I HEARD YOU

PEOPLE CAN BE A LOT

Group dynamics is not my strong suit. I can binge on Jesus and his word. And I thoroughly enjoy my own company. But I take people in doses.

And in between doses, I enjoy my recovery break, which is not the hard-core isolation people mistakenly associate with introverts. Because isolation would lead anyone to insanity.

So, I love getting together with friends when possible. But for obvious reasons, that’s become more difficult in recent years, all the more since as a former active military wife, my friends span the country.

BUT I PRESS ON!

Because God wired us all for community and sometimes you have to get in where you fit in till you can find or create a community to your liking.

So, I joined a membership for Christian women that’s like group life coaching meets sisterhood.

We meet virtually to receive biblically based, practical wisdom from our coach and her cohort of godly, accomplished and transparent friends who are leaders in their own spheres of influence.

All the while connecting with each other in chats during the live sessions and in posts on the website.

It works great in theory, but gets complicated in practice because of the sheer number of women in the membership.

Sooo, what happens is while the speaker is speaking, you have women engaging with what the speaker is saying while chatting with each other.

And between it being virtual, and, most times, only the speaker is visible, when the topic discussed hits a nerve, it’s a little easier for women to share pains and struggles they may have no one to share them with safely in real life.

THAT’S THE REAL BEAUTY OF COMMUNITY

It’s a beautiful thing to look over at the chat and see someone dare drop her mask (I love a good unmasking) to be real with herself and her sisters. And then to see other women offer to pray or literally pray in the chat while still others offer words of encouragement or advice is a blessing.

Witnessing and taking part in compassion on that level is comforting and feels so much like Jesus.

But what stings every time are the statements that go unrecognized.

I have a visceral response when I hear/see someone bare a corner of their soul only to be rewarded by crickets.

And really, it’s bound to happen with hundreds of women multitasking in conversation. But that doesn’t make you feel any better. Trust me on that one.

When someone displays the courage to share secret hurts, “out loud,” and it just floats away in a sea of other comments, rational or not, intended or not, you interpret it as “You and the pain you carry doesn’t matter.”

But how many times does that happen in our marriages and families, on our jobs and in our churches?

How many times does someone, often in sheer desperation, say what’s weighing on their heart only for their words to float away?

How many people are hurt on top of hurt because they are not heard?

And that’s so not the heart of God!

DID YOU SAY SOMETHING?

The Lord heard the cry of the Israelites, oppressed by their Egyptian slave masters (Exodus 3:7). He heard David cry out and saved him from all his troubles (Psalm 34:6). He heard Hannah cry out in her barrenness and blessed her womb (1 Samuel 1:10-11, 20).

The same God who said not one of his words will return to him void, hears every word you say.

So as an introvert with a natural bent toward listening over speaking, I know when your expressed pain goes unnoticed—it hits differently.

And I think the parable of the soil explains why.

Words are seeds and seeds are meant for planting. They need some place to land. They need to go somewhere to happen. And we look so much like our Father when the words we launch take root.

The ground you stand on exists because God said words that had somewhere to become. From the beginning of the Bible, he’s showing us how he values words and he’s the same yesterday, today and forever.

Words are seeds and seeds are meant for planting.

Vanessa A. Harris

So, your words do matter. And yes, that means don’t be careless with them because they have the power of life and death. But it also means it matters that you have something to say—even if it’s painful, even if you’re not eloquent or ridiculously charming as you say it.

Your courage to speak is something to be acknowledged. And your words deserve a place to land.

I HEARD YOU

So, these days, when I see a lady comment in our group post or group chat and no one’s responded to her—I do. Regardless of whether it’s a big deal to her, it’s my way of saying, “I heard you.”

Because if she dared share something vulnerable, I want her to know that as the proverbial tree fallen over in the forestshe made a sound. And I honor it as my DADDY God does.

We do not know how many people we come across who are hanging on by a thread. And how, by simply acknowledging you hear them, you reflect the heart of Jesus.

May your words find receptive soil. And may your heart be receptive to someone else’s.

I’m rooting for you!

NEED HELP TALKING WITH GOD?

Got A Minute to Pray? Prayer channel on YouTube featuring prayers about a minute long written and read by Vanessa A. Harris.

Prayer Changes Things

Join me on YouTube as I pray a quick prayer to get you going in the right direction. Whether you’re new to prayer or your prayer life has gone stale, nothing replaces quality time with Jesus. So, if prayer feels awkward, I’m happy to pray with you.

And if you pray regularly but want some company, I’m here for that too.

And because these prayers are based on God’s Word, you can be confident you’re praying according to His will.

IF YOU’RE A MOM AND YOU’RE TIRED OF PRETENDING…

Join me for Motherhood Unmasked

It’s the podcast for you, the mom battling the effects of your childhood trauma on your parenting journey.

Let’s get real about the challenges we face, so you’re as comfortable in your skin as you want your kids to be in theirs. TUESDAYS on any platform where you enjoy music and podcasts.

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