real life, real me

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Yesterday a very cool thing happened at church.  I was able to talk to a woman with breast cancer who was not only just about to start chemo, but also facing a double mastectomy.  I got to hear how scared she was and tell her how scared I had been too, and how good God had been.  I got to pray with her and hug her as she cried.  I got to say the things that I wished I had said to the lady at Five Guys a few days ago, and because I had been thinking about what I wished I had told her, it was right there in my mind to share with this sweet sister.

I think this may be a way God is going to use me.  Nothing I asked for or looked for, but one of those things that just comes to us.  Someone said to me the other day “You know Kim, your hair is your ministry now”.  I think I responded by saying something like “I have a few different ones”, which on reflection sounds pretty arrogant, but that wasn’t what I meant at all.  I just wasn’t really thinking of my hair (or lack thereof) as my main focus of ministry.  But it does seem that God is pointing me that way.

I thought I was supposed to be teaching.  It’s something I love and miss doing.  Maybe I am, but I tossed out an invitation for a Bible study and it didn’t seem like there was a lot of interest.  Maybe that wasn’t the right concept, a study at my house.  Or maybe I’m just being impatient.  I admit that I get frustrated sometimes trying to figure out what God wants.  I’d love a pillar of fire or smoke to follow sometimes.  Or a burning bush.

But then again, I have the written Word, and I have a hard enough time following that.  Little stuff like Ephesians 4:9 – “Don’t say anything that would hurt another person. Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you.”  Or I Thessalonians 5:16-18 – “Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.”

Yeah.  Well.  Not always doing so well on that “cheerful all the time” part.  Or the “speaking only what is good” thing.  Or for that matter, the “thanking God no matter what happens”, haven’t really gotten that one down either.  The fact of the matter is, lately I’ve been having a pretty rough time with some things, and I’ve been kind of down.  Some things I can talk about – like the fact that I’m alone a lot more than I’m used to and, hey, I’m lonelier than I expected, or the post-chemo let-down that I didn’t know about but my doctor says is very normal.  Some things I can’t, they are more private, but they are there nonetheless.   I do my best not to let it show, but then I’m not being the real me either.  And life’s too short to go around being fake.

So, what’s the answer?  I can’t say I absolutely know.  My best thought is to share my bad feelings with someone who cares, as much as is possible.  Ones that really can’t be talked about with people can always be talked about with God.  (He knows them anyway, I’m not fooling him if I try to act all churchy and hide them.)  And then do like David always did in the Psalms when he was having a hissy fit.  He would rant and rave, and even yell at God – but at the end, he would always come back talking about to God’s goodness, his faithfulness, his character.  It’s a matter of focus.  The situation, or the Savior.

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6 thoughts on “real life, real me

  1. Jean

    God has great plans and adventures for each of us, however these have a habit of making themselves obvious when we least expect it.
    On Sunday my Minister made a comment during his sermon that went something along the lines of – when bad things happen to us it is like we are sheep and God has put an electric fence round us to stop us straying. When we try to stray it’s like we (the sheep) are touching the electric fence and that may hurt a little – God just wants to keep us safe.
    Let me know what you think about this, I wasn’t quite sure how to take this.

    • I think it makes a lot of sense. It’s the same reason our bodies are made to feel pain – to tell us that something is wrong. That doesn’t mean, however, that every time something bad happens it means that we are straying. (My husband has a brown beard. Not every man with a brown beard is my husband) Sometimes bad things happen just because we live in an imperfect world. Sometimes bad things happen because of our choices, or because of someone else’s. Sometimes things that seem bad to us are actually things God is using to change us and grow us and make us more like Jesus. So we have to really learn to walk closely to him and listen carefully, to know when he is saying “no, don’t go there” and when he is saying “this might hurt but it’s to help you”. Just like the doctor, right?

  2. Ronnie Gatley

    Did you ever think that holding back some of your most private, personal thoughts and problems are who you are? Doesn’t mean your being fake or it’s not the real you. You don’t seem the type to go on the Jerry Springer show to let it all hang out for the world to hear and see! Some things we all need to hold in our hearts that we can and should only share with the Almighty. That’s just an other part of who you truly are. How many times did Mary hold something in her heart? Something to think about. Take care. God is Good!

    • Thanks Ronnie. I’m definitely not a Jerry Springer guest! I guess I was thinking more about the idea of trying to act happy and “up” when I didn’t really feel it, being not really me. But, OTOH, I don’t have to wear every negative thought and emotion on my sleeve and subject the world to them either. I think too many people do that, take out whatever bad feelings they are going through on whomever is around. So, take it to Jesus, and remember how good God is… I guess that’s my best direction. 🙂

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