So, every Wednesday, Chris and I go to a church group. It’s a lot of fun to go and socialize, to be encouraged, to be prayed for, and to pray for others. Also, the treats are quite tasty, too! (:
Anyhow, lately, we have really been challenging ourselves with setting spiritual goals.
Since we have been talking about that….I have just really noticed some tiny little changes beginning to take place.
Some goals I made for myself quite some time ago, before we started going to this group, was to 1.) Be more vulnerable and open to others about myself, my life, my mistakes, past, faith, etc and 2.) to live a more simple life in order to be able to give more to others.
I want to say that its really hard for me to want to be open and vulnerable around other Christians sometimes, because I feel so afraid of being judged, and because I feel like my “past” is so horrible sometimes (in comparison to others) , that I’m scared to be honest about it.
In the past couple of weeks, in this group, we have been challenged to 1.) Be consistent and 2.) to really listen, by taking the time to HEAR God’s voice.
There is probably more that I am leaving out, but this is really what I remember the most.
So, first of all, I want to say that I really and truly believe in the power of prayer! Through prayer and faith, I have noticed that parts of this brick wall I have built around me starting to crumble. I have noticed that I have been more comfortable at being uncomfortable. And, I have noticed that this uncomfortable-ness was by choice.
Meaning, that maybe I chose to reveal something to somebody that did nothing but portray me badly….something that maybe I was ashamed of, but knowing that my revelation was of great comfort to the person or helped them somehow.
So, its late, and what I am saying probably makes no sense to anyone but me right now! But I am writing this, because I have felt so thirsty for change, and so thirsty for God lately, but I kind of felt like I was going through this dry spell. I have just felt so worn down lately, tired, lonely, and a little afraid lately.
And, for some reason, I have been feeling neglected. I am not sure if I can explain that emotion and why. But, in essence, some of the emotions I had been feeling made me feel as if God was just so so so far away from me.
I think struggling in your faith is normal. I guess thats why I am okay with blogging about this. No matter how much I know I love Jesus, being faithful and resting in His love and character isn’t easy. For me, I think control was something that played an issue in my unrest. So much has happened in the past couple of weeks that made me feel like I NEEDED to be in control.
With all religion aside……who can honestly say they can control every aspect of their world?
I can’t. But for some reason, I get all cocky and start to believe that as long as I am in control of things that can’t be controlled, that everything will be okay. So many examples…..unexpected bills/financial issues, gestational diabetes, Down’s syndrome fears…the way others treat me….
I could keep going. And because I want people to think that everything is fine and perfect, most people in my life will have NO idea whats going on with me!
Well, this feeling of needing to be in control, was basically screwing with my ability to be vulnerable with others. See, I feel so strongly that people who let themselves show vulnerability to others have the ability to change lives. I can think of so many times I have marveled at someone’s openness, their courage to be open and vulnerable, and how those tiny revelations have caused huge changes in my life.
And as I have been praying for help and change, slowly some things have been unraveling. I find myself admitting my faults so much more openly. I find myself risking feelings of shame and unworthiness, only so that someone else can feel hope. I feel like I’m learning to pray for others in ways I couldn’t before. And, I don’t want it to stop.
So, even though I have been feeling lonely, tired and afraid lately, I feel like the intensity of these feelings are helping to open up the vulnerable side of me that I was too petrified to release, before.
And, I really do know that I have not been neglected. I think that feeling bothered me the most, because I just knew how false it really was. I fought against it so much, until I realized that I needed to just STOP.
Stop over-thinking, stop over-analyzing, stop trying to control the uncontrollable, and just be CONTENT, CALM, and joyful in the blessings that God has given me.
My cousin has a blog and she put in it that my aunt has a picture in her office that says,”You can’t steal my joy.”
I have heard that before but never really thought about it.
When I read that a while….it just kind of stuck with me. I kind of started wondering why I had been the thief of my own joy!
Seriously….that tiny little saying and in combination with our weekly groups began to impress upon my heart day after day after day.
And somehow….just that tiny little affirmation has inspired this entirely too long and drawn out blog.
Good night my loves. Tomorrow morning I will probably read this and delete it, so if you catch it consider yourself lucky (or unlucky)!