Eustress is good stress. The kind that makes you feel alive and alert–excited about life. I’ve been experiencing both kinds of stress lately, but recently have been reveling in the good kind. Aging is not fun, one of my friends recently said, “Aging is not for the faint-hearted,” and I agree, but I wouldn’t trade the time I’ve been having for anything.
I think when you say to God, “Make me know You,” like French renegade– turned devoted priest, Charles de Focauld said, life gets really interesting. And when you’ve told Them (God), “I’m available, use me.” it gets even more wild.
I didn’t say it gets easy. I’ve been through two of the hardest things in my life in the past two months, but what a ride! First was looking at my own deficits, and second was the sweetness of God in helping me face them by sending reinforcements. I wrote about that time before last, “The Sweetness of God” but at that time didn’t know what it was going to ask of me.
It turned into God showing me that what I really needed was to give up my position of insulation and safety with people. I saw that I had situated myself very conveniently to keep people at arms length. I keep so busy with still working a bit and volunteer positions at church and writing the Bible from a cosmic-war perspective that I have no time for real friendship. Or at least very little that doesn’t require much from me. Certainly doesn’t ask for much risk or vulnerability. Wow! And I always thought I was so vulnerable!
It’s easy to be vulnerable with clients, if they want it. There is very little risk, and it usually helps them open up. But God asked me to be a friend. To learn to be a real friend. To make myself available to another person. Whoa! When I thought about it, I panicked! What a shock! It went so deep, and the journaling was so revealing, I was amazed and hurt at what I learned about myself. It brought up twenty lies! False beliefs I held about myself and friendship–stuff that went way back to childhood. Basic, self-worth stuff.
I had nightmares for two nights, and woke up terrified three mornings at just the thought! Then I knew I needed healing–badly! And that is how I knew the friend request really came from God. But how rich and special it has been–all of it, the reality, even the pain of truth, the healing, the vulnerability, even admitting my fear and impoverishment has had a sweetness when received with the same vulnerability and honor in return. It has been one of the major gifts of my life. I am more than grateful.
Who knows what riches They want to give you? Take the risk and ask. I promise you will be delighted in the end. It will be worth it because they love you and are safe, truly. They can be trusted and life will go beyond fulfilling!