I had a great conversation with a friend of mine this morning….you know, one of those totally unexpected, spontaneous talks that leaves you walking away really thinking. It wasn’t stunning and we didn’t solve all the problems of the world but there was just something about it. Something unexpectedly beautiful. And it made me realize something….or at least fully grab onto something about who I am. I am not a fluff person. She is not a fluff person. And I’m not saying that fluff is a bad thing at all….sometimes it’s actually really refreshing. But at my core, that is not who I am. I’m a deep dweller. I dwell in the deep. I think deep. I analyze (everything) really deep. I feel deep. And I realized something in talking with her. I need deep.
In the season of my life, I have needed something deeper than the average devotional or email in my inbox every day. I have needed deep, hard truths, that not everyone has been willing or able to give me. It’s hard to speak truth to someone who is going through a “dark night of the soul” season. We don’t want to be “that one”. The one who may seem harsh or unkind. We don’t want to hurt feelings. We want to be encouraging and hopeful and tell them everything is going to be fine. And everyone needs that, but for the sake of honesty, is that really going to impact a heart that has been torn in pieces to keep moving forward? What if saying, “I cannot even imagine your struggle. I know this is hard. Harder than you think you can bear. It’s going to be a long road and a really hard road and nothing I can say will make it any better but I am with you. I commit to walking with you, praying with you, loving you however long it takes. I will not put my own timetable on you. But I will tell you when you are having tunnel vision. I will tell you to stop feeling sorry for yourself. I will tell you to stop complaining and run back to the tower of His name. But I will love you fiercely and I will hold you up when you are broken and torn and cannot lift your arms one more time.”
You see, my friends Kelly and Becky and Angie, they are my truth tellers. Kelly told me once to stop looking for scriptures to make myself feel better and find scriptures that talk about the character of God, about who He really Is, scriptures that glorify Him. She reminds me consistently to praise Him, to speak out what I am thankful for and to get myself back in the tower. Becky listens. She asks questions that make me think and she points me to Jesus. She sends me music that ministers to the deep places in me. Angie speaks to me of her own testimony. She hears the voice of the Lord in such a way that it oozes out of her without me even thinking twice about it. And none of them are afraid to tell me the truth.
And then there is my sister. She is my person. She will never know what she has done for me because I cannot find the right words to express it. She asked me once, “What if it’s not about you Mitzie?” Sounds like a simple question but I was ticked. I wanted her to tell me how I was doing “it” right and that I was seeing things the right way and that I was right on target. But she didn’t. She made me pull up short. It took me a bit to get over being angry with her but I did when I saw how right she was. It wasn’t about me in that moment. There was a MUCH bigger picture. And she was willing to tell me. She impacted me the way that platitudes and Christianese never could. She asked me questions that changed my life.
Here’s the funny part, every spiritual gifting test I have ever done has come out with one “over the top” answer. Every. Single. One.
My gift is mercy. And God is using this season to bring a wholeness to that gifting. I can encourage and lift up and speak brightly of hard situations. But I am now learning to speak the truth with that. And I’m saying all of this because I feel like God is birthing in me a new dream. A new purpose. There is a fire in my bones. A new fire. A new vision. A new hope. I saw it clearly when I made the devil mad recently. And I realized he was mad because I had pushed him back from something he thought he had won and he came at me with guns blazing and I WAS NOT AFRAID. I saw for myself and FOR REAL that we wrestle not against flesh and blood (people) but against principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness (satan and his demons).
So here’s the thing. I feel like people are looking for something more. And needing something more. Something more than the average devotional or daily encouragement. They need real, deep, truths. Someone to point them to hope and life and Jesus. Something really real and deep and true. I am only a person but I am here. Stop living in hopelessness and reach out. Stop accepting that this is just how life is supposed to be. Stop making excuses. Stop accepting that the things you think are truth, when they are just crap the enemy is feeding you every day. Stop being afraid to ask. Ask. You will never know if you don’t ask. If there is someone you have always wanted to talk to that you are drawn to, push back your fear and reach out. If it’s me then reach out. Please. If it’s your neighbor then reach out. If it’s a person at church that you desire relationship with, then reach out. Stop complaining about how nothing ever changes and reach out. YOU be the one to initiate change. Doing nothing is still a decision and it’s a decision to keep being miserable. Staying miserable is just a way to look for attention and it’s attention that never lasts. Go after something that will last. Forever.