Saturday, January 7, 2012

Silence Is Golden

I've been thinking about the things people say to one another when they are trying to offer comfort or wisdom.  I'm especially thinking about those things that I have said to friends in the past, with the best of intentions, but somehow, I missed the mark totally. Sometimes, I just needed to say what I said at a different time...like maybe years later when I actually knew what I was talking about because I had finally walked a mile in shoes that resembled theirs.  More often than not, though, I needed to just not say anything. 

One of those things that well-meaning people say (okay, okay, that I have said in the past, before I knew better) is, "You should be able to find all you need in God.  You shouldn't need another person to be happy."  That was pretty easy for me to say when I was happily married.  It's pretty easy for the famous Christian author/speaker who goes home to her supportive husband after she speaks to say.  But the truth of the matter is, it's wrong and it is not easy for unmarried people to hear.

God is not all a person needs to be happy. 

Before you drag me outside the gates and stone me for heresy, let me explain.

When God created man,  He saw all that he had made, and it was very good.  (Genesis 1:31).  But then in Genesis 2:18, things get a little more complicated.  The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.   So if God is all we need, why did God create "a helper suitable" for man?  God's design from the very beginning was that people need fellowship and intimacy with other people.  And He created not a same sex best friend for Adam, but a woman, a wife with whom he could have that intimacy. 

Apparently God did not intend for man to find all that he needed in Himself.  He intended from the start to provide for some of man's needs through the intimate relationship between one man and one woman.

Another point:  Being HAPPY is not the same as being JOYFUL.  Happiness depends on circumstances.  Joy depends on something much deeper, in my case, a relationship with God.  So although I may not be happy at times, I can still have joy.  That joy is what comes from being in right relationship with God, not happiness.  God never guarantees anyone happiness, and even when I am in close relationship with God, there will be times when I am in a slump where I am not happy.

As you may have noticed, I go through periodic slumps when I really miss being married.  And it seems that each time I go through one of my slumps, some well-meaning friend shares that bit of widsom about finding all I need to be happy in God and God alone.  While I appreciate these friends' attempts to help, sometimes I wish they just wouldn't say anything at all.  Sometimes, I don't need a gem like that. Sometimes, silence is golden and a hug conveys more than mere words can.

But as I noted at the beginning, I am prone to offering such wrong advice at times myself.  Thus, I leave you with this prayer I need to pray often:

God, please seal my lips with your holy muzzle (Psalm 39) and let me open my mouth only when I can say something that will glorify You!  Amen.

3 comments:

Mr. G's Mrs. G said...

((((hugs))))

Kim said...

Yes, it is true that we need to find peace and strength in God. But God cannot hold us at night with strong arms... and God can't get the heavy things out of the attic :) God listens to our prayers, but that's not the same thing as a person who loves you listening AND giving support and encouragement. In order to get support and encouragement from God< don't you think it takes some effort on our part? There are times I just cannot put out the effort. I am spent. That's when I want to be with a human who can hold me and I gain strength from that. Is that wrong?

I am praying for you Denise. That hard part is waiting on the Lord, because I truly believe he wants that for all his children.

Linda Noullet Irwin said...

Agree... I have found writing a prayer journal is helping me through the rough times. The times of doubt. Our situations are COMPLETELY different but often similar. I find myself crying out to God saying - God I never wanted this for my life. I never asked to be alone. I just want someone to hold me. To grow old with me. Now I am here seeing myself growing old, watching the men around me panting like dogs for women in their 20s and realizing unless I chalk out zillions of dollars, that will not be me again... and wondering will I ever find someone to grow old with. I hear the words - be happy in yourself. Be happy with God. But I try... and realize he created me to feel the way I do. Longing to find love. I didnt make me this way. It is normal.

I also find the words of a song by Casting Crowns beneficial in times when you don't have the answers "Love em like Jesus" I wish more Christians would take this approach instead of trying to give us all the answers instead of just admitting we don't have them.

I am also finding many many women flocking to me for help and encouragement in their own struggles with separation and divorce. I am struggling because one - I am fresh into my own situation but they see me as "strong and handling it well". But two - IT IS DIFFERENT! No two situations are alike. I know people sending women my way want me to have the answers and frankly... I just don't...

So I am choosing to "love em like Jesus" Be there for them. But not offer much advice unless it is a cut and dry question. Because I just don't go the answer and this is delicate stuff.

I know I myself am shying away from divorce care ministry because I am afraid of the cookie cutter answers Christians give. the ones I myself once gave.

Love em like Jesus. And journal. God already knows my feelings. So I talk to him straight. Tell him everything. Good and BAD. And yes. I got the bad feelings too. But he already knows so we discuss those too. It helps.

(((((HUGS)))) and so you know - incase you forgot - I am still and always will be praying for you. sorry to write a book on your blog.