What Truly Matters to You? (finding your “why”)

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“People lose their way when they lose their why.” Gail Hyatt

 In the series, Finish Your Book in 2016, author Jerry B. Jenkins talks about finding our “why.” He asks, “What truly matters to you?”

It seems I’ve known since I was a little girl that relationships matter and we need each other.

Friends and I sit for hours in restaurants and coffee shops sharing stories about things we didn’t know about each other in high school, things we’ve been through since high school, and ways we wish we had been there for each other.

We stand in sweltering and freezing parking lots to catch up and confide with each other about the families we grew up in, the ones we couldn’t get along with, but we miss them terribly now that they’re gone.

We stay up past midnight to message back and forth about our marriages that never should have lasted, but they have and we’re grateful.

The more I tell the truth and listen to friends tell theirs, the more I realize how much we as women need to speak up. My “why,” the thing that truly matters to me, is living in relationships honestly and honestly telling my story.

[I’ll post a disclaimer here since I used to confide in the wrong people. Use discretion and discernment when you share since not everyone is a friend.]

Even though I knew I needed to write on this topic, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to open up about my life. It wasn’t until I read Lysa TerKeurst’s blog post on her site at Proverbs 31 Ministries, Jesus Loves Those in Messy Marriages, that I thought I may be able to tell anything. She starts her post, “I threw the cup of orange juice across the kitchen.”

Lysa wrote that post four years ago. It’s taken me a while to follow her lead. Until I reread it last night, I didn’t remember anything aside from the juice. I’d also thrown orange juice, except I threw my glass across the dining room while screaming at my husband to get out. The juice glass broke a pane in the French door. My husband left, only to have me call him two minutes later and beg him to come home. Doubled over on my hands and knees, I alternated between sobbing and sopping up sticky juice and glass.

Why share a story like this one? My secrets kept me despondent and in bed. So did my unwillingness to talk and write about our messy marriage, my scary reactions, and the depression they led to. My husband and I recognized healing happened when I talked about things like the broken windowpane. I felt less broken every time he listened and tried to understand. He said, “It’ll be uncomfortable, but I want you to tell our story. It’ll help us and others.”

We both realized …

If one friend had told me what she threw across her kitchen and how crazy she acted and how isolated, dark, and afraid she felt, we both would have felt less isolated, dark, and afraid. That’s how this works.

If one friend had let me know her Facebook post about being best friends with her husband wasn’t always true, but they’re healing, then posts about husbands sending flowers and couples going on cruises would have been less painful.

If one friend had let me know her home life didn’t feel safe or sane, I would have told her mine didn’t either. We would have felt safer and saner.

I am telling my story so we can help each other. That’s what Lysa did for me.

In This Together,
Kim

A big thank you to 16-year-old Abigail Sawyer for giving permission to use her drawing. Abby is a homeschooler and a self-taught artist whose family realized her talent when she took a painting class. She hopes to attend art school and draw for Disney. To see more of Abby’s artwork, check her out on Instagram @abigails_art13.

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10 responses »

  1. Brilliant post.

    One thing I have learned in dying is that relationships are really ALL that matter. All of the projects that took my time and attention…it is not that they were worthless, but they really should only have existed as a means to focus love and friendship. They were never an end in themselves, and I am deeply grateful to the Almighty that I have lived long enough to see this.

    • Relationships have driven everything I do, so I sure understand, Andrew. I resented that for a while because they weren’t good relationships. Or, at least, they weren’t making me feel good. Now I know I needed every single one of those relational experiences. Like you said, I’m grateful to have lived long enough to accept that fact, heal some, and talk about it.

      I pray for you a lot. Thanks for being a faithful reader.

  2. Spot on Kim. We’ve all been there to some degree and still working through doing Life together. It’s so wonderful when we all realize the beautiful truth,”my big why”,how we’ve come to learn from our ordinary uglier experiences many that and are made stronger, healthier and happy through our lives as we share and learn from each other.

    • Thanks, Joel. It is wonderful to learn along the way and when we have friends to learn with, even better. I like how you put it, “uglier experiences.” That may have to be a blog title on down the road.

