30 Days of Hearing God, Day 15
Last week I went back to my hometown. I visited thirty-nine people in nine different homes and restaurants. My Dad, my in-laws, my siblings and their children.
My best friends from both college and my full-time-work years.
Some who have known me since birth. Others who knew me during high school and college. Many who witnessed my transformation from Crazy Party Girl to Young Woman of God. Many who endured the zealous witness of my early Christian days (and surprisingly, still like me). Most of whom celebrated with me during my marriage and the birth of my children. All who surrounded me during Noah’s death and the long, dark years that followed.
I lingered over dinners, lunches and coffee, at kitchen tables, on back porches and living room couches, while each one updated me on his or her life. I listened. I laughed. I choked back tears. I “oooh’ed and ahhhh’ed” over the growth of everyone’s children.
I embraced, said goodbye, and promised to keep in touch.
While I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of every individual visit, I eventually ran out of things to say. I used up my entire supply of available words. I had to dig deeply into my reservoir of excess words to end my week strong. By the time I left my whirlwind visit, I was almost catatonic.
Last night, as I walked alone through my neighborhood, I thought back through each conversation. I prayed deeply for each family member in crisis or in despair. I thanked God for every blessing evident in their lives. I basked in the glow of deep and lasting relationships.
And I had a moment of self-discovery: I realized I minister much more effectively in writing than I do in person.
I discovered that I’m much better at responding with wisdom and grace when I have time to first ponder and pray. In person, I tend to speak without much of a filter. That’s rarely a good thing.
I regret that I did not seize the opportunity to take my friends and family by the hand and pray with them in their homes. I wish I hadn’t spent so much time talking about my 15 pound weight-gain and my weaning off Lexapro, blah, blah, blah. I wish I had instead spent more time encouraging and speaking about God and the way He is moving in my life. I wish I had let my light shine a little more brightly than I did.
I didn’t feel condemnation from God in my prayer time, but rather a little nudge to allow Him to refine me in this area.
And so, this week, I will pray individually for each of my friends and family. I will direct my prayers specifically for each one, interceding for God to meet their unique needs. And I will follow up in writing or by phone with a scripture or a word of encouragement.
What is God saying to YOU today? Leave a comment, a link or both.
That was so honest — it takes a lot to allow God to shine the light on our dark spots AND to allow others to see the places where we sometimes are weak.
Yup, me too. Ditto and amen.
glad you're back… I linked my post from Saturday. I'm still waiting to hear what God will speak today and yesterday I was still thanking Him for Saturday and how my appointments went. My doc told me I'm the only patient with my diagnosis to not receive chemo… He stands by his opinion but that makes him nervous. I have spent a great deal of my weekend trying not to be nervous but thankful. Deeply thankful for that miracle.
Not making a post here but glad you're back and I may holler at ya later. My words are a bit depleted today too.xoxo
Hola Sandy and welcome back to 2010!
I can totally relate. I think that I am a better listening via text/email/blogging/etc than sometimes in real life. Maybe, that is why I appreciate virtual friends so much. Sometimes, it just takes me a little bit of time to "warm" up and then I'm good to go but sometimes you don't have the warm up opportunity.
God in the past week has been talking to me. I haven't necessarily cared for what He's been saying — lightning bolt warming. Well, it's not that I haven't cared. I guess I'm just being a bit rebellious and difficult — sort of like my preschooler. It's this walk in obedience even if you don't feel like it and even if it doesn't make sense. ARRRRR. It's just too long of a story and too complicated to go into in a comment post — and you know I can post long comments. =)
But then on Sunday, He offered me a reprieve. I've been asking Him to give me these little reprieves from all this seemingly "hard" talk.
I know that God is authenticating me. Burning all the fake out of me. Ugh! I really wasn't aware that there was so much of it in me. It's the process of more than just saying what I believe but actually believing it….UGH!!!
But then at church yesterday, the sermon was one of encouragement. At least to me it was very encouraging. Now ya gotta understand, my Pastor is generally a man who preaches verse by verse. He picks passages or books of the Bible and just teaches. and then ALWAYS WITHOUT FAIL draws it all into the gospel and offers an altar call.
But this Sunday it was different. God was still saying the same things…Humility, Dependency, and Connectivity. But there was just something more about it that was tender.
Sort of like God wanting me to know He wasn't trying to be mean or harsh with me. That He is actually a loving God.
So many other ways God was talking to me but I've gone on long enough…