This is my original submission for Well Christian Women. It was an honour to have this used as it was my first real attempt at blog writing. I hope you enjoy.
When I look back at my childhood, there are so many interesting and exciting memories that I can go to. I spent a great deal of my childhood travelling around, whether it was moving to a new province with my father’s job, or spending time with my grandfather on his travelling carnival. As I was reflecting today, there was one thing that my grandmother used to do that came rushing to the front of my mind. Whenever it would rain, she would run around the house, unplugging everything in case the power went out. Although I am sure that it was because she was worried that the rain would turn into a thunderstorm and then the lightning would somehow come through the cords and ruin her TV, resulting in her missing her ‘stories’, the picture of her unplugging appliances stuck with me.
How often do I do that in my own life? I’m not talking about appliances anymore, but my own everyday life. How often do I unplug when I am afraid of not having the energy ‘to do this right now’, or when I am fearful, or battling dark thoughts? There have been times when closing off from everything has seemed like the only option. As an ambivert, I am an interesting mix of hyperactive and shy: I am a true entertainer at heart, however, I have an introverted side that is nothing short of crippling when it takes over. It is this side of me that readily puts up barriers and unplugs when my self- talk takes a turn for the dark side.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
James 5:16 NLT
It took me a while to see this, but God uses people to speak to me. Whether it’s a children’s pastor encouraging me to serve so that I could eventually find my calling in early childhood education or sitting in with a group of people who wouldn’t normally meet up to share their daily struggle, God speaks through them. About two years ago, I got involved with Celebrate Recovery. In a nutshell, this is a Christ centred recovery group for everything that life throws at us. One of the 12 steps centers around James 5:16. Confess your sins to each other. Not just to God? To each other. Every week we gather together, share our struggles and our mistakes together, and pray together. Through plugging in, I have seen lives change – including my own – for the better because we do this together.
God never meant for us to travel this road alone. He fully intended for us to work together, to pray together, and to heal together. James 5:16 finishes off with ‘…produces wonderful results’. How could we walk away from something that promises wonderful results? We need each other. We have to stay plugged in throughout the storms that we face so that we can see the wonderful results that God has promised. The storm won’t go away without a fight, but the proverbial lightning won’t destroy our story. It will magnify it.