Friday, March 27, 2015

Say What You Mean - Mean What you Say

If there is one thing I have learned since I became a caregiver it is to be open and honest with my feelings. I learned that God is big enough to handle my "real" feelings - there's no need to "protect" Him. People I had more difficulty with because you're never sure how someone is going to take what you say and how it's going to affect them. Over and over I've had people tell me that they appreciate the openness and transparency with which I write. But it didn't come easy for me. Maybe I just figured I didn't have anything to lose; or perhaps I just got too tired to filter everything any more. Who knows?

I've been open and honest with God for a lot longer since I figured He already knows what I really think, so why would I try to hide my emotions or thoughts from Him? But being open with people has been another story. I have trust issues for sure - and I'm not denying that. Actually, this openness that I am just discovering is something I've admired about David and the other psalmist. In too many instances, the "church" has directly or indirectly taught us that our emotions are a sin. I've been told, Don't say that  or even you shouldn't feel that way. What other way can I feel, but how I feel? (smile)

David doesn't seem at all worried about what people think about his feelings and emotions. He just lays it all out there before God and man. And David was a king - he was in the public eye which means that a whole lot more people actually cared what he thought. I think sometimes he seems ambiguous, or divided in his thoughts. For instance, in Psalm 25:15 He makes a bold statement of faith:

My eyes are continually toward the Lord,
For He will pluck my feet out of the net.

He makes a plea for grace followed immediately by some strong emotions. 

I am lonely and afflicted
the troubles of my heart are enlarged
bring me out of my distresses

In some of the circles I've been affiliated with we were not even allowed to say we were lonely, afflicted or distressed. Using these "negative" terms was considered to be showing a lack of faith. But I think that we cannot honestly ask God for help with something we cannot acknowledge. And how can we honestly accept His help if we refuse to declare our needs? 

God is big enough to hear our earnest plea for help. His hearing is good enough to hear our silent cries in the night. As caregivers we are used to carrying the whole load; and we typically feel like we have to act like super heroes and do it all on our own - or we are failing. (Maybe that's just me!) But today is a good day to just be honest with God about our emotions, feelings, struggles and victories. Another psalmist said God is a very present help in time of trouble. I like that He is very present. 

Today I am going to roll all of my cares over onto God's big shoulders. I'm going to be honest with Him about the troubles of my heart, and I am going to trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

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