When you need to “vent” to someone, when things are troubling you and you feel like you just “have” to get them out, who do you turn to?
In the past, I have gone to friends or family members when I needed to talk. This has helped, especially when the person, like my daddy, listens, comforts, and loves. When others start to condemn or criticize, that is when it starts to get a little touchy. Often times you just need someone to “listen.” While I don’t expect everyone to sit quietly and take in all I’m saying without uttering a word, I would like the words to be respectful and loving that they speak to me, especially in my time of need. If I have trusted them enough to talk to them about what is bothering me, surely they could have some compassion and carefully select the words they speak back to my troubled or broken heart. And … surely what I say would be kept in the strictest of confidence when taken to a trusted friend.
That is how it is supposed to work, but unfortunately, I have learned a very valuable lesson the hard way just recently when I have taken my broken heart and placed it gently in the hands of friends. I shared things that really were hurting me and that threatened my family. I spoke openly about those things as a way to cleanse my soul by not internalizing any more. I was letting it all flow freely from me because I just had to get it out.
What happened next wasn’t pretty. I later discovered, by one friend’s admission, that she had talked privately with another of my friends. The two were almost comparing notes on what I had told them, and when one didn’t know one piece of information, the other offered it up to them. My friend admitted her part in this, even sending me the private messages shared between her and my other friend. I read through all of the messages almost in disbelief initially. Then, there were some proud moments as I read how each friend cared so much about me and really loved me. I know they were concerned for me with what had just taken place and threatened my family. I could see that in their words, but the more I read, the more vicious some of the messages appeared to be … and some times they were aimed at my beloved … while other times they were aimed right at me.
Now that it was finally out in the open, both friends have apologized to me … but it still hurts and makes me unable to fully trust again with intimate details of my life. Maybe at some point I will get past this and be able to share again, but for now, I will have to return to internalizing a lot of things.
Or will I?
It has dawned on me that when I have felt and currently feel that I have no one to talk to … why am I not turning to God? It hit me like a ton of bricks. He is the One True Friend we always have, and He loves us unconditionally. Why, then, do I trust others to go to them instead of trusting GOD by taking all of my worries, concerns, fears, doubts, and hurts to HIM?
Think about it for a moment. Why not take ALL of your worries, cares, and concerns to Him? The bible says to cast ALL of our cares on Him, yet so many times we hold them in, we fret and are consumed with anxiety over things that we feel we are facing alone. The truth is that if we’d carry ALL of our problems to God as He has asked us to, we wouldn’t feel so alone. We wouldn’t have to try to solve all of the world’s problems because we do not possess the power to do so. Some times we can’t even help ourselves with OUR problems. But I know One who can … God!
I know that a friend’s voice is clearly heard. If we call them on the phone, write a message to them, or see them face to face, we can clearly hear their tone of voice to know how they are saying it or as we’ve gotten to know them, we can pick up their “tone” even in written words. We get feedback from them instantaneously. We hear what they think and how they feel about the situation. Often times they hold nothing back, even when they should due to the impact it has on our hearts and souls. Maybe that is the attraction, the draw to sharing all with a friend. We can hear them in return.
Do you feel that the silence is deafening? When we take our problems to the Lord, do we feel that we get nothing but silence in return? Consider this. We can’t hear God’s voice whispering if we have so many distractions and don’t still our minds long enough to consider what He may be saying back to us in return. Yes, we talk to God … but consider that He wants to speak to US, too! And even if we don’t hear that still small voice right away, we begin to see His hands at work in our lives. He knows what is going on with us any way, but He wants us to come to Him. He wants to hear it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly. He wants us to trust Him.
I can guarantee you that God won’t go behind your back to talk about you. I can guarantee you that God won’t hold a grudge against the person or situation that caused you great pain either. That is yet another problem when you take things to friends or family members. When you’re hurting in the moment and you need a way to release it by talking about it, once it has been spoken and leaves your body, heart, and mind … you are able to regain your composure and work things out even better than before in your life. Yet, the friend or family member you carried your concerns to will NOT be so quick to release the feelings they have about the troubles you shared with them. If you were having problems with your husband, child, or in-laws, the friend that you went to will not be so quick to release their feelings about the situation. Long after you have moved on from that situation and things are better between you and the person, the one you went to will continue to hold on to the problem and will often times bring it back up to you, as if you needed a reminder.
I can assure you that God forgives you if you’ve wronged someone, and I can assure you that God forgives others that wrong YOU, too, if they ask. Yes, the one you initially had problems with where you needed someone to talk to about what was going on … and yes, even the one that talked behind your back with your other friend about your problems. If they ask for forgiveness and truly mean it with their whole hearts, God will forgive them, too.
We are all children of God, and He loves each and every one of us with the same unconditional love. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done, while it may break His heart to see it, I believe He will still forgive us of our wrongdoings if we ask with a sincere heart and repent from our sins so we don’t do these things again. Repent means to ask forgiveness and then turn from our sins! If you took part in something that hurt someone else and you asked for forgiveness from them, be sure that you also ask God for forgiveness for your part in all of this. If you ask with a sincere heart, you will be forgiven. Then don’t allow yourself to get back into that situation again. Don’t betray a friend by talking about what they shared with you with someone else. I can assure you, God will never do that to you.
My lesson learned the hard way this week: when you need to vent … vent to God, instead.