The past couple of weeks, I have had an extremely difficult time opening up the Word and listening to what God has to say to me. I don’t have the motivation or desire to get to know God, which has made my relationship with Him suffer. Nevertheless, in the midst of my confusion and doubt, He rests a truth in me that has brought me out of some of the darkest days.
As I have shared before, I am going through a trial right now, one that is far from over. However, it is part of God’s perfect plan, and it was ordained to happen. It has helped me see for myself why it is important to not bottle up emotions. In the midst of all the uncertainty, God has used Paul’s message to the Philippian church to bring me closer to Him and some of the greatest blessings in my life.
It’s sad how much the world contradicts God’s Word. The world says it’s okay to never truly deal with situations, to sweep them under the rug, to never let others know you are hurting and struggling. The world seems more concerned about coming off as perfect and flawless, instead of broken and in need of a Savior.
For years, I thought the world’s way of dealing with difficult situations was normal. For years, I bottled up emotions and swept feelings under a rug. When I did express myself, I did not do so with a gentle and quiet spirit, but with a short-temper and fear. People did not want to associate with me when this happened, and I don’t blame them. I didn’t want to associate with myself either. Heck, I didn’t even know who I was to begin with.
Looking back at the past month, I have definitely revisited some of those same tendencies and uncertainties. I still do as I type this post, which is why I tell you I have struggled to find God in the darkness. I have been irrational, angry, confused, and ashamed. My husband has seen me at my worst through this current trial.
Although I slipped back into some of my old ways, with God’s help, I tried something new, too. This time, I put a previous quiet time with the Lord into practice. I reached out to someone who knew where I was at in this struggle, and it made all the difference. I wanted people to be present with me in this situation. I did not want to be alone in the pain. I wanted to be real and honest rather than put up a front for months on end. My heart deeply yearned to connect with those I love on a new heart level, especially those who knew the situation and could meet me exactly where I was in the chaos.
It’s important to note, though, that these individuals did not become my God or healer in this process. No, they became my brothers and sisters in Christ. They became the fellowship I need, the fellowship we all need.
God did not create us to live this life alone. He created us to share and be present with others, to walk alongside them. By the grace of God, I have a wonderful community of believers to support me through this trial. They are people who love on me and pray for me. They are people who hold me accountable for sinful behaviors, who ask me tough questions, and listen without judgment. They are people who point me to Jesus Christ.
Not only is it important to note that God is the ultimate strength and provider for all, but that sharing with others takes a step of walking out in faith and trusting God is present in the difficult discussion. If I have learned anything from my years of bottling up my emotions, it is that no one will truly know what you are going through or what you face until you reach out to them yourself. It’s not easy, but the small discussion is nothing compared to the peace that comes from letting others into your life, from walking with God and those whom He places in your life.
Treasure the relationships the Lord gives you. Even though some of those relationships are the very ones that bring pain and heartache, there are others that will be the very community that lead you to the cross. Don’t live life alone. Seek a friend or two and get to know him or her on a heart level. In the chaos of life, he or she will be there to lead you to the cross. Cling to the cross. Cling.