Learning the unforced rhythms of grace

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Insight from Others

When pain is part of your daily life, the world can get pretty small, pretty fast.

Insight from other people can be refreshing, life-giving and worth pursuing. Let me give you an example. A few weeks ago, I asked a friend of mine if she would give me a few hours of her time to help me think through a decision. She agreed. We sat on her couch for most of the day with good coffee and my dilemma. She listened well, gently gathering facts and offering deeper questions. By the end of the day, much more was clear to me than the original dilemma.  She saw through my words to hear the deeper questions of my heart. She asked, "Why is it difficult for you to choose something purely because you enjoy it?" She reminded me that living with pain needs time and attention. She challenged my excuses and encouraged me to be honest about my needs and wants. Her insight allowed me to see myself more clearly and more realistically.

Sometimes we avoid those kinds of conversations because we are afraid of being vulnerable and exposed. We are afraid people will see through our neatly constructed sentences and discover something less tidy underneath. We are afraid of being known.

But I also think we are afraid of being loved. To be known is to be loved. My friend and I have known each other since we were kids. There is a lot of history there. That is what makes it easier to ask her to reserve some time to help me work through a decision. I know she will be more concerned about my heart than  the actual facts. I needed someone to listen past my words and remind me of who I really am. She did . . . it felt vulnerable . . . but I also felt known and loved.

Most of us are hard on ourselves. We don't give ourselves much grace at all. God pours it out generously and we gather it up and stash it away in a cupboard thinking that we don't deserve it. We don't–that's why it is grace! Asking a loving friend for insight is allowing God's grace to flow freely. Choose those friends carefully and wisely. We were not meant to walk alone. We need insight from others in order to become all of who God created us to be.

Be bold, ask for insight and trust God to reveal truth in his gracious ways!