A funny thing happened over on facebook the other day.
I posted a status that was somewhat serious, but also a little playful.
I ended with, “Asking for a friend,” because I was wanting to use humor as an outlet for the stress and anxiety I was experiencing.
Because life is funny. I know I am not in control. I know I have a large group of people to go to when I am feeling afraid or sad or stressed. I have a good prayer life. My wife and I (usually) talk about things when we are feeling overwhelmed.
Yet in spite of all of that, I still feel the stress and fear that everyday life can bring. And although one facebook post to my friends does not qualify as a scientific study, I think I can safely say you do, too.
I was blown away at the response my status received. Not because I was surprised at the number of people who were encouraging me and praying for me. But I was mostly surprised at how many people acknowledged feeling the same way.
Added to that was the wide variety of people commenting on my status. We have lived in three states over the past 10 years. People from all of those places commented. Some are friends from childhood. Some are past co-workers of my wife. Some are my past co-workers. Some are friends I was in college with. Some are family members. Some are friends I have known for less than a year. Some attend the same church we do. Some are shepherds (elders) of that church. Some have had similar experiences. Some have had similar emotional experiences but triggered by different life circumstances.
We all know what it is like to deal with difficulty. With stress. With anxiety. With fear. We all know the inner turmoil of wanting to give up completely while at the same time wanting to fix every single problem.
Yet still I was astounded at the response my simple little facebook status received.
And then my friend, Sean (read his great blog here), posted a facebook status: “Many churches I know have a praise band. No church I know has a lament band…and the world is worse for it.”
And then it clicked. Most people have the experience that I described in my post. But most people have been trained to suck it up. We have been told not to complain. We believe we need to get over it.
We think lamenting is wrong.
But it’s not. I lamented and received strength. I cried out and was heard. I groaned and others groaned with me; and gave me the opportunity to groan with them.
So today, I give you permission:
Complain. Groan. Whine. Bitch. Moan. Let it out. Do not get over it. Do not keep it to yourself until you feel better.
Let’s hear it. What’s going on? What do you need to lament about?
You can even tell me you’re asking for a friend.