Proverbs 27 : 5 – 6
Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
I have decided to keep blogging because my heart yearns to share more of God’s Great Love for us with you, whoever you may be!
The past few days have once again seen me flabbergasted at just how God shows up in His Mighty grace to guide me ever so patiently into greater and greater freedom. If you’ve been following my journey, you’ll know that I am a person who is only just learning to face the fears of not being good enough or worthy of love. Two days ago I shared of how God is calling me to speak the truth to those I love, rather than hide it to avoid hurting their feelings, which inevitably leads to me suffocating myself in bitterness or turning to gossip to release it. I have been learning so much from following these Biblical nudges toward truth-telling in grace and in seeking the wisdom and prayer of others in the process.
I’m learning that true intentional living, something I shared about yesterday, is hard, hard work, but work that reaps incredible freedom and release. I have been learning that telling the truth can hurt others deeply, but that this can be softened by seeking God’s grace, where I naturally lean toward anger, hurt and a quick response that cuts open the wound even further.
Proverbs 12: 18
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 16 : 24
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
I’m also learning that to speak the truth in love can best be done face to face, as words can be misconstrued and cause greater wounds in the weight they carry without the softening tone of the spoken voice. Food for thought on the power of social media to cut even more deeply, with its strong focus on immediacy.
As a person who feels safer in the written than the spoken word, this requires me to step into my fears, trusting in God to guide me into wisdom and grace in what I say and how I say it. I did that today and it greatly encouraged me that God and His Grace do indeed show up.
In choosing to speak the truth, I have, however, also been reckoning with the lies that have held me captive for so very long: lies that say I am unworthy of love and that God will reject and leave me. In receiving hurtful words in response to sharing the truth (without the grace of softening spoken intonation), my first response was to soak in the misery of it: first to blame myself, then to get depressed, then finally to get angry at God for allowing me to suffer in being obedient to Him and His Word. But this in itself is a step forward for me: actually directing my anger at God, rather than choosing to remain in the repression of depression. It is then I saw Him show me His Love and Presence.
That day, I visited other blogs I found on a link-up page of a Christian blog, following the instructions to visit and encourage others after linking up my own blog. The first blog I visited quoted the Scripture that broke truth into the ensnaring and overwhelming PTSD flashbacks I experienced after I lost my Mum to cancer: some may call it co-incidence, I like to think of it as God’s way of showing me He is with me, loving me through the hard. Then, I visited blogs I’d shared on my own blog in Love Writes Community and in re-reading them to comment, several of them spoke such truth into my own hard, reminding me of God’s great love, faithfulness and power. Finally, in facing another situation of speaking the truth, I opened my journal to a page that included one Scripture after another of resting in God’s safe presence in our fears.
After watching the grace unfold in the truth-telling conversation, my heart welled up and I sat there thinking about the years I’d chosen to hide myself and my emotions and the bitterness and exhaustion it had caused. I am starting to taste the freedom of grace: of opening myself up (in fear, but trust) to be filled. In time, I strongly suspect that the fear I still feel now in such situations, will greatly diminish, as I learn to trust God more fully by repeatedly choosing to act on the conviction from His Word.
In experiencing grace in this one case, my heart was also more open to the wisdom I’d sought from family and friends in knowing how to respond to the hurt unleashed upon me (when I chose to write rather than speak the truth). I had also cooled enough to see that the hurt spoken was rooted in insecurity and pain caused in part by my decision to write, rather than speak the truth. Consequently, I was able to respond in love and grace, bringing balming salve, instead of deeper cuts. In so doing, I saw us draw closer to each other as the truth that first wounded, now opened both our eyes and hearts to truly see each other. In some ways this truth hurt, as I saw that I needed to grieve the loss of something the person is unable to give me. However, it also made me thankful that I’d chosen to draw back, pray, seek prayers and wisdom, and reflect before responding. I don’t think it’s a co-incidence I put this Scripture on my fridge a few weeks ago and have been reflecting on it repeatedly all this time, as I keep seeing it again:
James 1: 19
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
I still have so much to learn and so much I’d like to do differently next time, but I am so incredibly thankful for God’s patient, loving, tender and faithful love He has shown me through this all. I pray that whoever reads this, will also be blessed and encouraged by it that God ALWAYS shows up.