Authentic…

Ok so we, Ben and I, just got home from a great week on a cruise ship.  We went with the Kathy Troccoli and friend’s cruise.  Avalon was invited as well as Chonda Pierce, Mark Harris, and Mark Lowry.  We had such a restful time.  Ben and I slept a lot because the first few days the weather was poor and the ship was swaying.  We read our books, played Battleship (my first time, Ben won!), Suduko ( I mastered the easy right away and still cannot figure out the hard one), and rented movies.  The last few days the sun was shining and the ports were great.  We met some new friends and spent the day with them on their private, rental house.  It couldn’t have ended better.  Now all that was great but what stuck out to me most as I am remembering the week was Chonda Pierce.  Honestly I thought she would be great for my mom and dad and their age group, not expecting as much for myself.  I can admit when I am wrong and I was wrong. First she was and is hilarious.  Second, the girl can sing!!!! Third and most important she was so real on stage and off.  I gained so much RESPECT for that woman.  She shared her personal story of struggling with severe depression a couple of years ago.  Serious stuff, serious dealings, fully honest. The audience laughed and cried and was encouraged.  This “professional”  Christian was saying life is not perfect and I am not perfect and I don’t have the perfect life.  It was such a relief to hear.  You could feel the sighs and response in the audience!  Yes we all want to laugh, we all want to be entertained, and walk away from a Christian Concert, Performance,  or Comedy Show (fill in the black) smiling and encouraged.  BUT the TRUE encouragement came from her sharing her pain and her scars and how she is allowing God to heal them.  We all long for fellowship, be it fellowship of laughter or fellowship of pain, but fellowship that says we are no different!  We all go through junk, trials, stuff, pain but guess what God is real and He loves us and longs to work on and with our stuff.  It was FABULOUS.  I longed for myself and everyone who professes to be a professional Christian ( artist, comedian, pastor, etc…) to be REAL on the stage as much as off.  That doesn’t mean being Debbie Downer all the time, ha, but the sooner we can be honest about where we are right now, the sooner we can start moving forward with God and encouraging someone else along the way too. So pray for me and my authenticity please.  You can decide if you need to pray that prayer too.  Thank you Lord for challenging me!  Blessings, Mel