(*update -- actually I was a day behind on my post - baby audrey is born but is expected to meet Jesus today.....check for updates http://audreycaroline.blogspot.com/ ) The doctors believe she has no chance to live outside the womb.
What a heartwrenching story. What what really got me about this entry was this beautiful woman's heart and faith. As I read this, I saw my past.... Although I don't have an extreme case of anxiety like "Angie"/Angela talked about - having to be hospitalized ---- the stories she told from her childhood were very relatable to me. I hadn't really thought about some of these memories in a long time - but thinking about them - my emotions were so raw and real. I just thanked God for helping me overcome so many fears, anxiety, and worry. I thank Him so much for just helping me realize that *I* am not in control and it's not *my* job to take care and help everybody. I have a LONG way to go in this area.
In my compassion for others, I still try to rescue and help everybody. It makes no difference that I'm doing it out of concern....when I try to save instead of giving time and space to others - it's not good. I need to let God be who He is, the perfect Savior and stop getting in the way because of my emotions. I know that God sees my heart and knows that I just try to help others because I know what He offers and I want them to have what I have --- but I am learning that GOD is the only Savior. He will rescue people how He wants, when He wants, through whomever He chooses. I have to let the SPIRIT lead me, not my emotions. I'm not sure this blog entry will make sense to anybody at all but me....but I am going to keep writing.
When I was little, I was just labeled "too sensitive" and as I grow up - I believe that God has revealed to me that yes this can be a positive trait, but I have to allow Him to take over when I feel this compassion. When I see people suffering and feel so sensitive to their pain - I can't react or try to "do" -- my first step needs to be to turn to God and ask for Him to step in. So *my* job is to let him refine me and whenever I'm confronted with somebody's hurt or somebody's pain, I just give the situation over to HIM, not pretending I can fix them all the time. I need to be lead by the Spirit not by my "heart".
Some examples I thought of regarding how "sensitive" I was when I was little:
- I went home crying numerous times a year - usually in the first weeks of the school year - just because I saw something that made me sad and I needed my mom to comfort me. This happened until I believe 7th grade. Some examples I remember that started the tears that made me run to the office to call my mom, were Melinda sitting by herself at lunch. ____ wetting his pants and me just being humiliated for him. The boys at recess throwing rocks at a bird. The boys at recess picking on 'Jimbo'.
- Not being able to color with just one crayon --- if I colored with one, I had to color with all the colors so none would feel left out
- in the same thought -- never being able to pick a "favorite color" when asked
- The stuffed animal example she explained from Disney World was so real to me. I used to get so sad going into any place that had stuffed animals. I wanted to take them ALL. And my own stuffed animals at home had to be given equal attention and I had to say good night to EVERYTHING in my room before going to bed.
I know that a lot of this is my personality - my sanguine parts just feels SO much emotion SO strongly for others that I get consumed by it and want to fix it NOW. The Spirit is the only thing I've found that can tame my emotions. Everything changed when I realized just how much He absolutely takes care and SAVES people. I started to have hope for the people that I saw hurting. I realized that IT'S OKAY...these people will be okay! Just because of Him, not because of me. God may use me --- but ultimately it's still Him that deserves any praise .... obviously.
By my husband's plea a few months back (because of the mistakes I made in my emotions - because of my hurt caused by others on blogs and in "real" life).... I no longer visits sites or spend time with people that make me upset (and if I have to spend time with some of these people - I just read a LOT before I go and ask for prayer!), which helps me have less emotional ups and downs. I also talked to my friends about my "sensitivity" and they no longer 'pass along info' that they know will hurt me, passing it just because "they think I should know what is being said about me". Because really --- like Brandon reminded me -- I care what God says about me and nobody else. And by hubby's plea # 2 - I no longer look who reads my blogs, so that I can truly have a pure retreat - not writing for any responses (although I do so appreciate all the comments), but instead solely writing from my heart without any interference in my mind as to how things will be perceived. And finally --- his last piece of advice - when I am hurt - bring it to God first and then to Him. Not to others, not to my blog, don't take it out on myself or the dog or Brandon or anybody.... find positive outlets. Read the Bible, pray, play the piano. God really can take away our hurt and bitterness and fill us with more love to give out even to those that hurt us. So there are some examples of practical true advice my phlegmatic peaceful and never dramatic never overly emotional husband gives me.
But I still mess up a lot because of my emotions. Just ask my poor husband who has seen all sides of my sin but just loves me anyway because He knows the true Randi that God is refining. Anybody who has read my blog for a while has seen my emotional posts. Even in the past 4 months I've posted entries on here responding to things in my hurt and responding with my emotions only....and then later on when I have 'calmed', the Spirit nudges me that I need to remove them. Not because I want to present only the righteousness that I have because of Jesus....but I need to remove them because those posts, whether I stated the names of people or not, were broadcasting the hurt in others and/or sins in others - which does absolutley no good to anybody except helps *me* to be able to get out what I'm feeling. I realized that I can get my emotions "out" privately in a journal and it would be much better for everybody.
I realized that showing my emotions is an awesome thing on this retreat --- but not when it involves others. God would want me to leave my emotions regarding other people private. He *may* nudge me to confront a person directly after I am calm - but it's never my job to react to others so intensely ---- only to act when He calls me.
My emotional posts are not my true or real feelings by any means. After the emotion is gone, I look back at my emotions and I'm just like ugh that is gross. They just sounded bitter and I didn't want anybody on my blog at all to have to even spend time reading it. Hubby and God are enough encouragement for me - and if I need more godly advice, I'll go to my godly friends but never on the blog again. I'm so thankful that I am not one of the types that doesn't say I'm sorry. I can't even count the number of times I have to apologize to people around me -- it's a lot! I'm a pretty big messup. But I think more than anything me not doing that sin again is the greatest apology - so that is why I'm working on me!!!! I hope the peole around me see that. I pray they see that I don't want to cause hurt so that I'm allowing God to change me and I'm getting rid of all remembrances of emotional posts. Emotions are so so so powerful. They *feel* so real and true at the time we are in them --- but they're not. They are reminders of our sinful selves - not the new Spirit that God gives us when we accept Jesus into our lives. I will continue to remove posts that I write out of anger or hurt if I mistakenly post them at all. I don't want to be lead by my emotions anymore - I want this blog to be honoring to God --- so I will continue to broadcast my own journey (not others)... I'll show my sins and my mistakes, but in a way that is God-honoring. Talking about them after the emotions have passed.
I am going to pray every morning that no matter my circumstances - God helps me be lead with the Spirit not my emotions!!! This is what I want. I want God to help me harnass my compassion and allow it to be used when HE wants it to be used and HOW HE wants it to be used.
Bottom line -- allow Him to take control. Allow Him to save. My job is to get close to Him - when I'm in conformity with Him through the Spirit, He will use me as He sees fit.