Lets get over ourselves.

This morning... yes at my new hour 5am. I was reading my bible... and I had to highlight this verse.


Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart
is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather 
or pouring vinegar in a wound. http://bible.us/Prov25.20.NLT


It really got me to thinking.... about people... relationships... the kind of friend, mom, wife, daughter etc that I want to be for others. Have you ever been in a dark season... or even just a temporary dark moment and had someone sing songs over you? 

The hardest part... is these song singers... mean no harm really.... they usually don't know how to comfort others and they sing songs because they feel ill equipped. Maybe they themselves were never comforted and grieved with  in their dark places... but for whatever reason.. they just lack this ability to go deep. God commands us to be the type of friend who grieves with those with grieve ..

 to me... there is no better description of friendship.
true friendships are really made manifest in dark seasons
anyone can be a friend to a cheerful person.
when everything is going their way.
its when life gets tricky... that "friends" seem to disappear.

I think if I had read this verse when I was much younger.. I would not have understood it. Maybe because I didn't have many true dark seasons in my past... and also because singing songs over a friend doesn't sound like a bad thing. The reason why now it speaks to me so heavily is in my time of need... I know the words... the people who have comforted me... and the others who were unable too. In turn... how much of an impact it made on me to be able to trust and be even more transparent with those who could go deeper with me.... 

When I was 25 I had a boyfriend who committed suicide. It was gut wrenching. My very best friend  Selena... slept over at my house for days, made sure I showered and ate... and dared not laugh or smile around me. She grieved with me. She knew my heart was heavy. She was silent most of the time... she didn't try to fill in the gaps with her perspectives or questions... she didn't try to solve the mystery of why he did it... she just sat along side me through it. While everyone else that summer was riding their bikes in the sun along the strand.. she was laying in my bed next to me while I slept, cried .. even when I told her it was okay to go... she refused. Infact.. in that dark season.. there are a few other friends as well who also came along side me... and I know I will be friends with these people for a lifetime because of the way they loved on me in that dark place. Dark places manifest true friendships.

Everyone wants to be around a joyful person. I want to be that cheerful person... I'm sure you do too. Sometimes life is hard.... and the song singing has to stop momentarily. It doesn't mean we aren't joyful optimistic people... it means we put our own joy on hold... to really open our hearts and be broken with someone else in their time of need.

I've noticed there are friends I can tell anything... and they are encourager's and listeners... but I have other friends who cant not handle a short coming in my life... they cant handle the bad news... 

Singing a song over a friend when they are in a dark place.. is failure to meet them where they are at.
Neglecting their obvious need and mulling it over with trite words and faux concern. Failure to really know them...failure to let the conversation get real, transparent...  But even really good friends can do this without even realizing it. Why do we do that.? I think sometimes we also carry around our own fears of being a Debbie the downer.. and we want so badly to be the one who lifts someone up and dusts them off... we want to deny in a way that a bad thing is really happening to someone we love.


In saying this.. I love a cheerful friend, an encourager... and someone who always points a fear situation to Gods word.... there is much peace that comes from that... so I'm certainly not attributing that as a song sang over me...  Sing all you want... encouragement is a song we all need sung over us.

Instead I think what God is saying to us here... is that we cant possibly be a good friend.. if we are so caught up in our own joy and successes that we cant set that aside and mourn with those who need us too.

Now looking back in my life.. there have times in my past when I wished I had been more of a comforter to someone who was grieving... but I felt I couldn't.. because of my own personal fears. Acknowledging and engaging in their dark place... would bring to me the same brokenness... and selfishly.. I just wanted to remain happy and untouched by it.

In this time in my life... I want to be that phone call.. the one with a warm couch to sleep on.... the one who wails heavy with a friend, the interceder, the prayer warrior.... I want to be that friend.

I want to be that Mom, That wife... that Daughter.....

What would our world be like.. if we could all get over ourselves and just love others the way we were made too. ?  God help us love the way you do.


7 comments:

  1. Thank you Shauna for this amazing and timely post.

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  2. well put, thanks for sharing your heart shauna.

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  3. What an amazing post that spoke right to my heart! This is something I have been struggling with as I have been in a bit of a "dark time" It has really ROCKED my world and at 41 caused me to re-evaluate all I have ever believed to be true about faith and friendship and my purpose in life. But for real....we all need more and more of being this kind of person. Love and relationship...what is more important anyways? xoxo

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  4. Love that post! I can remember when I received the news of a tumor on my spinal cord, one of my dear friends called and cried for me...it was as if she was experiencing my grief and anxiety herself. That really touched me. Even 7 years after the diagnosis, she is always asking me how I feel. Many others will support you in the crisis, but don't realize that a serious diagnosis is a life changer for that person...in both good and bad ways...it doesn't go away. As I get older, I am more particular about who I call a "friend". None of us get through this life on earth unscathed...my trial has been my health, but yours may be a difficult marriage or infertility or financial problems...we need to support one another in these dark times and celebrate in the joyful times. Silence is pathetic and sad, and it is unfortunately, a very common way people handle difficult situations. To me, it is cowardly. XO Amy H.

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  5. Thank you for this perspective. I can truly appreciate every word your wrote and it has helped me better understand how to be there for people.

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  6. Thank you for these words, Shauna. It is as though you were able to articulate my feelings in way that I have been unable. I hope you continue to share your Love For Christ!

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