Well, I did it today. I fell apart in public.
I certainly didn’t plan it. In fact, this morning as I walked out the door I felt more at peace about our current circumstances than usual.
Sitting at a table surrounded by other MOPS, Mothers of Preschoolers, is when it all went down. We were discussing whether or not our natural tendency made us a Debbie Downer or a Polly Anna. Reluctantly, I started sharing, somewhat awkwardly at first. By the end of my mess of words I was upset and ashamed for sharing. I wanted to retreat, throw my hands up over my face, and back away. Maybe if I left, they’d forget what I shared?
But then, another woman perked up and mentioned a similar scenario.
The Holy Spirit gave me the courage to ask her a few more questions, to glean wisdom from someone who’s already been there, and she willingly shared her struggles and her insights.
And that’s when they came.
Big. Fat. Not-so-pretty tears.
I had cried earlier while talking. But this time they
Went through a whole on-the-go kleenex box.
These women didn’t judge me though.
Instead, they came along side me, loved me, prayed with me, felt my pain with me, and helped shoulder my world for a little bit.
I didn’t have an all out sob fest. You know, the kind that literally take your breath away as you heave and cry. But what if I did? Why am I so scared to be honest? Why I am I so scared to be authentic and real and vulnerable?
I learned through my tears that there is healing when the emotions are released. It’s as if a flood had been building up over time and across trials. Today the flood gates were lifted, allowing tears, tension, and built-up pressure to be released. This release actually restored my ability to be more Jesus focused instead of me focused.
My break down taught me several lessons.
I learned today that my enemy wants me in isolation. It’s much easier to keep me under the weight of the world when I’m by myself. Now, I have such freedom knowing I’m not alone.
I learned there are women out there who care beyond the quick, “How are you today?”
Who knows, there are probably more women who care. Yet my reluctancy to let anyone past my Keep Out sign has kept me from so much. It has kept me from enjoying and resting in the company of women who want to rally behind me and provide much needed encouragement.
God wants us in community for a reason.
We aren’t meant to do life alone. God himself is three-in-one: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They live in constant kinship with one another. When God created Adam, He said it was not good for Adam to be alone. So God create Eve.
We too need community, a family of believers to share in both the trials and the joys.
1 Corinthians 12:26
If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
So how do you break down the right way? By surrounding yourself with godly community, taking down your Keep Out signs, and trusting God with your raw heart.
What is keeping you from real, authentic relationships today? Are you posting Keep Out signs so you don’t have to share your life with others? Or, are you posting Keep Out signs so others don’t feel comfortable sharing with you?
Father, open our eyes to see where we have posted Keep Out signs. Give us the courage to uproot those signs, reach out to those around us, and be in authentic relationships with others.