Because of my feelings of failure, and also, because I had been reading about J D Salinger’s life and how he sought to isolate himself (and that strangely scared me – it resonated with me, I guess), two day ago, I asked God to reveal an area in my life where I needed growth.
Anyway, here’s the story…
Thursday, after school, when most students had already gone home, a dear colleague of mine, someone I have tremendous amounts of respect for, pulled me aside. “Vanessa, I have to talk to you – as a friend.”
I had no idea what she was going to tell me, but my anxiety levels escalated as she mentioned an issue with a particular person. My gut reaction, that I somehow managed to keep quiet about, was to think this “issue” was all in the other person’s mind…and how ridiculous.
But then, I remembered a time when I had brought up something with someone, and they had brushed it off as my problem and/or that it was all in my mind. So, rather than be defensive or dismissive, I listen and committed to empathy.
That night, I had a hard time sleeping. I realized that I was anxious about the situation because I had no idea what to do. Then, that Bible verse popped into my head: “do not be anxious about anything, but with prayers, petitions and thanksgiving, make your requests known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” So, I prayed: I mentioned to God that I had no idea what to do, and that I needed help. And then I fell asleep.
The next day (yesterday), I still didn’t know what to do. I looked for opportunities to approach the person, but strangely enough, there were none. I prayed again, and then somehow, it occurred to me and I sensed in my heart, that the issue wasn’t just with that person, but with a group of people…panic. Cluelessness. The tip of the iceberg. Sigh.
After lunch, an unusual set of circumstances “just so happened” whereby I found myself alone with – you may have guessed it – that group of people. This has NEVER happened before.
By some miracle, instead of saying a bunch of nonsense, I asked some questions…and my eyes were opened to an entire situation I had no clue about. We ended up joking around and even laughing as we discussed the situation.
Of course, this is still only part of the iceberg. I believe God was showing me a whole area of my thinking and processing that was off and hurting. Now, I can begin to grow in that area.
I didn’t put the pieces of the puzzle together until this morning, when I was reflecting back on this past week: God answered my original prayer in a peculiar, yet common-sense way. My original prayer, my senses of fear and failure, my friend, a few conversations and good laughs, all together, they led to awareness of an area of my life that’s ready for wholeness – not fear or failure.