ministry and in worship, make sure the people see your sufficiency in your Savior far more than your pride in your person. Make sure it’s ok not to be ok in your Christian communities.
Herbert is a believer in Jesus Christ who is overwhelmed by the riches of the Gospel, the husband of April and the father of Cadence, Imani and Angel. He also serves as the worship pastor for the great Wallace Memorial Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. He has been serving in full time ministry for more than five years and was a public school music educator for twelve years prior to that. He loves deep philosophical conversation, barbecue and golf even though he stinks at it.