on sharing JOY

sharedjoyThe other day I was before the Lord dealing with some hurt that I have in my heart. I don’t necessarily think I was intensely praying but more mulling it over and sharing with Him about how I felt. It was during this time that the Lord helped me to focus on “the plank in my own eye” per se. Let me explain.

You see I have a close friend of many years that has hurt me this past year. I don’t presume to think that she has done it intentionally and that is important to keep in mind. However, I am still grieved over the situation. Basically, after years and years of standing beside this wonderful woman of God in prayer and in faith for break-through in her life, she has not allowed me to share in her joy as God has blessed her. That may be different as time passes {for things can always change} but as of today that is not the case.

I know I am being pretty vague here, right? While this friend of mine doesn’t exactly read my blog, I don’t want to reveal all the details for the entire world to know. Google has a way of finding EVERYTHING. 😉 So to explain what God has taught me I have come up with a {completely fictional} example to help you see where I am coming from.

Let’s say you have a friend that is unable to get pregnant. All she ever wanted to do in her life was be a mother. You are very close to her and you hang out all the time. There are many times throughout your friendship that she calls or visits you when her heart is completely broken over the fact that she cannot conceive. You spend a lot of time with her listening to her pour out her heart and then you validate her feelings, encourage her and pray together. As the weeks, months and years go by you continue to be there for her in the same way and even shed many tears as you plead with the Lord to answer your prayers. Then one day, she calls you to tell you she is pregnant. You are so happy and praise the Lord for the blessing. But something happens over the next nine months and you aren’t sure why. She stops calling as often, you don’t get invited to the baby shower, you text and call asking to see her sweet little bump but have to be ok with seeing the pictures on Facebook. You even confront your her about it, apologize for anything that you have done, and she assures you that nothing has happened. More weeks and months go by after the baby is born and you still don’t get to see your friend or her new baby…

Do you see where I am going with this…basically you have been there for her through a tough season of her life but then when God answers her prayer, you don’t get the pleasure of sharing in her joy. ouch.

As I was before the Lord the other day, He very quietly whispered to my spirit that I have done the exact same thing to Him at times. It wasn’t in a condemning way but more like a small wisper in the midst of all my words. I stopped for a minute, processed what He had said, and even now as I write I am unpacking the truth in His words to me.

How many times have I drawn close to Him in my sorrow/regret/disappointment? Countless. And you know what? He meets me in miraculous ways every time. He binds up my broken heart, heals my wounds and sets me free. During those seasons, it as if my relationship and communion with Him is my sustenance. I talk to Him about all my pain and sadness–I share every detail.  He is always faithful to stand beside me and walk me through those times.

Then life {or a specific situation} undoubtedly improves and I rejoice. But I end up forsaking my practice of sharing every detail. I do thank Him and sometimes thank Him again and again but I don’t share with Him the specifics about my joy. Why is that? Why is it easier to complain or share the sorrow than it is to share the joy? He deserves both.

Our God is a lover of genuine relationships. He loves to know us intimately and be invited into our lives {during pain AND prosperity}. He created us in His image. We too like relationship and to be invited into the lives of others. I love to share in the joy of my friends; why would He not want to share in mine? If being excluded hurts my heart, why wouldn’t it hurt the Father of perfect love?

This revelation has completely shifted my mental viewpoint and helped me to realize how little I have been sharing the details of my joy with the Lord {when compared to my sorrows}. I know it isn’t something I can change overnight but I am trying. I want to train my brain and my heart to pour itself out to the Lord with good things too. I begged and pleaded with the Lord for my own precious babies. So lately when they put a smile on my face, I try to remember to talk with Him about all the happy emotions that I am feeling. Like when Elijah makes a salad with his blocks and puts it in the pretend oven, I say, “Lord, you made him so resourceful!” When Ella falls asleep on my lap, I tell Him, “you made her lips curve perfectly and her cheeks so big!” When David is so thoughtful and affirming to me, I tell God how wonderful it is to be loved by a godly, selfless man. I do this not to be “good” or “holy” but because I want a genuine relationship with Him not only when I am sad but also when I am happy.

I am so thankful to have heard Him when He spoke. I am even thankful for the sadness I feel from my broken friendship because I now know another part of the heart of God.

Friends, share everything with Him; pour out your heart to Him; make your relationship with Him a priority. He loves you and longs for your company during the good times and the bad.

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8 thoughts on “on sharing JOY

  1. Oy Ali, I’m sorry! That is SUPER painful. I had a couple friends “break up” with me this year. It is so hard to let go, even when you know why.

  2. Ali! Thank you for sharing this. I understand how you feel an I love how you tied it into our relationship with God. It really brings it into perspective. I love you Ali! Please give your precious family my love. I miss you all!

  3. I absolutely LOVE this! I’ve thought a lot about this since having the miscarriage — that was a time when I felt so close to The Lord in that time because I HAD to lean on Him…but I’ve allowed myself to grow distant once things “got back to normal”…and you’re right, He wants to share EVERY part of our lives with us. Thanks for putting those thoughts into words!

  4. What a beautiful, bittersweet post. You are so right. We do so often share our heartache and ask for Him to move in our situations and then when He does, we run off and forget kind of like the group of lepers from which only one came back to worship Jesus in full gratitude after being healed. I know the pain of broken friendship when there is sudden silence and no explanation even when you seek it out. Praying for you as you journey through that. I know it helped me to think that God was emptying a space in my life to fill it with something good and healthy.

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