I was laying there trying to rest this afternoon while the little ones were sleeping when I felt stirred to come down and reconnect with all of you. So hello, my dears! I have missed you!
My thoughts have been to many places but just now they landed on the realization I have had since I was very little... that fear keeps us from being WHO we are. Fear of what others may think, fear of awkwardness, fear of rejection and/or ridicule. These are all very real and hurt very deeply when we put ourselves out there only to feel as though the door has been slammed in our faces.
That's when God taught me to give from my heart so that once it leaves who I am, it is no longer mine... whatever happens to it cannot affect me. Then my heart can truly become, a gift.
So I have often asked myself "what fear is keeping me from being completely myself?" And "what am I prepared/willing to do about it?"
And so I will share with you something about who I am that I often reserve for when I have truly gotten to know someone. Even then, there are times I think it may create too much awkwardness and I merely keep it to myself.
Well, I no longer want to be the judge of what other people can handle or not. I will be authentic, real, genuine and trust that you will decide for yourself if you want to create awkwardness between us, or accept that this may be "unique", or appreciate the risk I have taken to be as real as I can with you... without fear.
Since I have been little, it's as though I can "see" people's hearts. Perhaps "feel" their hearts is a better word to use here. I think that is why people's anger towards me or harshness does not always cut deep because my eyes see past that to their hearts and the cross that they bear in their life and I see my equal as a sinner, as a child of God, as someone struggling in this life no differently than I am.
Some people have a light that shines through their eyes. I call it "God light." These are people whose hearts I can feel serve others, give unconditionally and rejoice at being a servant unto others. It's not to say they are faultless... none of us are! But their hearts emanate a strength or harmonious rhythm that is in sync with God's love. Does that make sense?
I actually believe we ALL have this ability... to see each other for who we really are, but sometimes we let our egos and hurts or FEARS build up walls or barriers that make us turn a blind eye to what is real in our fellow brother or sister. In fearing being seen for who we really are, we miss out on seeing who others truly are.
Sometimes this gifts extends into that person's health. I have sometimes sat next to someone and have felt overwhelmed with the pain emanating from a specific part of their body. Other times it comes in the form of an image.
I sat next to a young woman once at a party whom I did not know, only her name. I felt a great heat radiating from her stomach and I swallowed my fear of making a fool of myself and asked her, "are you suffering a great deal with stomach pains?" She blinked at me in surprise and looked slightly uncomfortable but answered "yes... very much so." The feeling of motherhood swept over me and the image of two siblings so I asked her, "you have two siblings?" Again she blinked and said "yes." "You are not the eldest but you take care of both of them, don't you?" She nodded in dismay. Then a fatherly figure flashed before my mind with a crippled left arm so I interpreted that to the best of my ability and continued, "Is your father quite sick with a crippled left arm?" At this point, she seemed to have surrendered to whatever you'd call this interaction (almost relieved) and said "yes, he has cancer in his left arm." "And that is when your stomach pains started?" At that question, she did the math in her head and seemed amazed that the two incidences seemed to coincide. Her heart was heavy with the burden of parenting her two siblings and the stress/fear of it all was affecting her stomach. She suffered this quietly, which is when someone's heart cries out to me the most, as these are the ones that suffer the most. Finally I said to her "Everything will be just fine regardless of what you do. Please resume being a loving sister and daughter and know that you cannot control whatever the outcome may be. But know that whatever that outcome is, all will be perfectly fine."
To my dismay, tears were falling from her eyes and she gave me the biggest hug. I have no idea what the outcome turned out to be but I took a big risk because I feared her own heart's well-being over my being ridiculed. My ego was no match for what I felt crying out from her heart.
One time I did let awkwardness keep me from speaking out. There was a man in his late forties whom we saw on a weekly basis at community gatherings but he and his family mostly kept to themselves. One day I looked at him and was amazed to see a very old and sickly man! I had to blink my eyes as I thought perhaps the lighting was playing tricks on me. And then I felt a cry from his colon (yes, I know that sounds positively silly) but I even said to Duane, "I think that man has colon cancer." Duane seemed surprise as this was a very healthy family and this man was still so young but sure enough within three months, it was announced that he was diagnosed with progressive colon cancer.
If I had not been afraid of misinterpreting the "feeling" and of creating awkwardness between us and this family, could I have helped them gain some critical time in fighting this? Why did I let fear keep me from sharing what I felt?
I am amazed at how much our body's ailments seem to coincide with things we have struggled to let go of. And that is sometimes where people's hearts cry out. Sometimes I hear them, sometimes I do not. I pray that these instances are gifts from God but sometimes I feel afraid that they may not be. Afterall, what am I to do with them? There are many times I have kept my mouth shut for fear of ruining the relationships I have, or for fear of misunderstanding the "feelings." But do I "see" these things because they are meant to be addressed? How can this bring glory to God?
I know He changes my heart when He does these things because it challenges me to look beyond a person's current state of mind (grumpy, irritable, angry, vengeful) to see deeper to the heart of the matter. Every single person struggles through life... I have not felt a single heart that did not have to push through traumas, painful events, etc... Maybe that is why it feels effortless to love you all out there... I KNOW you suffer. I KNOW you weep. I KNOW you feel afraid of what you may be or what you may not be, and of what others think you are. And worst of all, I know so many of you suffer these fears ALONE.
And it makes me wish that God would grant me the biggest/longest arms in the world that I could stretch out and collect every one of you, and rock you lovingly on my lap reassuring you that you are precious, that you are designed to heal, that nothing can touch your soul... not your past mistakes, not the ones you make willingly, not the ones you make unknowingly. Your soul belongs to God and God alone which means you contain His beauty within you. Do not ever LIMIT yourselves to your mistakes! They could never DEFINE you! But they will play key roles in SHAPING you! Do not let shame prevent your mistakes from teaching you... and do not let shame keep you from sharing your new-gained wisdom with others. We're in this life together, good and bad. May we be loving and gracious in our interactions with each other.
And please, please, please, do not rob yourself of healing by telling yourself you cannot share your pain with others because you may be perceived as weak! It takes far more courage and strength to reach out with your pain than to contain it within yourself. And trust me, I hear the hearts cry out whose suffering is so loud with loneliness and no one on this earth should bear that burden alone. No one.
So may this posting reach out to you and love you just as you are. May you be freed from fear of being alone in your faults and mistakes. May you be loved for being here by God's Will... and may you forgive yourself your mistakes and let them shape you in wisdom. I love you very much, truly, from the bottom of my heart. And if this meagre, struggling human being can love you this much, just imagine how much God must love you!!
God bless you all out there!