Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Know Any Lonely Souls?

It's been way longer than I would like since my last entry.  I was really making it a goal to make posts on a more regular basis, but the sudden passing of a young friend at our church has left me somewhat speechless and deep in thought.  (I will post about that another day, lest I be a puddle and get nothing typed again.)

I also switched from caring for baby Emma to watching two little girls for the summer, Maeve and Sadie, who are 6 and 3.5.  Things are going well. Very busy, long days...but good days.  Emma is adjusting well to her new sitter too.  I believe it was a blessing all around.

At this time of day, we have some quiet time.  My boys are finishing up their schoolwork for the year and reading a book.  I just read to Sadie as she drifted off for a nap.

I was reading a book by Beth Moore called So Long Insecurity.  I bought this book for a dear friend for her birthday.  She already blasted through it and brought it back to me to read.  She found it helpful and knows me well enough to know that I will too.

As I was reading, I had a realization and had to stop and send her this text:  "I just realized you have to be a darn good, trusted, friend, grounded in love with someone to give them a book about insecurity, lest you make them feel insecure!  I treasure you and that we have arrived at a place where we can give each other something that is about a raw issue of our intimate hearts.  Realizing that just made me love you even deeper so I had to tell you!"

She replied, "I'm glad we're at that place too.  Thanks for knowing me so well and letting me know you."

That is the key:  LETTING OTHERS KNOW THE REAL US.

I have often times paused to thank God for the many diverse friendships He has given me, but I am becoming even more amazed at the depth I can share myself with certain people.  And in mere seconds after those thoughts of gratitude and awe shoot through my mind, I ache for all the women that I know who have NEVER experienced what I am talking about.

I know women who won't get close because they have been burned.  I know women who can't get close because they are imprisoned by lies.  I know women who have told themselves, "My husband and kids are all I need."  I know women who despise women.  I know women who work hard to serve everyone else, thinking they don't need anything from anyone.  I know one woman, at least, whose husband has said, "She doesn't need friends...that's what she has me for."

Really?  Seriously?  Does he really think he is equipped to meet her every need in this life? That is some serious pride!

Some women are so dangerously deceived and it makes me so upset!!!  I know I should not worry over anything, but instead pray about everything!  My head knows!  But, it sure has to put my heart back in the right place a lot. (While I pray for God to keep me from being deceived as well!)

No man can complete us (I bought into that lie for a while).  No woman can complete us either (why I've always found the concept of ONE best friend so strange).  Our kids can't.  BUT, our God certainly can!  Where we get tripped up, though, is the WAY He chooses to do it.

He completes us through our relationships with other people.

In the book of James, the Word of God says to confess our sins to one another SO THAT we can be healed.  God's wisdom tells us we need each other.  In Proverbs we are warned of the dangers of isolating ourselves from others.

But we are so insecure that we withdraw!  We tend to not share what is going on!  We stay quiet or be fake because of fear of rejection or any number of other consequences!

I'm not like that with most people.  Usually, it is very easy for me to open up and share with people.  It just always has been.  I have been blessed with numerous friends since childhood.  I guess part of it is my God-given personality.  Many people have told me they are blessed by it.  Some have been scared of it.  The mothers of some young women I have befriended have struggled with feeling their daughters loved me more than them.  A female leader I had told me she struggled with being jealous of me for it!

No wonder we are insecure women!!!  Even when we try to step out in our gifts, we get nailed for being faithful!  Our insecurities stifle one another!!!

There is a gift upon me that I did not ask God for, but no less He anointed my life with it...a gift to be hospitable, long-suffering, a listener, a loyal shoulder, someone people really feels cares about them...and I have even been despised for it!  And, oh yes, I am sure I have despised other women for their gifts, whether I can think of exact examples or not...BECAUSE I know I deal with insecurity!

What are we to do?  We want things to get better.  We are tired of hurting, especially hurting alone and suffering in silence, but we continue on because we are too insecure to go through the pain it takes to break free! It is such a cycle...one that I bet the enemy of our souls LOVES to watch us go through!

I don't pretend to have all the answers, and I pray I will learn more through Beth Moore's book.  What I do know though, is that I HAVE truly experienced intimate, trusting relationships!  They are possible, but they must be made purposefully.  They don't happen by accident or coincidence.  God crosses the life paths, but we must take the action.  When God sends us someone, we often have to go through some hard times where each person's commitment is really tested!  We have to be vulnerable enough to drop the defenses, the suspicions, the past hurts, the fears, the vain imaginations, the insecurities...  We have to wade through the muck and keep working on the open and honest communication.  It's usually very hard!

We have to be approachable and willing to hear what someone has to say.  We must learn to say it with gentleness and with pure motive.  We must be sincerely wanting to see the best happen for that person.  We will need to hear about things others see in us.  We will need to humble ourselves about what we need to change and not take offense.  It is RARELY something we don't already know about ourselves.  Usually, we are aware of it and only get offended because we want desperately for it to be gone.

We too often hurt others out of our hurt.  We have to stop.  We have to be teachable.

If you know a woman who you see no real fruit of true friendships in her life, pray earnestly for her.  She probably has a long list of reasons she can't or won't enter into transparent, intimate friendships.  You can't change her (I know this all too well), but God can.  And God can show you small steps to take to help her open her heart.

There is a woman I know who struggles so badly with this.  I had a dream about her about a year and a half ago.  In the dream, she ended up in a mental hospital and her husband was remarried to a lady with short, blond hair.  It was so vivid!  I awoke crying for her.  The other day, a mutual friend told me that she had recently had a dream about this same woman and in it, the woman went totally crazy, literally lost it!  Maybe it's all nothing...just silly dreams.  But what if it's not?  What if this poor lady is so mentally tormented and alone that this happens to her?  It makes me want to weep and wail in sobs. 

We HAVE to be proactive in our relationships.  We have to be real.  We have to find a way to make time for what is important!  We need each other.  You won't always be accepted.  You may be down-right persecuted and accused, but will you TRY?  Will you at least try to reach out in love to a lonely soul???

1 comment:

Lawrita Bennett Sleepe said...

Wow! So true. We were just talking with one of our boys and he was commenting of his realization of how much work goes into frienships! It takes effort, willingness to make yourself vulnerable and approachable. When Christ spoke of our feeding/clothing the least of these, it required another person!