Today was an amazing day in my life. One with lasting ramifications. I stood up for something I believed was right. When faced with a situation which was clearly unhealthy and unsafe for me to be in, I stood my ground instead of avoiding the truth, ducking out or being polite. Today I was asked what I thought; so as gently as I possibly could, I said what I thought. It was not easy for me or the other person, but I stood up for truth. I did not run away from conflict, but embraced it. Truly a miracle.
I occasionally use a paper Bible in my quiet time. In my paper Bible there is a bookmark on the first chapter of Jeremiah. Jeremiah is apparently this man whom God called to a life of failure. “Go talk to these people. They won’t listen to you anyway, but spend your entire life talking to them.” I have been reading this first chapter every now and again to ascertain how God encouraged Jeremiah.
This evening I noticed a few things. Jeremiah was a youth. This was also his protest to God when God gave him a job to do, but God told him, “Do not be afraid of their faces.” I am really afraid of people’s faces. What will they say, what will they think, what can I try to figure out they are saying or thinking. All my dodging tough conversations is to avoid condemning looks and condescending voices. Well, that is a good part of it.
God, help me not be afraid of people’s faces.
I do not usually cry in public. In fact, I almost never cry in public, but today I did. I arrived early at a little CR in a little church building in an entirely different culture. So I sat in an actual pew (instead of on a folding chair in a gym like at my church), put my head in my hands, talked to God, and cried. The shoulder shaking kind of weeping. Something about my journey makes me cry. Reminiscing the other night about the pain I used to feel, about the abuser I was, and about how thoroughly broken I am made me put my head in my hands and cry. There is a God who lives, and I know this because He changed me.
I also stumbled over a different Bible verse today. Isaiah 6:3, “And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.'” It does not feel like to me the earth is filled with His glory. It seems to me the earth is filled with the brokenness of sin and lots of it. I am going to have to ask God to show me His glory through His eyes. I can see some of it. I can see it in the stories of those around me and myself. But the whole earth? Maybe the angels talking in that verse got confused.
Oh, and I was going to confess. I had a bit of a hard time today in church temporarily concerning my emotions. Perhaps because I did not have sufficient time with God this morning. This journey to recovery is a bumpy one, but God is fighting for me.
But the Lord said to me, “Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Be not afraid of them [their faces] for I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord….”But you [Jeremiah], gird up your loins! Arise and tell them all that I command you. Do not be dismayed and break down at the sight of their faces, lest I confound you before them and permit you to be overcome.” – Jeremiah 1:7-8, 17 AMP