One Conversation Led to Another
It was a conversation I was not looking forward to because I anticipated it would be full of challenges. As I listened to the sharing I was struck by the sensitivity, personal ownership with no blame or shame attached to it. In fact I was very surprised at how well the talk went. The points were made, and the call ended. However this is where the challenge began for me.
As I reflected on what I heard I began to feel uptight, lost and confused. The sharing had a lot to do with behavior that had happened in the past. Most of it had been shared before but hearing it again made feel responsible in a profound way. The problem is I did not at the time have the ability to respond. In the several days that followed I experienced a dull ongoing inside ache. It was like a tooth that has pain when you eat or drink cold water. It was there but I tried my best to avoid it. The pain had to do with a relationship important to me and I began to project the pain in this relationship to others I was engaging with during the week. If I hurt this person in a deep way how is it possible for me to care for others in the name of Jesus. I was down, lethargic and going through the motions. I battled with shame, blame and fear. I knew it was a spiritual battle but I was not able to get energy to move out of my state of mind and heart. I am part of a 24/7 prayer team and I have one hour a week I am committed to be in prayer. I realized I was in not it a good place to be praying for anyone. I did not desire to address the pain the conversation had caused me this week. I knew to hear from the Lord I would need to be authentic to Him. I knew He already knew I was I was going through. But it was difficult to actually tell the Lord- this how the real Jim is doing. I took the leap and shared with Him. Words in my journal like depression, failure and fraud jumped onto the page. I let out all my feelings and thoughts. Psalm 40 1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. I was able to the best of my ability to share what was inside of me. I was ready to ask Him what I needed to know. Immediately I received a picture of white chapters in a book. I inquired of Him again on what I needed to know about this image. In a quiet strong voice I heard I have many chapters to write in your life going forward. This gave me great hope. I often take time to be with the Lord in our kitchen. It has a window to give me an outside view and it’s close to making my coffee. As in most kitchens it also has a dishwasher. After getting the image of white chapters the dishwasher started up. At first I was frustrated but the Lord caught my attention and reminded me that my life was like the dishwasher. Cutlery and dish ware are sprayed with hot water and detergent mixed in to clean everything. I realized I was in Lord’s dishwasher being cleansed in the blood of Jesus on the cross. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. I had more hope and peace. As the dishwasher did its work I was reminded of how the Lord wants me to confess, be authentic with him and He will make me clean. I still have a lot to think about from the first conversation. I am so thankful for the second conversation with the Lord that has given hope and confidence to write a new clean chapter addressing the pain I felt.