Somewhere along my journey I lost my ability to communicate my feelings openly and confidently to others. If someone hurt my feelings, I would close myself up in the back bathroom and cry. If someone upset me, I would close myself up in my room and sleep the anger away. If someone did something to offend me, I would try to find ways to deal with that person in a loving way without ever addressing the offense in hopes that I would eventually just “get over it.”
When serious matters arose in my life and forced me to make decisions about things that would affect me and many of my loved ones for the rest of our lives, I was so tangled in my own thoughts and so lost in my own emotional turmoil that my vision became more and more blurred. The line between right and wrong was vague. The distinction between things of significance and the small stuff that really didn’t matter became less clear.
I wrote in journals A LOT throughout my teenage and young adult years. I figured it was best to write in journals and deal with issues on my own than to talk with others—and I mean REALLY talk with others—who genuinely cared for me, wouldn’t judge me, would pray with me, and wanted what was best for me. The problem with that is that the enemy had a chance to get into my psyche and place some thoughts there that, when watered by me, grew into actions that I was not the most proud of and had consequences I would have to deal with for the rest of my life. I was so ashamed that I shut down even more. And I shut others out even more. My prayer life suffered. I felt guilty and unworthy to approach my Heavenly Father.
How could I pray for forgiveness when there was no telling if I would do the exact same thing again? How could I witness to others when I felt like such a sinner? How could I stand in front of God’s people when I had been so low the night before?
I could go so many directions with this, but I will stick with my original intention and address other points at a later time. For now I just want to say that while it is imperative that we have alone time with the Lord spent praying, listening to, and strengthening our relationship with Him, it is not a good idea to shut others out. God intended for us to have relationships, friendships and interactions with other people. We can draw strength and support from other positive people that He places in our life.
It is a trick of the enemy to convince us to cease interaction with other strong, positive people who are on fire for the Lord. He wants to get into our minds and make us feel terribly guilty and inadequate. Satan rejoices when we are isolated and stop communicating with God. He loves to watch us falling further and further into sin and moving further and further away from the Master.
Thank God He loves us in spite of ourselves. Thank God He continues to tenderly call out to us to return to Him. Thank God for His grace and mercy.
I want you to know that no matter what, I love you. I am here for you. I want what’s best for you. When I don’t know the answers I will tell you JUST that and pray with you through whatever situations may arise in your life. No matter how bad things seem, no matter how upset you think I will be, no matter how disappointed you are in yourself, you can ALWAYS talk to me. Chances are I’ve been where you are or know someone who has been who can provide spiritual guidance and sound counsel. Your life is yours to live. I can’t live it for you, but I can stand with you in prayer.