Many of you related to the devotional, “Choosing When and How to Reveal My Heart” by Daphne Tarango.
Daphne writes, “Yes, I struggle. Chronic illness makes me feel angry, confused, disgusted, fearful, helpless, and flat out sad. But by being willing to speak those words to others, they, too, become willing to shatter their masquerade and invite me into their real world. The result? Relationship. Closeness. Intimacy.”
Miriam shares. . .
“Thanks for writing this. I’ve been thinking about about this exact thing recently. For the last 6 years of being sick I have been hiding the pain and difficulties from my friends. I don’t see them often, but when I do I put on a brave face and deflect any inquiries with superficial chat. There are many reasons why I do it – to protect myself from them not understanding and making insensitive comments – so that they won’t think I’m complaining – because when I do see a friend I want to pretend for a few moments that everything is ‘normal’. But just recently I realised that I’ve been creating a barrier between me and my friends. They don’t really know me anymore because I never reveal my heart to them. I have been trying to protect myself from getting hurt but I’ve hurt myself by becoming emotionally isolated.
I’ve also been thinking about how God wants me to open up to people and allow myself to be vulnerable and seen as weak because that is when He can be seen. If I am pretending all the time that everything is ok and I’m perfectly fine, how will people know that I am relying on God? (2 Cor 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us) Its going to be hard to begin to open up after all this time, but I pray God will help me!
And Julie said. . .
What a wonderful and very timely article to me today! Just last evening, the Lord brought an (almost) complete stranger into my life to share with me. My and her children are in a common activity together, but other than that, we don’t share much in common. In fact, she is of a completely different faith altogether (Islam). But last night, she became my unlikely confidante. We started talking and she poured out many of her family and personal struggles with me, and I with her. We found out that we had a lot more in common than we would have thought!
Steve also shared his thoughts about the devotionals in general and how they encourage him…
I love to read the devotions. With my chronic back pain, burning agonizing pain in my left leg (sciatica) from lumbar spinal stenosis. . .reading the word of God and reading empathetic words from those who feel the same pain is medicine for my discomfort. My wife died a few months ago from liver cancer. . . loneliness is another part to my pain. I had to quit my job of 18 years as a hospital chaplain due to the pain of standing and walking from the sciatica. Thank for your devotions. I really enjoy your web site and its loving words of hope.
Thank you, Steve, for your ministry and your heart. We weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. We know that God’s Word is the only place to go for true answers and strength.