This is the word that reverberated in my thoughts and penetrated the raw, vulnerable parts of myself as I mindlessly drove down the highway, blinking back the tears that were trying their very hardest to spill over and make my pain visible.
As I made vain attempts at pushing away my thoughts and thinking on other things, and reminding myself of God’s grace and irrepressible faithfulness, each road marker hit me like a bullet, connecting with the bulls-eye of memories I often plead with God to free me from. All at once a flood of people that used to be in my life come filtering through my mind, the memories of them taunting me by screaming that sometimes people are only ever a part of your life to leave you. Then the vicious cycle of questions begin to scream at me for answers:
Why weren’t you good enough?
Why don’t they want to be part of your life?
Why have they forgotten you?
Where. Are. They?
After each question the pity piles higher and higher. A mound so high that God’s grace is lost on me, hidden deep in the shadows of the value in myself I feel is not recognized.
I guess here’s the thing – when all you want to do is share with others – to help them see that they don’t have to go it alone, that you will sit down with them and poor over the brokenness they may be feeling, and encourage them to see God’s grace and mercy in every ounce of bad that ever penetrates their life, when you want to be a person that someone can count on – but you find yourself in a lot of half-baked friendships, and ones that last for a short while and then fade, or just with person after person not even pausing as they walk out the door, it feels like a whole lot of failure.
I believe a huge part of the pain God walks us through has everything to do with ministering His glory to someone who will need to see it some day.
But maybe today is not that day.
Maybe God still needs to work the kinks out of the issues which are not quite resolved in your own heart before you can ever begin to bring clarity to someone else’s. Maybe He’s just not quite finished with where He has you right now.
Here is another thing –
I say this out of love and care, whether you’re a guy or a girl, it doesn’t matter – God does not call you to fix someone who is broken, to be their healing, to make them happy or bring them joy – He heals. This is not to say that He won’t use you for someone to see His goodness, but if you are looking for a man or woman after God’s heart and feel compelled to heal their pain or fix their brokenness and they allow you to, then something has to give. We help each other with the burdens of life that weigh us down, but God carries us. Oh girls (and I only say this because it is what I can relate to, not because I don’t know it goes both ways) I know how badly you want to take away the pain you see in someone – how much you want them to know you value them and care about them – how much you want them to know you are there for them amidst what they are going through, but a godly man will not spill his deepest hurts with you and ask you to carry them for him. A godly man will respect you and love you enough to seek Christ for his emotional support.
“There is an emotional promiscuity we’ve noticed among many good young men and women. The young man understands something of the journey of the heart. He wants to talk, to “share the journey.” The woman is grateful to be pursued, she opens up. They share the intimacies of their lives – their wounds, their walks with God. But he never commits. He enjoys her… then leaves. And she wonders, What did I do wrong? She failed to see his passivity. He really did not ever commit or offer assurances that he would.” -Stasi Eldgredge
Emotional promiscuity is just as dangerous as physical promiscuity, and I would say just as damaging, and girls are just as guilty of this, probably even more so. If hearts are being deeply shared, but no prayer or commitment or defining of what God has been showing either one of you is being expressed than something is wrong. Trust me, no matter how badly you just want to be there for someone, you can’t – you can’t you can’t – no matter how much of you is yearning to be that emotional support. You are giving away emotions and deep, intimate connecting that is only meant for your spouse, and I don’t care how cheesy that may sound, because when you find yourself broken hearted with devastation you will know just how much so God never desired or designed for that to be the end result. Years of healing, and questioning your worth are left in the wake of its path.
A godly man will seek the heart of Christ and tread with respect as he walks alongside Christ’s daughters, seeking how to honor you, not use you emotionally to feel better, or worse, enter into a relationship with you while knowing he is not healed and is carrying around burdens you should not ever have to carry for him. A godly man will be intune to Christ’s heart and will seek Him, and pray, and ask God to reveal His will, and pursue you as Christ pursues you every day.
I promise you, one day you will wake up, and all you will desire is to be a vessel for God’s kingdom, no matter what you gain or lose along the way. Loneliness will not vanish, pain will not disappear out of your life, desires for your future will remain intact, discouragements will come, doubts will be raised, hope will be clung to, weariness will creep up again and again, but confidence will be sure – because you will desire God to use you, every day, in whatever capacity He chooses, to bring glory to His kingdom, regardless of your gain. You will revel in your rescue, and will find the most joy when sharing of His ceaseless grace and endless love, and the peace despite the journey, will be so so satisfying.
Pray boldly to Christ – ask boldly, seek boldly, knock boldly – I believe it is a beautiful thing to fall prostrate before Him laying out every thought and emotion raging within you – He will meet you, and He will draw near. Do not think for one second He will shame you for crying out to Him.
No, my dear, He will count every tear and pour blessing upon blessing straight into your heart and you will know He is ever so faithful in time of need.
“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I Myself will search for My sheep and look after them…I will RESCUE them from ALL the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness…I will SEARCH for the lost and BRING BACK the strays. I will BIND UP the hurt and injured and STRENGTHEN the weak…I will make them and the places surrounding My hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be SHOWERS OF BLESSING. The trees will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be SECURE in their land. They will KNOW that I am the Lord, when I BREAK THE BARS of their yoke and RESCUE them from the hands of those who enslaved them. They will NO LONGER be plundered…they will live in SAFETY and NO ONE will make them afraid.”