Why is it so natural for me to feel like a "bother", Lord? What is this?
This is where our conversation started. Quiet and space---a special set aside time away with the Lord--- allowed for me to dive deeper, sit longer and listen.
I feel like I am always bothering people... with my issues, my needs, my emails, my phone calls, my sharing, or my posts. I know this is a feeling---not a reality---but, it is a strong feeling, Lord. Why do I have this? Where did this all begin, Holy Spirit? Please show me...
This isn't the first time I have questioned the Lord regarding my soul and my painful places... I have learned this wonderful technique of listening prayer from a dear friend and mentor. "Wholeness prayer" is what she calls it. Simply put, God guides, answers and leads us forward to wholeness through prayer: a simple conversation. And, I have seen such amazing victory in my life and the lives of many others using this type of prayer.
I often ask the Lord these kinds of questions about many areas of my life. Why am I so worried about my health---so afraid of loss---so angry about this event---so drawn to this sin, Lord? Where did it start? Show me Your truth, Your Light, I ask. Please show me You, God!
Do you see a stuck place in your life? ...ask the Lord about it.
Why am I stuck with this same response, Lord? Why is this so hard for me? And then listen. Sit and listen.
What do you see in your mind's eye, what might His Spirit whisper into your heart, what Scripture comes to mind, or what memory floods?
Tell Him what you are seeing, sensing, feeling as you listen... converse with Him. He is a real Person---a very real Counselor that knows you inside and out.
When did I begin to feel like a "bother"? Where did this start, Lord? Or, when did I begin to feel this way?
As I sat and listened, after some time, I remembered an event from my teen years. I had visited a trusted mentor with a problem. I had walked into their office and began to share, ...to cry, ...to vent. During the time and even as I remembered this memory (these 23 years later), it became very clear that this person was agitated, annoyed and distinctly bothered by my sharing. I don't know that they said so directly, with words... in fact, I am sure they probably didn't. But, their frustration with my pain was clear and loud. They were bothered by me, by my tears and by my sharing. I was clearly "in the way". A bother.
As I sat and thought over the memory, asking the Lord, "Show me your truth, Lord Jesus" The memory continued. I remember getting up from my seat, exiting the office quickly and getting into my car to drive away. This isn't my imagination---this is a memory. At the time, I remember thinking, very distinctly, as I buckled my seat belt, "Just shut up, Stephanie!" Click. Buckled in. "I won't ever share like that again!", I vowed in my heart.
I believe this is what the Lord wanted me to see...
As I sat with this image and the shame of the moment---deep shame, visceral shame flooded me at that time and even flooded me afresh as I remembered how embarrassed I was with my "behavior" (how dare I share my heart so vulnerably and smack dab in the middle of the day!)--- I asked the Spirit of Christ again, "Please Lord show me Your Truth, Your light. What are Your thoughts."
Even as I asked, I had a clear answer... Get out of the car. Unbuckle your seat belt and get out of the car!
Get out of the car? was my response to this thought. Really? Is this from You, Lord?
It isn't what I was expecting, to be sure. I was expecting something akin to, "You are my beloved daughter. I am always listening to you. Or, I see you." But, nope. Get out of the car, Stephanie.
It took nearly 20 minutes and many, many times re-asking the Lord what His thoughts were...
Until I finally, in my mind's eye-now (not a memory), finally... with prayerful imagination, I unbuckled my seat belt and stepped out of the car.
In that moment, deep relief flooded my heart! One moment of obedience and submission of spirit--courage to prayerfully "step out of the car" and bam!---peace. Deep peace flooded. It is hard to describe.
He knew that that moment in time---20 years ago-- I had made a choice of will to listen to the lies of the enemy! The enemy of my soul had told me to shut up and stop sharing. And, I chose to buckle myself into the lie. Click. Buckled down and silenced.
Yesterday, it was a response of my will, my spirit and my trust to unbuckle that lie... and silence the Liar and Destroyer. It was sweet release.
In my mind's eye, I saw myself... Stephanie, 17 years of age.... standing on the outside of the car. Breathing fresh air! Free. Free to be me. To share and to keep "pestering" with my vulnerability and my weakness. Free to cry. And, free to play. Free from the thoughts of that mentor, free from what they believed about me.
I am sure that I will still struggle with feeling I am a "bother" from time to time. There are deeper places for the Lord and I to dive-into... in His time. But, I will have this special moment of Light and Truth to take into the battle for freedom.
This freedom is only one amazing benefit from a bit of space, a bit of time and whole lot of quiet.