Transitions and new seasons tend to give us opportunities to have our faith stretched and our character tested. Our family is coming up on one such time as we head back to the states for a four month furlough eleven days from now. A couple weeks ago, with this transition on my mind and a bit of fear in my heart, I wrote a blog post. You didn’t read that blog post though. No one did, because it never got posted.
After pouring myself into it for a hour or so, I could tell that it was coming off as a bit ‘edgy’ or at least that’s what I would have called it. I don’t typically read my blogs to Melissa before posting, but this time I did because I knew it was a little more involved. She heard me out and said that she resonated with a lot of what I wrote. Then she told me that I shouldn’t post it, to at least sleep on it. I wasn’t too stoked on that. I feel like my writing has been so sporadic that when I do actually get something down, I want to post it. I thought with this post the redemptive qualities outweighed the negative aspects to the post.
She challenged me “how do we be real about our sharing, but not lose sight of the hope that we have?” “How do we honor those that have graciously supported and partnered with us, while stirring up others towards good as well?” I pouted and told her that I wouldn’t post it.
The next day I realized that she was right and that blog is still sitting in my drafts.
I need my wife. For a million and one reasons, but this one for sure. She edits my life. She didn’t just edit the blog post. She edited what was in my heart. Through my writing, she could see that I was speaking out of fear, I was dwelling on disappointment, I wasn’t honoring and I wasn’t uplifting those that would hear from me. She lovingly, compassionately helped me understand where I was and how to follow God more closely and show love and grace to others.
The funny thing is, a very similar instance happened about four years ago. I blogged more regularly then and decided to make a post about blogging and my lack of true community and disappointment with friends in the states. It all came across quite negatively, though I liked to think I was speaking tongue in cheek and merely being satirical. I got an email shortly thereafter from a young lady that I hardly knew but went to high school with. It was clear that I had offended her through my post. I subsequently deleted the post, but not until after a handful of people read it.
The difference between those stories wasn’t me. In both stories, I had fear and insecurity, I was ungrateful and unkind. The difference is that someone came alongside me a couple weeks ago and edited my heart, my attitude and yeah, even my writing a little bit.
We all need people like this in our lives. It doesn’t have to be a spouse, though for those of us that are married, they should certainly be included. I have friends of mine, my parents and others that have that ability to edit my life.
Whoever it is that gets to speak into one’s life in this way, they must realize it is a privilege and one that comes with growing trust and mutual vulnerability. There will be plenty of people that would love to tell you everything that you should be doing with your life, but they do it from a place of control and self-interest. I’m not really interested in such relationships personally. There are others that might be on the right track, but haven’t yet dove into the vulnerability that it requires or experienced life with the other person enough to really have that editing authority. This is a process, but a truly beautiful process.
On Wednesday, I found myself freaking out again. I was worried about a number of things. Our car was in the shop and we were needing to get stuff done and were now worried about how much it would cost to fix it. And on the other end, we still had (and currently have) so many unknowns awaiting us with our upcoming furlough. Despite our communicating through Facebook, YouTube and newsletters, we still don’t know what we’ll be driving while in California or where exactly we’ll be staying. So yeah, I was freaking out.
Melissa pulled me out of my whirlwind and said, let’s read the Bible together. She then read from Matthew 6 and reminded me that it’s not for me to worry about what our furlough is going to look like or where our money is going to come from. Today has enough trouble of it’s own and our Father in Heaven knows what we need. Just seek first His Kingdom and righteousness. Good word. When somebody speaks truth louder than the worries in your head, all you can do is sit back and say ‘yeah, you’re right.’
Who edits your life? If you’re like me, you need it on a normal basis. One of the things that Melissa and I have struggled with is finding true community and those people that have that ability to edit our lives. We should all be striving for that together in our families and in our social circles. It takes vulnerability, it takes true humility, it takes wisdom and discernment, it takes intentionality and a whole lot of effort. The most important thing that makes all the effort worthwhile is that it’s through these relationships that we see the Kingdom of God manifest on earth and the Church reach what Christ’s intention is.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” -Jesus (John 13:34-35)