She jabbered on and on as we walked the trail. Suddenly, my new friend stopped. “I talk a lot,” she said, “but I don’t reveal much.” Although she didn’t know it, she had done just that. Even more, she was one step ahead of me.
I couldn’t fault her for keeping people at a distance. I was doing the same thing. On that very day, I drove to the nature park to get away from everything and everyone.
Frustrated. Disappointed. Exhausted. Depressed. I wanted to go away for good.
Chronic illness has a way of doing that to people, and I’m no exception. But God brought this complete stranger to walk the trail with me. We even talked about one of my favorite topics–nature. But most importantly, God clearly reminded me of the importance of sharing my burdens with others. Until that day, I had not revealed much to anyone about my most recent struggle.
Too often, I keep my conversations on a superficial level: The weather, current events, everyday matters. These things are easy to discuss, they break the silence in what could be awkward situations, and they offer a wealth of conversation starters. But they don’t reveal much. The weather can’t foster intimacy. Current events can’t create emotional bonds with others. And everyday matters can’t unite people.
Sharing my feelings with trustworthy family and friends invites them past my carefully-constructed façade. 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.
This is what God called, “Carrying each other’s burdens.” This is what I call, “Revealing my heart.”
Prayer: Father, help me to open up to others when I am hurting, and help me to be available when others are hurting as well. Amen.About the Author:
Daphne Tarango is a thirty-something freelance writer and speaker who comforts others with the comfort she herself has received from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Visit Daphne’s website and sign up for her blog at: www.DaphneWrites.com.
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How have you opened up to others when you are hurting? What was the result?