Truth be told, my time with them has been limited, and I truly don't know a lot about them, though I learned a little more last night, but there is a bond and a connection that knits our hearts together. The Lord has put me on their hearts, and they are reaching out to invest in me, because they see something worth laying hold of. They believe in me, and have confidence in me. They are too dear sweet women who I feel like my name is safe on their lips. That's what I told them last night as we left the restaurant.
For me to feel that way about someone is somewhat rare, and sadly it seems to become more rare all the time. They aren't the only people I feel that way about, by any means, but the list is still short. And because the Lord seems to have gifted me with these two women, these "mothers of the faith," it is particularly dear to me that God has placed them in my life. When I am with them, I feel unconditional love and acceptance. What a rare gift that is.
Truth be told, I didn't want to go last night. I was very close to cancelling just because I am so worn out. My body is not my friend. I have been in chronic pain long enough now, that I have finally lost count of just how long. Even as I sit here and type now, the pain in my neck and shoulders is throbbing. My emotions likewise have taken a beating. I am hurt and raw. The pain of it seems ongoing, and rising up in new places all the time. Even as I sat with the ladies and we talked, new arrows pierced my heart, not from them, but through our conversation.
These women because they love me, and although they support me, and even truly like me, I think, are far from simple cheerleaders. They are willing to, dare I say, determined to speak truth into my life, even hard truth. They do it lovingly, but they don't hold back. And I have to say, it is far easier to receive from someone who you feel your name is safe with than it is with anyone where there is even a hint of distrust.
These mothers of the faith, fast becoming like spiritual moms to me, know and see that there are hard things I am called to do. Things that bring about the emotional pain and personal hurts. Hard things that are hard when you feel good, but feel almost burdensome when your body is not your friend. But because they love me, they wouldn't accept my excuses.
They held my hand and spoke words of life as I sat there crying in the corner booth, but they didn't relent from speaking the truth. They didn't let the compassion they felt for me overwhelm the truth they believe for me. And every time I said "It's too hard," they countered with "But in Christ you can." I've spoken those words to others myself, and I have to say, they are hard to hear but necessary just the same.
"Take your thoughts captive," they instructed. "Speak words of life," they said. It's true, every time I say it's hard, it really gets a little harder.
Finally the Lord gave me the word picture that I understood. When my kids were littler, and I was chasing after the three, ages, 2, 3 and 10, it was easy for life to get consumed by the 2 and 3 year old who were needy and insistent and demanded their wants NOW! It made it harder to keep track of the ten-year-old who took advantage of my distraction and would wander off on his own way. He'd wander off and get himself into trouble, the more distracted I was, the further he went.
My emotions and my body are like the 2 and 3 year old, screaming out, throwing their tantrums, demanding all my attention NOW! And while it is easy to become consumed with how I am feeling both emotionally and physically, my mind, the 10 year old is off and wandering in the wrong direction. The one who KNOWS better is willingly going astray. And the further it wanders, the harder it is to bring it back, and the more havoc wreaked in the mean time.
When the kids were little and that happened, it meant putting the young ones somewhere safe, but a place that required less focus, down for a nap, in a time out, in a playpen to pay- their needs no less important, their demands no less intent, but the priority they were given was lessened, and the focus was brought back to the 10 year old, to bring him back under his proper training. To remind him of what he already knew and raise both the expectation and the focus to it being accomplished.
My body and emotions are what they are. I can't mature or heal them instantly out of the place they'r ein, but I can put them aside safely and get my mind back to focusing on the place that the battle is truly to be won, over my mind and thoughts.
These two women gently yet firmly reminded me, I know the Truth. I am to live by the Truth, and my focus needs to be on the Truth. It's time to reign in the big "kid" and get him back on track.
II Corinthians 10:3-6
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”