  3. One of the problems with Facebook is that we only post our joys and never our sorrows. So we tend to believe in the Facebook version of others lives and compare our real lives to that. We need to get real.

    • Niki, I’ve had several friends voice this concern and I’ve had it also even though I’ve done it myself. I’m going to write about it soon, maybe in the next blog post. Thanks for your thought inspiring comments.

    • I wish I was writing from a courageous place, Deirdre. I’m trying to be obedient after way too long of trying to wiggle out of this assignment, and I’m still not sure I’ll follow through. I’ll take all the encouragement I can get. ❤

  4. From Facebook ~

    Diane Wilson Dale, Elizabeth Haas Morris, Sylvia Jones and 5 others like this.

    Summer Turner I appreciate your honesty and willingness to be vulnerable.
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · January 28 at 12:20am

    S. Kim Henson Awww, thanks, Summer Turner. I’m trying to live out that vision board. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · January 28 at 12:45am

    Summer Turner Love the artwork!
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · January 28 at 12:21am

    S. Kim Henson Abby is the niece of a very special friend. I love being able to share her talent.
    Like · Reply · 1 · January 28 at 12:45am

    Anjana C. Duff Love your honesty and willingness to share! I’ve always felt that if we were more honest and open with one another (especially with the women in our lives- mothers, sisters, sister-in-laws, girlfriends), we would always feel more connected, supported, and ultimately empowered. We can’t get through life alone. We need one another! smile emoticon Thank you for opening the dialogue. heart emoticon
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 4 · January 28 at 8:54am

    S. Kim Henson Thanks for this sweet and encouraging comment, Anjana C. Duff. heart emoticon I’ve always believed the same thing, but it’s hard to be the one to speak up first. It’s also hard to tell the truth when we’re in the middle of the crisis because we’re so vulnerable there. I wish I could have talked and written about this sooner, but I’m happy to be doing it now.
    Like · Reply · 2 · January 29 at 12:36am

  5. From Facebook ~

    Julia Zimmerman Corontzes, Theresa Jordan, Laura Heldreth Sawyer and 7 others like this.
    1 share

    Kim Henson Melanie Brumfield Sawyer, please thank Abby for me. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 1 · January 28 at 12:12am

    Melanie Brumfield Sawyer I sure will Kim Henson!! Thank you so much! She will be very excited! smile emoticon
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · January 28 at 10:52am

    Kim Henson Thanks again, Melanie Brumfield Sawyer.
    Like · Reply · 1 · January 28 at 4:24pm

    Connie Rogers Read this today loved it
    Like · Reply · 1 · January 28 at 4:06pm

    Kim Henson Awww, thanks, Connie Rogers. I appreciate it. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · January 28 at 4:24pm

    Laura Heldreth Sawyer I am so excited about Abby’s picture being in your blog!! Thank you Kim!!
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · January 28 at 8:00pm

    Kim Henson Thank you, Laura Heldreth Sawyer. Abby is really talented. And I thank your mom because I wouldn’t be here to write a blog if it wasn’t for her. heart emoticon I’m serious about that.
    Like · Reply · January 29 at 12:30am

    Theresa Jordan Love today’s blog. If only we knew….
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · January 29 at 12:41am

    Kim Henson Thanks so much, Theresa Jordan. So many people go through so much alone. It hurts to think about it. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 1 · January 29 at 12:46am

    Shelly Brown This is SO good, Kim Henson. On many levels! You’re quite the wordsmith. And authentic, particularly in this post. Thank you! Sadly, my marriage of 21 years crumbled. Never in a million years did I think I’d be a failed marriage statistic. I lost every…See More
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · January 29 at 9:55pm

    Kim Henson Shelly Brown, I knew you had been through something like that because I remember you sharing about it on the page where we met. heart emoticon I am so sorry! I ache for every woman in a tough marriage or in a failed one that isn’t what she wanted. I’m not sure how…See More
    Like · Reply · January 29 at 10:08pm

    Kim Henson Oh, Shelly Brown … I launched. smile emoticon Thanks so much for your encouragement.
    Like · Reply · January 29 at 10:10pm

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