The last couple weeks I have been discussing some specific areas of Faith with a dear friend... more specifically my Faith. Not just any friend though...one of my Best! When you grow up in the spotlight, you have many many acquaintances and very few friends. This girl is amazing! We have known each other for 20 plus years and she probably knows me better than anyone. I completely trust her with my thoughts, with my heart and emotions. I can share anything with her.
But the last couple weeks, I realized something. Something I had never seen before. I realized through our conversations how difficult it is for her to see me going through this spiritual shift or whatever it is I'm going through. Then I realized that there are other people that are close to me, that are having the same difficulties with my spiritual shift that she is. It honestly never crossed my mind that this would affect my loved ones so much. In the last few days I have actually approached some of my closest peeps and asked them how they were feeling about it. And sure enough, they all had very similar responses. That it was hard for them to see this unfolding in my life....so hard that they didn't even want to discuss it. That made me feel bad, sad actually. Sometimes when we are going through things in life, we forget that it doesn't just affect us but also those around us.
Change is so hard...for all involved. I totally respect how crazy weird it must be for my friends and family to hear me talk the way I do now and to see the way I live my life now. I also have a good understanding of the fact that no matter how hard I try, you may not understand, and you will be at a total loss at times on how to respond. And you know what...that's totally okay. So let me speak from my experience....
I thought today I would share some advice for those of you who maybe have friends or family that are spinning spiritually. That's a great description of how it feels to me right now!! Spinning, dizzy, upside down with Faith issues. Here we go.
It's so hard to sit with people who are going through painful experiences and NOT offer some sort of solution, or scripture verse or what you think we should be doing. It's almost an automatic response. It's so important to LEARN to just listen, and acknowledge what I'm saying and feeling. Now I realize for Charismatic Christians this is a near IMPOSSIBLE task...but train yourself to be a good listener.
2. Love Us.
1 Corinthians 13:13...And the Greatest of these is love...
No matter what we are saying and doing. Love us! Often times when we no longer speak/act the way we used to it makes people uncomfortable. So uncomfortable that we hop on the bench of judgment. Look beyond the words, the actions and love us...even if we disagree. Don't ever use love or lack of love as a weapon against someone.
3. Don't hold us to everything we say and do.
Remember this is a process. I rant and rave sometimes. I sound bitter and angry one day and totally forgiving and redemptive the very next! Goodness sakes, for me I'm all over the place multiple times a day!! Throughout the process perceptions and views WILL change. Extend grace.
This is key. Ask the person if they want you to respond. Ask them how you can help. Ask them if they want to hear your perspective. Don't just assume and or just start rambling off at the mouth! If they trusted you enough to open up and share...don't ruin that by careless chatter on your part.
Change is hard. Life is hard. Those of you who are walking with those of us who are shifting, please don't give up on us. I realize our anger, our habits, and language can be shocking at times...but don't throw us away. You may be the only thing we have left.
(p.s....I did not attend church on Easter...hey, there's always next year right...)