Our small group meets on Tuesday nights. Last week we discussed the need to recognize and seize God time. Those moments when he puts us in a situation to minister to the needs of others, receive ministry, or fellowship...to experience the love and community of others. I came away from our meeting last week inspired to slow down and allow God to use my time in His way.
The past week has been amazing.
I had a ton to do. A ton. Each morning I prayed for God-ordained moments and for Him to honor my time, allowing me to accomplish what was on my to-do list (school deadlines are not negotiable), as I paused for each of those moments that God laid out for relationships. He delivered in mighty ways.
By Sunday I felt so behind on my schoolwork that I actually told Bryan that I didn't think I could possibly finish with my degree in hand. I had felt that I needed the entire weekend for schoolwork, but my family also needed me. I chose to commit almost all of the weekend to my family, expecting that God would help me figure out how to get through my schoolwork on Monday (in time for my 8am and noon deadlines on Tuesday). As I worked through what my schedule would surely need to look like, I decided that I would have to skip today's class to meet that noon deadline. But, as I worked Monday evening, the words flowed freely and both assignments were completed before 10pm. I went to bed knowing I would go to class this morning.
There is a girl in my class who I was convinced did not like me. She never looks at me. She always seems angry and annoyed. She is pretty hateful and impatient. She oozes "get lost".
Honestly, as I've taken all of that in, I'd become intimidated by her and just wanted to skate through the rest of the semester without having to talk to her.
Then she spoke today. She gave an impromptu speech about psychological health. She shared that she'd missed the last two weeks because she'd been in a psychiatric hospital as a result of an attempted suicide. The entire time she talked, she looked straight at me. She shared a little about her internal struggles, her depression, her "stupid" behavior, her need for counseling and healing. She looked at me and smiled when she said "It's because of the meds that I'm able to make eye contact with you."
After class, she and I walked down the hall together alone. She shared with me that she'd been sexually abused as a child and had just told her mother about it six months ago. Her mother feels that she should "just get over it" and stop talking about it - in fact, Mom discouraged her speech, but this remarkable young lady gave it anyway. She allowed me to hug her twice, even telling me how much she enjoyed being held. I am so proud of her. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to talk so openly about abuse, suicide, and depression.
I am reminded through this that sometimes people push us away not because they despise us, but because they relate to us. And every single individual has been created by and is important to God. I don't want to loose sight of that truth. May God give me mercy and grace for others abundantly, and give me eyes to see those in need of His comfort. And may he continue to bless me with God time in my relationships. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of life....inadvertently missing life.