Last night I came down from putting M to bed. My Love was standing in the kitchen loading the dishwasher. I started talking. And talking. And talking. I think I rambled for 15 minutes straight without stopping for air. The metaphors and references and scriptures were all coming together. I wish I had a voice recorder. He was a little quiet and agreeable while trying to follow my rambling. I guess I wasn't really looking for input. It just feels weird to talk so long to yourself. I needed a pair of ears. There is only so much you can keep bottled up in your head.
All that to say...I feel better now. Not that I was feeling badly. It just helps to think clearly. Am I even making sense? Remember at the beginning of the year (a whole three months ago) when I mentioned I wanted to connect at a deeper level with people God has placed in my life. This has been one way that He has made that happen. I can't stop talking.
I can't believe I just typed that. I am a self-proclaimed listener. I pride myself at being able to do it well. A friend once laughed at me when I said I thought it was my spiritual gift. Apparently that wasn't on the list of biblically approved. I do believe God has equipped me to do it actively but it also means I don't usually do much talking. Most of my friends talk. I listen. It makes a good match. But lately, God has shown me if I want to have deep relationships with people, they have to get to know me too. I can't just be a good friend to them and keep myself from being vulnerable. That makes the relationship one-sided. If I have ideas now, I share them. If the conversation is quiet, I bring up something deep. God has given me a voice this year and it feels way beyond what is natural.
Don't get me wrong. I do have a loud voice. If you are related to me or have ever lived with me, you know I don't mind making my opinions heard (hmmm...Michelle really is my daughter). But in friendships, I never used to offer up too much personal information about myself. It wasn't really intentional. I have nothing to hide. It is just what I did. I listened.
It didn't really dawn on me until recently how private I have been throughout my life. If you follow me at The Long Story, you might be surprised to know that about me. It can be easier to share thoughts and feelings behind a computer screen than in person. But a couple weeks ago, a friend was over for lunch and she asked me a question I don't think has been asked of me before. Maybe ever. Rather than just giving the short answer, I told the whole story. And it sounded C.R.A.Z.Y. Half way through I knew there was no going back. I had to keep explaining. And the more I explained, the crazier it sounded. Suddenly I realized there are probably many many people in my life who don't know how my family became what it is today. It is not their fault. It is just that I never offered up that part of me.
God has been working on me full time. He wants me to talk more. He wants me to open up in friendships. He wants to use every part of me.
I am ready Lord. I'm listening. You made me to do that well.
He isn't finished with me yet.