Building relationships were once a challenge for me. Sometimes I felt so disconnected from people I wondered if I was on this earth. I was here physically, but mentally and emotionally I may as well have been floating around in cyberspace. It's not that I didn't want to connect. I wanted to be part of people's lives and them a part of mine.
Thankfully God has transformed me in a way I never thought possible.
My heart aches for people who are hurting. Some people don't know they are hurting. Their pain touches my heart in a way that I become so overwhelmed I can't find the words to say to them. This was the case last Sunday at my church. I was sitting with a woman who trusted me enough to talk about her daughter who'd had a stroke a couple of years ago. My heart squeezed hard when she told me the story of her daughter's recovery. I was so overwhelmed I couldn't find words to comfort her. Her journey with her daughter has been difficult as she has come to accept her daughter's disability and the stress on her daughter's family.
Our conversation ended with me feeling I had somehow failed that woman. Not by choice, but by needing time to digest what she told me. Had I missed an opportunity to connect with one of God's hurting children?
I haven't stopped analysing that conversation and my feelings toward this woman. I concluded I needed time with Jesus to work through my hesitation in being emotionally honest with her. Way down deep inside of me, my spirit told me she needed space to process her grief. This woman needed someone to sit and listen, really listen to what she was saying.
I saw her two days ago and she gave me the biggest smile. My heart swelled with love for her. Gagging on my words the week before was God telling me this woman only needed someone to listen. Not everyone needs lots of words, nor do they need physical touch. Instead they need a person to sit and listen to them with all of themselves. I'm glad I listened and waited for God's prompting, because something has changed in this woman since the last time I saw her. God gave me the understanding of what it means to sit and just be and the amazing effect this can have on someone who is hurting.
Have you ever been with someone and wished you had spent the time with them differently?