Throughout most of my K-12 schooling, I had this pesky habit of telling everyone every thing. I could sit here and name off all the reasons why but what it boils down to is that I thought what I had to say was important enough to share it with anyone and everyone who I came in contact with.
When I got to high school, I became friends with people who simply would not let me continue this practice. Over and over they would say “Hey, stop talking for like 5 minutes.” First few times this happened, I laughed it off and would continue with this course of action but eventually, I came into the understanding that no one wanted to hear what I wanted to say. Ever.
I believed this for quite awhile. It affected me relationship with other Christians and my relationship with myself. My understanding was that no one wanted to hear about anything, whether it be I needed prayer, I experienced God in a cool new way, or even speaking about how I really felt.
I just want to stop here and defend my close friends in high school. At this point, we were all in the category of immature. Is it right to tell a friend to stop talking? No. Is it right for someone to go on and on and on and on and on about themselves? No. Both parties were at fault. Also, emotionally, I was fragile and easily influenced. I didn’t want to mess this up with these awesome people (first batch of real friends for me in a while at this point) and would do anything to be considered their friend.
On top of this, I ended up in an emotionally abusive relationship. The one person I assumed would want to listen to me, didn’t. I did a lot of the listening, consoling, advocating, and being this persons voice. Throughout this relationship I became a pretty awesome girlfriend, but inside, this warped understanding of friendship grew and grew. I was balancing a lot, but never fully got to the point where I felt comfortable enough to say “Hi, things are terrible and I just need to talk.” Towards the end of my relationship, my insides were leaking into my outside. This added leakage did not help the relationship at all. Shortly after, we broke up, and once again this intense feeling of not being able to share my feelings with anyone was in full swing.
Fast forward a year, and my understanding has now done a complete 180. I credit a lot of it to being on my own, where I learned a lot about myself, and getting to know people who hadn’t know me for 5+ years. The fear of “Does this person care?” never occurred because I completely trusted that the person cared.
You may be wondering? “Where is God in all of this?” Well let me tell you:
Due to my warped idea of friendship and communicating, I stopped asking for prayer. I stopped sharing about what was going on. I stopped asking people for help. I truly believed that my friends did not have the time or energy to talk about my hardships. I never wanted to start the conversation, but always expected the other person to start it.
Basically, I was one of those annoying high schoolers who post really vague Facebook status’ in hopes that someone would comment with a investigating “What’s up?!”
Now, things are a lot better, but I still resort to this warped understanding on a much lesser scale. I almost always question “Does this matter?” (with a hint of “Will they care?”), and make my decision to share from there. What I have learned about sharing, is that people who care, will say something and those who don’t, don’t.
What got me thinking about sharing relates to my job search. I didn’t tell anyone I was applying for jobs. I didn’t want to bother them with this burden. And then I didn’t get a job I wanted. And I really had no one to share this extremely frustrating experience with. After that job, I decided to tell a few groups of people that I was looking for work.
And guess what?
God. Freaking. Blessed Me.
Not even a day after I told these groups of people, I suddenly was scheduling two interviews in the next week. I ended up getting a job (PRAISE THE LORD) in the teaching realm. A week later, I had another job interview. Two weeks later I had yet ANOTHER interview. And this Thursday I have another one.
In Galatians 6:2, Paul writes that to bear (or carry) each other’s burden is to fulfill the Law of the Lord. The context for this verse is that Paul is saying that if a person is caught in a sin, “restore them gently” (v. 1). My warped understanding was not pleasing to God and it wasn’t blessing me at all. I was living in sin thinking I wasn’t worth it. This verse reminds me that it’s my responsibility to share my burdens with Followers and it’s the responsibility of the Followers around me to carry my burden.
It’s also a reminder to myself to not tuck my feelings neatly under the rug, if never swept up and dealt with, I become a ball of hurt. I am reminded that by allowing myself to be victim of my own circumstances, there is no one to blame but myself.
I hope you enjoyed this post and I really hope you learned something. Leave comments, questions, and suggestions!