The Ugly Truth

Ohhhh the Good ol’ Bible belt. Nashville is in that belt. I had a coffee date this afternoon with Allison Hendrickson of Taproot Collective at Frothy Monkey (local shop in downtown Franklin). It was probably one of the best girl dates I’ve had in awhile because we talked about business, relationships, and Jesus; all things that incorporate my heart. She and I both agreed that the Lord meant for us to be friends. YAY! I love new friendships.

While in conversation with Allison tonight, I started thinking and explaining my past; where I come from and what has created this desire to blog. In that conversation, I told her the ugly truth… the ugly truth about being raised in the South… in the BIBLE belt. She is from Wisconsin… so she needed to be warned. You’re welcome Allison. 

What is the ugly truth about the Bible belt?

If you are from the Bible belt, then you are probably not authentic. You live one life out in the open and another life behind closed doors. Your family thinks you don’t drink, but you do. You actually like wearing those tight jeans and low-cut shirts. You cuss a little. You flirt way too much. You really don’t care that much about the gender-neutral bathroom situation at Target. You’re not even sure if you like Donald Trump, but you feel obligated to vote for him because the South is supporting him… and that may only be because he is Republican. Your desire to follow moral-code is not because you feel convicted with God, but rather because you don’t want to be judged by all the “Christians” around you. Really though… you only think that way because the bible-thumpers around you told you it was the way to be. They told you how to think.

In the Bible belt… Your pastor thinks you’re this fantastic example of a Christian woman, but if he really knew all of that above… he would be disappointed. So, you look fantastic on the outside with your Jesus fish earrings and modest bathing suit. You walk the walk and talk the talk while failing to be authentic with who you are on the inside.

See… we all struggle. We are all broken people. However, in the Bible belt… you hide it. You cover it up and tell others that you’re “fine.” You wouldn’t dare tell people how hurt you are. Basically, your best friend knows and that is IT. You would never admit your “sin” or struggles with others. Not in the Bible belt. Not with your pastor.

Have you ever met an authentic person?

An authentic person will tell you like it is! They have this crazy freedom to be honest about their struggles and their strengths. They don’t cover it up. They admit it. They share it. They inspire you to lay it alllllllll out on the table. They won’t say that they have it all figured out. Yes, they still care about following Jesus and living a life that is pleasing to the Lord… but they don’t sugar coat the truth. They admit it’s ugly and that they are working on it. They will ask you to pray. They will literally say, “I’m struggling with ___. Will you pray for me over that?” Sometimes they even go to their pastor for prayer. #mindblown

An authentic person has deep relationships.

This is a huge deal to me. I come from a long childhood of shallow and sugar-coated relationships. Our family was as broken as they come, but I would never tell anyone that. We would put on our Sunday best and pretend to be happy when we really just needed to cry. I didn’t know deep relationships until I hit my mid-20s. If you haven’t opened up to someone 100%… told them the full ugly truth of who you are… then you are missing out. A deep relationship is sweet. Probably the sweetest thing about life.

I drink sweet tea, coffee, and beer.

Yup. Call it what you may, but my relationship with the Lord is solid. I cannot live one day without interacting with Him. I’m not getting into some deep discussion with you about whether drinking beer is good or evil, but I am asking you to evaluate your heart. Don’t let your Bible belt (or ego) hold you back from sharing your real struggles with the people that He has placed in your life. If I were honest, I wouldn’t say that drinking beer was holding me back from a more intimate relationship with God. I would actually say that my current inability to forgive my brother for cutting me out of his life is what is hurting my relationship with God the most.

See, in the Bible belt… we focus on the outside; the things others can see like appearance and actions. We fail to open up and expose the true matters of our heart. We fail to build deep and authentic relationships… thus preventing us from having successful marriages and friendships. 

To all my people who are from the South… I’m sorry you were raised in a closed-minded society. You CAN have deep relationships. You CAN be honest with your struggles. No judgement here. I’ll love you no matter what.

Together we will learn how to live and love in Christ. 

Your friend,
Amanda

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Bible Belt Struggles - they are real!

8 thoughts on “The Ugly Truth

  1. I love this post. I grew up with those kind of views around me as well. But things started to change after a while when life got tougher for the family. I do understand exactly what you mean though…

    What I love most about you is that you are so understanding. On the outside you look like your mind has never been corrupted with family issues since you look (and are) so sweet. You could choose to keep things hidden. But you don’t because you are real and you use your stories to show how much you understand. This may be a little off topic. But this is what it made me think about.

    ❤️

    1. Wow! Thank you Colleen. Yeah… I’ve had my fair share of family issues that is for sure. Overcoming those issues are a part of my story, but I don’t allow them to define me. I embrace them, learn from them, and try to use them to live a fuller life. Since I personally know your story… I know that you are doing the same thing. I’m so proud of YOU, Colleen. You’re going to do bigger and better things than I could ever do. Can’t wait to see you in ten years from now. 😀

      Thanks for posting sweet lady!

  2. YES. Morality and keeping the status-quo do not replace truly pursuing Jesus or others. Proud of you for starting this blog!

    1. Ahhh thank you Heather! Honestly, I think you and I had one of the first deep relationships out of all my friends back in Georgia. It was eye opening to me in so many ways. Thank you for always being there girl. Love & miss you! XO

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