But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

~John 16:7

I sat in a room with about eighty other strangers, listening intently to the teaching in front of me. One of my top strengths is learning, and I was blissfully soaking up the information at hand. As the teacher announced that he felt lead to pray, I groaned. I disliked ministry activation exercises that were done in front of people more than anything in the world. I hated how vulnerable it made me feel, and I hated hearing the cries of others.

The truth is that I hated those cries because I couldn't join in. Oh. I wanted to, believe me. But I cried so rarely, I couldn't remember the last time I had. Something inside of me stalled when I experienced intense emotion and I had no idea why.

The teacher at hand said he had a picture of a little girl, sitting alone. I squirmed in my chair, annoyed to be sitting so long, when all of a sudden, tears streamed down my face. I touched them in complete disbelief. Crying? I don't cry! What's going on here!

Memories came flooding back, memories of feeling alone and unseen. But the most shocking memory was of my father, who was mostly a loving man. In that memory I was bawling, and instead of seeing my wounds, he told me to "dry my alligator tears." My own father thought I was crying simply for attention! It was then and there that I made the vow not to be that vulnerable again.

And I hadn't been, until now. I rejected and renounced the vow that I wouldn't be vulnerable and replaced it with God's truth...the truth that it was okay to be vulnerable, the truth that some of my past experiences had been severely misinterpreted. I thought that my Father's statement was about me, but it was really about him.

I love that what may have taken years of Christian counseling or other therapies to uncover only took moments with the God of the Universe. If we can learn to hear his voice and promptings, I truly believe that God is the best Counselor there is.

If you are struggling with something, consider that God is willing to talk anytime, anywhere. Grab a comfy chair, a bible, and some good music. I like to ask Him "Do you have something you'd like to talk with me about?" Rarely there's silence, but I figure that then He must just want to hang out.

As for me, I'm finally able to cry (and in front of people!), to be vulnerable because of what I heard today. That doesn't mean that I won't battle some serious lifestyle patterns but faith comes by hearing....and I certainly heard today.


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