Hope you have a cup of coffee if you plan to read through this one, DearOne! There’s this group of about a dozen extra special chickees, most that came into my life when they were in about 5th-6th grade, mmmm, maybe about 10-15 years ago. They were wide eyed and nervous and had no idea their teacher was shaking, too. They are all young women now – you wouldn’t even believe some of the bizarre life storms we’ve walked through together … and, oh – how they have grown me.
When I get a call or a message – especially a wee-hour tap from one of them- “Ang, pray for …” my protective cells throw me into full throttle. These girls own my heart as much as my own blood babies. That’s the place these thoughts come from – and, this is from one of those taps:
Ok, baby girl. This is for you.
There’s no PAUSE button for life. It would be easier, when we are working through pain, if we could hide away. We feel pressure to be “on” when all we feel is broken. We are in the midst of emotional processing, but don’t have the luxury of becoming invisible. We only want to stay hidden with our hurt:
but, not. an. option.
Here is the only option: you’re going to have to process in public. Some folks are good at that. I don’t have a poker face, though. Some of us, when we’re going through a personal issue, no matter how hard we try, people know it and it’s grueling.
If we know God, we know we’ll get through it, but in times like that, what we feel we need most is time. Just give us some time and maybe some space. Then, only then, we’ll move back into normal life and begin pouring into others again. The reality is, for most of us, we don’t have that luxury. Life doesn’t stop.
When we’re hurting, our body’s instinct is to heal itself. However, there is a trap that many fall into. . .its something we’re doing that hurts us more than it heals us. It is self-preservation. . . Here’s what that looks like in real life: We’re having a legitimate struggle, and it hurts. We’re finding that it’s PAINFUL to serve and to be seen in pain. We definitely don’t want to pour into others, because after all, what do we have to give out? We step away from visibility at all costs and then begins the downward spiral — the process of shutting down.
Our focus shifts from the outward and serving others, to the inward and serving our pain. And, if we’re not careful, we isolate, it’s our natural tendency. What we don’t realize, in the moment, is that this very process that we set up to heal ourselves is counterproductive, and sometimes even dangerous. Have you ever witnessed someone choking? On instinct, they actually run away from others!
It’s important for us to get help during struggles. I know that God’s heart for us is to not suffer alone. It’s also God’s heart that we have longevity and not burn out. So please, do what’s necessary to stay or get back to “emotionally healthy”, but in the meantime, keep pouring out to others.
The Bible says that “the generous will prosper, and he that refreshes others will he himself be refreshed”. (Proverbs 11:25).
That means that you being refreshed is directly connected to you refreshing others.
In Matthew 14, Jesus encountered a situation of his own. He had just found out that his cousin, John the Baptist, had been beheaded. The news was shocking to the entire community. It was unforeseen by the people and it was unjust. Jesus was tight with John. It was like losing a brother. The Bible says that when Jesus heard the news, he went into a boat to be alone. He was grieving. Soon after a large crowd began to form around him. I think it’s safe to assume they were shouting to him to come minister to them. They were desperate.
When I read that passage, I don’t know about you, but I struggle with that. I think, “For heavens sake, people, let the man grieve!”
But what Jesus did was totally different. He looked to them and had compassion on them. He went to them and healed many.
Some of Jesus’ greatest miracles happened shortly after that. We read that He multiplied the food and fed 5000 (plus women and children) and walked on the water.
I had a situation arise a few months ago in my own life, and maybe this has happened to you – the Lord began to touch me during a quiet time in a public place. He began revealing some things from my life that needed healing. It was a deep moment for me. I was alone, with my face on the carpet, having a powerful moment with Jesus. Finally, I got up – a dear one stopped me and we began sharing with one another what God was doing in both of us. We were both crying uncontrollably. I should add, this is not our normal default. For us, this was a rare, but extremely defining moment in both of our lives.
Then, as I’m talking mid-sentence, it was like someone cut the music – I get a tap on my shoulder. “Can you pray over me?” I’m looking at her, totally caught off guard, broken, undone, with mascara running off my face.
Everything in me wanted to say “no”.
After all, I was mid-emotional-event and how dare she interrupt this obviously impactful moment I’m having? See the mascara?!
But I heard the Lord say to me, “Pray for her”. I looked to her and I smiled, I genuinely smiled, and said, “Okay, you got it”. I finished up my conversation with my friend and prayed with her with my whole heart, my full attention and with compassion. The Lord began to refresh me and I felt my capacity to love increase soon after. Love grew.
Thinking this through … I realized that I would rather have someone that is BROKEN but has the Holy Spirit praying for me, than someone who “has it all together” but doesn’t have the Holy Spirit.
So today, if that’s you, dig deep, pull on the strength of the Holy Spirit and press in. This is how you get over yourself and your ‘stuff’. Reach past your comfort zone, God will reward you richly.
In His love and light,