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Being With

Last night I dreamed I was asked to give my testimony in front of a large number of struggling believers. Twenty minutes before the event began, a family member came up and told me my outfit wasn't quite right. They urged me to wear different shoes. When I hesitated thinking I didn't have enough time to go change, she told me I should let her run me back to the house real quick to get what was better. By the time we returned, the event was over. Since I wasn't there, they had dismissed the believers to go on as they were. I was disappointed, but not surprised—I had known in my gut it was the wrong decision to listen to my relative, but I had thought for a moment she knew better and I wanted to please her.

This is such a perfect analogy for what happens in my life. I hear in my heart what is right. It whispers quietly, but if I listen closely, the message is consistent. I feel urged to share what good things the Lord has done in my life, even though some of them don't make sense and I know some won't believe. But I am also regularly hearing opinions that make me second guess what I know and feel. It's hard to discern the truth from various opinions—even my own!

My best friends say things like, "Your heart is important. It's valuable. Listen to what it says." My best friends don't tell me what to do. They ask good questions and voice support and love, even if the decisions I make are not the ones they think they would make. What a wild way to live! Leaving freedom for the ones you love?!? It's risky and vulnerable to allow your people to go their own way. It requires us to keep pace with one another, to walk into hard, uncomfortable places. It's awkward sitting in silence sometimes, even excruciating to watch each other suffer. But the point is to be together. And sometimes this is all we have to offer one another.

Unsplash: Shoeib Hassanlani

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