I’m sitting in a small group surrounded by women whom I have just met hours ago. One by one, questions are asked by our leader. The answers are slow coming and, for the most part, shallow. Then one takes her leap of faith. As her story unfolds, I feel tense and motionless. All I can see are her pained eyes and all I can see is the beauty of her heart yearning for Jesus. As her tears begin to flow I feel my own cheeks warm up and my hands get clammy. This is uncomfortable. Yet I’m still captured by her gut wrenching honesty. Then she speaks of a deep pain, an emotional burden, and I feel my own eyes fill with hot tears. Of course, I do the fast blinking thing and hope nobody is watching me and the emotions that threaten to bubble to the surface. I must look away. My heart can’t take much more without a breakdown of my own…
Why is other’s pain uncomfortable for the rest of us?
“God sees your heart dear friend… others, mostly see what they want to see, or look right past you because they have their own hurt to hide. Pain makes people uncomfortable, but if we all did better at sharing out burdens: then we could see one another as He does.”
This morning I took my own leap of faith. I spilled my guts and left nothing out. Every woman listening now knows the truth about me.
I blow up when things don’t go right.
Beer or vodka are how I nurse myself through the pain.
I am generally struggling with anger that spills out into every area of my life.
And, obviously, the presence of God feels far from me.
Saying all these things wasn’t easy. I felt warm and sweaty all over. My voice felt shaky and I wondered if this was all too much too soon. I was uncomfortable.
For me, there were a few commonalities in hearing someone’s struggle and sharing my own:
The last one stands out to me. Freedom. There is freedom in sharing our lives with each other. The woman I talked about at the beginning gave our group the opportunity to pray for her and watch God work in her heart in those moments and possibly in the time to come.
Did you ever think about it being a blessing to be able to pray for someone so intimately?
I hadn’t thought of it that way, either.
But it is, because that’s what I was told this morning after showcasing my dirty laundry.
As strange as it seems, even to me, there CAN be freedom in Christ. I haven’t always experienced that freedom, though. But maybe I was doing it wrong. Or perhaps I had to be THERE to be HERE.
I grew up in church.
I have been loved by
I have been hurt by
Church is made up of people. One of them is me.
Sharing our burdens is hard. It’s hard to watch and it’s hard to do.
But if we can each begin to take our leap of faith, even just one at a time, think about how much stronger the church can be.
I am not alone in my fits of temper.
I am not the only one who uses alcohol to numb and ignore the pain.
I am not the only angry woman.
I am not the only one feeling far from God.
But with one leap, I am one step closer to a renewed heart.
So, leap with me girls!