Thursday, October 6, 2011

Blessings from expressing faith through love

This is one of those times when I have to ask myself: Is there really any value in honoring the self-imposed deadline to post something on my blog at least once every seven days? I have nothing compelling to express, and the only reason I am sitting here typing is because of the commitment I made to myself. I've made plenty of commitments to myself that I haven't kept, so why do I bother trying to keep this one, when I could be in bed instead? But here I am, trying to find something to write.

I thought something might develop around some of the things I've posted or read on Facebook or in devotionals this past week. And maybe it has ....

When it was time to return home after another very good weekend trip to see my parents and other family members, I found myself in new territory. I didn't want to leave. That's not the first time that's happened, but I really had trouble dealing with it. I just wanted to stay and be. And the thought of leaving made me want to cry. So I just sat there and stared out the window. And finally I did cry. But I was quickly reminded or given reason to wonder whether there was any value in crying. I tend to think there is value in letting the tears flow. But if everyone cried, nothing would get done, I suppose.

The dilemma I faced then and also after I returned home was trying to express positive thoughts and say positive things when I was really feeling very sad, tired, overwhelmed and confused. My husband has even more trouble dealing with my emotional outbursts than my mom does. After several attempts, I came up with this for my social and supportive network of Facebook: Let go and let God is so much easier for me to say than do! I've been trying to keep it positive -- about ready to give up. But what good would giving in to negativity do? None at all. It would do no good at all. And I think the response to expressing even that little bit of negativity -- but striving to find the hope -- helped. I slept better than I would have expected, and awoke much more hopeful than I expected.

One of my realizations was that for a person like me who has depressive tendencies, I must find ways to express the sadness, fear and other feelings that seem negative. It doesn't seem to work for me to just acknowledge them to myself and God and then put on a happy face. I'm a talker; I need someone to hear me, the happy as well as the sad. I need to identify and stay in close touch with those unconditional, supportive listeners. Not people who will let me sink into self-pity, but who will listen and offer bits of encouragement, affirmation or guidance that help so much.

One of today's Scripture references from my Upper Room devotional sums up where I want to be as I go forward: "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." (Galatians 5:6, NIV)

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