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Monday, May 26, 2014

Sounding Board

I’m not the best at making deep authentic lasting friendships.  Something about trust walls being built high around my heart and constantly testing genuine-ness.  I get that I’m not an easy person to love but I am so very very thankful for my inner circle of friends.  I am thankful for the women they are, their eagerness to pray and point to God and how they lead a grace filled life not only in extending grace to others but walking in grace themselves.  I am truly blessed.

But sometimes I regret how godly my friends are. (NOTE: please keep reading before you take off and run with that.)

I, personally, have a big decision coming up the turn pike and I feel like it’s getting towards crunch time as I need to let both sides know so they can continue to plan with or without me.  For at least a week now, I’ve been praying a lot about it asking for clear direction.  I’ve been taking scraps of paper and constantly writing pros and cons charts hoping to get a clearer view.  For days, I didn’t even mention it as a prayer request to these friends just so that I could pray myself and seek God for an answer but nothing was coming.

So I reached out yesterday to a hand full and asked their advice.  I gave them my dilemma and an abbreviated version of my pro/con consideration list.  Within 24 hours, the whole handful replied back to me with simple “I’m praying for you” messages.  Arg!!!  My email was not a prayer request…it was an opinion request.  I need opinions.  I need facts.  I need reason.  I need my heart motives to be questioned so I can make a decision because there isn’t an easy right or wrong door option.  But instead of questions…instead of advice….instead of what I thought would be words of wisdom…I got a commitment to pray and a charge to pray myself.

Yeah, I love when my prayer life is questioned.  I promise you, I had been praying but nothing was coming so I sought out some sounding boards.  People that I knew would listen, who had hearts that wanted to understand and whose opinions and advice I trusted.  And they were sounding boards in that they listened and processed my dilemma.  They just didn’t respond in the way I wanted.

But it got to thinking this morning as I battled with frustration….how many times when people have come to me with something, my reply is “I’ll pray for you.”  I do my best not to say that vainly and truly do intend to pray but I don’t have a road map for them and I don’t have answers and some whimsical word to share just ain’t coming but I know God is in it and He can help much more than I ever could.  Yet, here I sit, frustrated beyond compare because my friends just pulled that card on me. 

The conversation in my head eventually came full circle though…  It started with… 
1 .       I am glad they are praying but I asked for advice. 
2.       I just wanted a sounding board.  Someone who could listen and help me process my thoughts. 
3.       I have been praying….God, what am I supposed to do?  How am I even supposed to hear your   answer on this? 
4.       …………………maybe the sound board I need, needs to be me listening to You.

Maybe this week I had the whole prayer part down.  I’m a pretty wordy person so writing/talking isn’t hard for me to do and I’ve been throwing them up to God regularly.  But I guess I can’t say I put any concentrated time or effort into really listening for His answer.  I’ve been looking for neon green signs but He speaks in a whisper.  I’ve been focusing so much on speed bumps, that I haven’t looked up to see direction from my GPS (Godly positioning system).  

That sounding board I need….yeah….it’s me.  I was hoping I could get God’s answer the easy way by asking for it from His people instead of having to wait.  God, may I be quick to listen and slow to speak in Your presence today and everyday, really (James 1:19).  Help me to be that friend to others as well, quick to hear but slow to share, leaving room for You to have Your way.    

Until Next Time,
In Christ,
Joy Lynn

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