I must admit...I was utterly, truly, completely starting to doubt if we were to move back to the Coast for me to teach. My faith has been and is still being severely tested. I'm very curious as to what all these trials will produce in and through me! One thing I do know is that I'm tired of being walked on and over, and I know that I can stand up for myself and people will still love me. You must understand--I'm a people pleaser...to a fault. I avoid confrontation at all costs. But this is starting to change. Not because I want to "start something" but because I'm tired of being dictated to. There's a fine line between "helping" and "telling". Many of you probably know exactly what I'm talking about. For those who don't, let me put it this way...there are times when you simply want a listening ear, not to be told how to handle something or what you should do. I realize that there are instances in which we do have to ask for help; I'm not discounting that. But there are many times I want to be transparent with a friend or loved one and feel I can't. Why can't I just lay my feelings and emotions bare and then just be hugged or cried with? So many people want to offer a solution, and while brainstorming can open new venues you haven't considered, many times I only need someone to nod in the appropriate places and say "No matter what, I love you. If you screwed up 100,000 times, I'd still love you. I'd talk to you. I wouldn't shut you out."
Have you ever considered how not transparent we are as a society? How many families do you know who fight all week long, bickering, sarcastic and critical, until the moment they set foot on church grounds? Others continue their arguing or discontent until they pass through the building doors. I'm not pointing fingers; I've been there. I'm not trying to cast a shadow over my family, either. I'm merely offering an example. When we're asked how things are going, our reply is nearly always the same (this goes for everyone, not just my family), "Good." "Just fine, thank you. And you?" "Very well." "Couldn't be better!" "Can't complain." And so forth. Know what I'm talking about? We plaster fake, happy smiles on our faces until the moment we're 'free' to pick up where we left off. We tell everyone we're so blessed, yet we can barely stand to be in the same room with a parent or sibling.
Anyways, the other aspect of being transparent I've been pondering is knowing when to ask for help. Believe me, it's humbling. Sometimes it downright (dare I say it) sucks. It can be humiliating. Yesterday I went to someone for advice and wound up with an immense blessing; I wasn't looking for it. I had a solution in mind (but definitely not the one I wanted) and someone offered me a hand up. Just that little bit of encouragement with no strings attached changed my attitude. I slept through the night last night for the first time in weeks. Don't get me wrong, I'm still worried about a great deal, but I woke up feeling some hope, some assurance that I could get through the day without tears. Is the road ahead easy? By no means, NO! But I know I can get through the next few days. I have to.
Tomorrow night we're loading the moving truck and early Friday morning we'll be headed to the Coast. If a few more details would kindly work themselves out I'd feel such a burden lifted. They will...in His time. Too bad we can't comprehend His time!