Permission to Ask the Hard Questions

This year will be full.  I refuse to say “busy” because that’s a bad word in my vocabulary, so I like to use busy’s more attractive cousin, “full”.

Life will be full.

I’m starting seminary, working full time at the church now, teaching reading intervention a few hours a week, and continuing with all my usuals: bible study, maintaining friendships, keeping up the house, etc.  Santino is still working a lot and doing all of his other stuff like life group, reading, and most importantly playing tennis with our neighbor 😉

And we’re still walking through infertility.

And life.

And all the stuff that comes along that we can’t calendar.

So I’ve been intentional about asking people to speak into my life.

I’ve sat with a friend and given her full permission to call me out, speak truth, and ask the hard questions.

And not just “How are things going?  How’s work?”  Anyone can ask that.  I can answer those easily without telling you how I’m REALLY doing or confess that Santino & I ate left over bruschetta and string cheese for dinner last night because, I’m the worst.

I’ve given her permission to ask me things like:

How’s your marriage?

How’s your time with the LORD?

What are you learning in God’s word?

Are you sleeping?

Have you cooked dinner at all this month?  Something besides bean burritos?

And then she can slap me upside the head if I try to lie or skirt around the issue.

I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew.  I don’t want to do more than I can handle.  But I also don’t want to sit back and not do what the LORD has for me.  I want to depend on the Holy Spirit, not ease and comfort.  I don’t mind spending my life exhausted for His name sake.

But, I don’t want all that I’m doing to interfere with my relationship with my husband or my relationship with God.

I’ll quit everything before those things happen.

So I’m trying to be intentional and aware and invite people in to ask those hard questions.

What about you?  Do you have people in your life that can ask you the hard questions?  About your marriage?  Your life?  Not just your favorite tv show or work, but the deep/real/meaningful stuff.

Let’s not hide behind the easy stuff in 2014. 

Let’s give permission to others to ask hard questions, and learn to do the same.

Let’s live in the light, of confession and grace, honesty and vulnerability.

Let’s stop pretending “everything’s fine” and learn to walk in real community.

That’s one of my goals for 2014 . . . more than getting an A in my seminary class or checking off another full work week from my calendar . . . real, authentic, honest community.  The kind that helps me grow spiritually and deepen my relationship with God and with others.


If you are looking for more resources about how to be intentional with your spiritual growth this year, check out


Brad Bell and Rick Taylor have just released 2 books that will encourage this honest community and foster spiritual growth.  They’ve also developed an online assessment that will help you identify specifically where/how to grow spiritually.

Let’s make 2014 a year of being intentional about asking the hard questions & making steps to grow spiritually.

2 thoughts on “Permission to Ask the Hard Questions

  1. Shelly says:

    I really enjoyed this post! I visited your site because I’m interested in IF:Fresno, and I stumbled across this. It resonates with me a lot and gives me some food for thought. Thanks.

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