I’m struggling to want to keep soul tending – or at least doing/sharing it publicly. I think I understand why a lot of folks aren’t sharing it publicly at all…
This soul tending (honestly paying attention to what’s going on inside of them) if you’re opening yourself up to what’s hurting, wrong, frustrating, overwhelming, keeping you stuck or just doing things you know aren’t beneficial to your soul or the people you impact – requires looking more closely at your areas of weakness. Those spots where you are just wrong. Where you’ve been the perpetrator, the one who caused hurt and pain.
It means admitting that you don’t always get it right. Or that you’re the one who made the mess.
Or for me, that I’m living in fear.
That starting this soul tending challenge and inviting people into it means that I have to share about Jesus’ love for me.
And I say it that way because my love for Him has been less than glowing. I’ve been flaky in our relationship. Knowing His Truth, His Rescue for my heart + soul from myself and things around me and quietly sharing with friends over coffee, 1 on 1. But on my social media platforms or when I’ve been faced with “speaking the truth in love” I’ve backed down fearful of what someone might say to me in response.
I’m a grown scaredy-cat.
Watching how people tear up Rachel Hollis after reading (or after not even opening her book) “Girl Wash Your Face” and declaring it all so wrong when I’m not sure she ever meant to do anything but make herself and share her story.
It’s terrifying. I just want to share my story. I’m not Jesus. I’m not perfect. I’m not an expert. I have a lot of experiences that are mistakes. Just mistakes. I was wrong. I’m living out blessings that contradict what the Bible says about marriage, but yet – His favor is undeniable. I am loved. I am covered. I am forgiven. And walking in it, but just not boldly.
Because y’all, I see how we treat one another when we share vulnerably or in transparency. Especially as Christians.
We tear one another up. Focusing on the scriptures we want to validate our thoughts. To share our thoughts. It’s painful.
The news is filled with people doing things and we have so much to say about it. And while they do make themselves available to the public, does it mean they must subject themselves to our criticisms? Do their intentions, their choices become fodder for us to focus more on them and what their lives reflect than it does for us to slow down and ask ourselves what it is inside us that is keeping us from living and walking out what – when we actually take the time to hear – God has called us into?
I’m not saying that He would ever ask us as His disciples to walk against His Truth. And there’s so much in our culture, in our society that makes room and allowances for things that are just not in the Bible, not permissible according to the Word of God. But we are so quick to hold people to it, not remembering that how we respond is as important to God and as reflective of our relationship with Jesus as what it is we’re responding to.
I don’t what I’m asking people to do exactly.
I don’t believe that silence is automatically agreement. Some people – like this gurl, the one typing these words – need time to reflect on what’s been put in front of them. Time to ask questions. To really think beyond the words being shared and people’s responses to it before making a decision and especially before declaring my opinion on something I know (and I mean k-n-o-w) very little about – or to be real, what I’ve been told to think about it.
Soul tending for me is taking these difficult things, the differing opinions to God in prayer. Checking my heart against the Word. Measuring the fruit of my life up against the Fruit of the Spirit. Can people really see that I love Jesus by the way I live and respond to what the world uses to distract, keep us stuck, get us stressed and overwhelmed?
We need to take time and get into a position of willingness to hear from God. And by that I mean, still my soul so that I can hear from Jesus. He’s still alive y’all. In us. With us. Saving. Healing. Loving. Correcting.
While you’re weeping because of that devastating thing.
When you’re showing up and consistently feeling out of place and scared.
Every time, e-v-e-r-y time that you’re overloaded and unsure of how you’ll have the ability to do, be, give or love beyond what you can see and it all feels like it’s falling apart with no hope for anything better or beneficial.
My hope in Jesus’ unfailing love for me is how I have been able to get here to this. To a marriage to a godly man. One who prays for me. Who quotes Scripture at my brokenness. Who reminds me – and calls me by the names that Jesus does. Right now today. To being free to share my heart. To push beyond my introversion and general dislike of crowds and being out of my comfort zone into helping people pursue their own relationships with Jesus by making intentional time to hear from Him.
He will not compete with your busy. He will not raise His voice to keep you from making that harmful decision. He will not flaunt His power or force you to see what He has for you, He will not beg you to receive it.
I am weeping as I write this.
There is so much shame that I must confess in hiding my relationship with Jesus; His perfect love for me.
I see your pain friends, readers + Soul Tenders – I see what you post and what you don’t say that you directly message me or text leaving the most raw, sensitive, real parts of your heart and soul in smaller spaces where you think it’ll be safer.
I’m so sorry. I’ve been like that here. In this space + domain that I’ve paid for, my tiny corner of the internet. I’ve watered down what’s happening in my soul. I’ve shared a muted version of my faith. I’ve been too scared of what “they”, even you might say. And in that, I’ve tried to carry your pain to the altar for you, rather than share with you how I’ve made it through being raped, widowed, divorced and humiliated among other things.
Raw and unedited, this was something I needed to put here. Today.
And now, comes freedom. Yes and I realize, consequence. Because freedom does come at a cost.
To post openly about how little my soul tending and the ability to continue forward has to do with looking like everyone else out there or trying to give people what I think they want. Y’all, everything I have to offer was given to me from Jesus’ blessings or His patience waiting for me to return to Him from sinful, unbelieving choices that limited me in my soul.
Going forward, this will be laced in every post. Jesus writes and lives here and He has somethings He wants to use this space to whisper to you. I will not deny Him any longer.
Please forgive me.
If this is no longer a website you’re interested in following, please unsubscribe. I understand. Going forward, I will be sharing more of what’s happening in my soul and how Jesus is all up in it.