Friday, June 24, 2011

Moving Forward

Here in the sitting and waiting stage of this quest, I have been learning... and then learning the same thing more deeply.

I keep a journal that is my prayers to God; sometimes it helps me to write them down; it allows me to formulate my ideas more thoroughly and it helps me to move beyond the repetition of worrying about the same thing over and over. Often, an answer or an encouraging message becomes clear as I write. I don't write every day; I might for several days in a row, and then I slack off for a spell. I've been debating over the last couple days, whether-or-not to share one of my entries in my prayer journal- one that feels like the near-culmination of a fairly big personal struggle. But they are my conversations with God, so is it appropriate to share a prayer to God.... and do I want to share so much anyway? It might not seem like a huge revelation to readers... but it's a matter of making myself vulnerable once again.

In some ways, I think it will help me to share- that this would be the Amen to that entry- and if you, the reader, are friends with me, then I am sharing something that explains me... and if you don't know me, well, it doesn't matter 'cause I'm just another random person. Part of me feels like if I share this, I can move on with stuff I've dwelled on too long- unless, well, the entry explains itself. Part of me feels like it might take away my need to share so much- that what I write will be about the fact that I just feel like sharing. Then also, a friend of mine recently said that what I write has the potential to help others... and if it helps people, well... As I write this, I am contemplating whether I'll post it as a draft, or for others to see. At least, it doesn't hurt to write it.

Anyway,  this is it:

Lord God, sometimes I wonder about what I say on FB and my blog. I share myself so vulnerably, and often, the people who I hope will comment to me (not necessarily publicly), don’t, and I’m left wondering, Did I make a fool of myself? Did they misunderstand? Do they disapprove? Or did they just not see it? Usually, all I really want, is to know who read it; who knows what I said. That is the biggest downside of sharing in written form; I don’t know who knows what about me....
Lord God, I used to say more to you. Then I started saying it to friends. You, I know, do not withdraw from me. At some points, you may make your presence less obvious- perhaps to teach me something. But you, yourself, do not withdraw. When I am earnest with you, seeking you, asking you to be in my life, you do not decide that I’m too needy. You do not decide that I’m too off-base, that I’m too insecure, or that I’m too unstable for you to be in my life.
Perhaps that is why I started sharing with friends. I felt secure in my relationship with you, but I wanted to know that fellow humans would also accept me. I wanted them to understand me, hoping that would enable them to accept me, because it seemed like most people didn’t accept me, and I figured it must be that they just didn’t understand. And I didn’t want to be alone in this world.
I’m not sure whether-or-not it was a mistake to make myself so vulnerable to others. I do have friends who have stuck around, and some have become much closer over time. But I remain insecure. I don’t think my mistake has been so much, sharing myself in such detail, as it has been relying on acceptance by them. You are the only one I should aim to please…. And yet, you are the one who said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” And I was very much alone.
I am so grateful for my friends. I am so glad you put them in my life. After years of praying for a real Christian friend; someone I can talk about religion and God with… whom will be interested… whom I won’t offend or bore…. who will understand where I’m coming from when I say I believe in forgiveness, and not tell me I need to push away those who hurt me… who will understand my using the Word in my decision-making…when I choose to make a career out of serving others, when I choose to aim for something other than the “American Dream,” when I believe in putting aside personal security and uprooting my life to strive for something that seems impractical- just because that is where God is calling me (not that doing so has proven easy on any level); I have found such friends… and more than one.
Thank you so much. I have a group of people who care about me, who accept me, who at least acknowledge that the basis of my decision-making is an acceptable one. Thank you that I have friends who both encourage and challenge me; who are willing to be straight with me, and call me on my faults, but who haven’t run because of them.
Please Lord, help me to continue to find more of my strength in you. My friends are only human, same as me. Even as a group, they can’t do it all- especially if I expect all from them. But they love you Lord, and they love me too. That is enough for me. Let that be enough all-the-way around; let me not feel insecure just because they aren’t always available on every level; that makes me too needy.
I want to be there for others. I want to encourage people. I want to share your love. I want to glorify you. I want to be a light. And I feel like I’m in the way- or at least I threaten to be. I’ve been so self-focused, and that is not what I want. I want to focus on you. I want to glorify you. I want to be close to you. You make me whole. Let me not get in the way of my relationship with you. Let me not base my security on anyone or anything but you. Let me still have close friends… And let me be a better friend. But please be the center…. Maybe that’s been my mistake.
Haven’t thought of this song in soooo long:
“Jesus, be the center. Be my source, be my light, Jesus. 
Jesus, be the center. Be my hope, be my song, Jesus.
Be the fire in my heart. Be the wind, in these sails. Be the reason that I live, Jesus, Jesus
Jesus, be my vision. Be my path, be my guide, Jesus.”


  1. This is so beautiful Fern...I love how you've made yourself so open to the world. Sharing a prayer like this one is something I'm guessing not a lot of people would do, simply due to its deeply heartfelt nature. Not you, though: you have emerged so far out of the shell I saw you in when I first met you, that it practically no longer exists! I admire that about you, my friend. Not because I've ever had an introverted bone in my body, but just for the mere fact that you trusted God to help you allow yourself to embrace the adventure of becoming more transparent. In my book, that qualifies as epic!!


I love comments. It makes me feel like I'm not just talking to a wall, and rids me of the feeling that this time, I said too much, or said something the wrong way.

(I review your comments first, so if you want to say something just to me, just let me know).

I love comments. It makes me feel like I'm not just talking to a wall, and rids me of the feeling that this time, I said too much, or said something the wrong way.

(I review your comments first, so if you want to say something just to me, just let me know).