The following post was written at my request for this blog by my sister, Pam. Although she is not normally a blogger, she offers us all some powerful insights to consider as we learn to cope with our own pain, our own loneliness. I will pass along any encouraging feedback from user comments to her.
I attend a community church in a small town about halfway between the I-5 corridor and the Oregon coast. My beloved husband, Kenny, passed away in 1994. Recently, my niece started a drama club in the church for our teen group, which she later opened up to all ages. In an attempt to support the group and my niece I signed up. Our first skit was from Cardboard Ministries. On one side of the cardboard each of us (about 13) was asked to write something which had happened in our lives that we had overcome. And then on the reverse side we wrote how we had been redeemed. So, I reached down deep into my gut. I pulled out something that I had never before put into words.
I wrote, “Lost in Loneliness and Self-Pity.”
On the reverse I wrote, “Jesus IS MY Strength.”
Did I actually scream that on paper and in front of a room full of people? I can’t believe I did that.
I felt as though an elephant had been lifted off of my chest.
At the same time, I was getting ready to have the mother of all yard sales. Picture this: two yards full of STUFF. Granted, some of it was from my mom and dad’s house. They had both passed. However, most of it was MY stuff.
While getting ready I started looking at the things I was taking out of my house, things that didn’t fit anymore. 99.9 % of the items still had Goodwill stickers on them. An overwhelming feeling came over me.
What an eye opener.
For all of these years, in order to mask my loneliness, I had shopped and purchased things that didn’t matter to me. I didn’t need anything. Yet at the time, buying these things made me feel better. Spending money made me feel better. I was surrounded by STUFF. But I was still lonely and in debt. All I really needed was Love, Friendship, and a PURPOSE: But I wasn’t allowing myself the opportunity to receive anything the Lord had planned for my future.
Well, I am ready, Jesus. I am Free and open to all things that you bring my way. Thank you Lord for using the skit and the yard sale to open my eyes.