Monday, June 9, 2014

Humpty Dumpty Feelings and Kingdom Gain

My husband "gets" me.  Sometimes I feel he understands me better than I understand myself.  Other times, I am quickly reminded that he is man.  And I am woman.  Indeed, we are two very distinctly different species.  I grow so frustrated when I just need to belch up (in a very ladylike manner, mind you) my feelings and irritations and Mr. Fix-It man tries to scoop them up and put them back together again, rather than letting them fall out in a loose, messy, discombobulated heap.  Sometimes our Humpty Dumpty feelings just need to have a great fall.  For, the purging of that loose, messy, discombobulated heap is often exactly what's needed to combobulate one's head and heart.  To bring oder to it.  Perspective.  A tidying up and de-cluttering.  I don't always need fixing.  Or answers.  But rather a listening ear.  A little validation can go a long way.  It's a great tool to use fellas.

Can't a girl just vent, anyhow?

However, this post isn't about my Wonderful Mr. Fix-It...who by the way is a great listener and validator (on most occasions).  I write today because I just got off the phone after sharing an hour and a half long conversation with a friend (which, by the way, is highly unusual).  This conversation ensued after some of her struggles were unexpectedly unravelled to me last night in an initial innocent, unrelated texting conversation.  My heart was instantly pulled toward her in a tender way as I have experienced much of the same struggle in my past.  And I know it hurts.  And I know it is a lonely place.  And I know we have our husbands and we have our Almighty God who are there for us.  And these things cannot be replaced and are essential to our journeys.  But there is just something about this sisterhood gig that hits the nail on the head and deeply nourishes a woman's soul.

I went to bed last night with this whole validation, listening, and sharing of similar stories and struggles so fresh on my mind and pregnant within my heart.  It made me yearn to birth encouragement into my friend's discouraged soul.

I've previously mentioned that our church took on a gospel challenge the beginning of this year.  We were to independently read through the four gospels before Easter.  Once I finished the four gospels, I decided to keep going. This morning I began reading 2 Corinthians, and it was no wonder that God led me to this book at just this time.

One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Corinthians 1:3-4:

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of ALL comfort, who comforts us in ALL our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God."

Often times, after reading a chapter, I like to go back and re-read it in a different translation before moving on.  Today I took a look at The Message version.  Verses 3-4 read:

"Father of all mercy.  God of all healing counsel.  He comes alongside of us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us."

A few verses later, Paul talks of the despairing times he and his companions endured.  He references those hard times as, "the best thing that could have happened.  Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally..."

As I re-read these familiar passages, the truth in them welled up deep within.  It's a beautiful thing when God's truth aligns with our truth and we see His Word play out just as He has promised. He is faithful.  Today was one of those occasions.

I know with previous struggles I have endured, there have been those beginning moments where nobody was there to walk alongside of me and give me the comfort my soul so desperately craved.  I think God intended it this way.  Just as Paul said, it forced me to trust Him totally.  The God of ALL comfort.  And He did not fail.  He did just so.  Time and time again...

He comforts.
He soothes.
He heals.
He delivers.
He makes straight.
He puts back together.

I believe He allows those "alone" moments and struggles in our lives so that we have no other choice but to turn to Him and see for ourselves that "He Alone" is good and true to His Word.  That He is enough.

And when we emerge from this dark aloneness, we are equipped to carry out 2 Corinthians 1:4 to those around us.  Those struggles add bulk to our compassion muscle and they store up a hefty deposit of grace energy that is ready to spill and outpour to those in need.  Those who feel judged.  Alone.  Misunderstood.  Broken.

Our pain is never in vain.
Mine isn't.
And neither is yours.

If you find yourself struggling, hold firm to the God of ALL comfort, who comforts us in ALL our troubles.  Patiently wait for Him to deliver you through.  And tuck that seed of knowledge into your heart that He does not waste any of our tears or hardships.  They matter to Him.  He brings purpose out of them.  And He just may be allowing this struggle to play out in your life to equip you to bring comfort to a hurting heart in your near future.  He can use your pain to bring comfort and hope to the broken.   That's beauty from ashes, my friend.

When you take your Humpty Dumpty feelings to the God of all healing counsel, those loose, messy, discombobulated heaps can be made whole again.  
And your pain will be for gain.  
Kingdom gain.

Greatly fall forward into His mighty hands.
(for those Hands are far superior than all the king's horses and all the king's men)
And they are far more capable of putting us back together again.
Piece by lovely Peace.