Phone calls trigger emotions of shame, guilt, and anxiety for me. So many thoughts invade my head;
“Why has it taken me so long to make this call?”
“I should have called them weeks ago!”
“It is my duty to call, and I am failing.”
“I will be a bother and annoy them if I call.”
I feel guilt and shame if I see a call come in, yet I ignore it at that moment because I’m tired or overwhelmed and cannot find the words or energy. And if a message is left, oh-no! My guilt for missing the call surmounts and leads me to even more guilt and shame. It’s such crazy inner nonsense!
But, what do I do if it’s God calling?
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” – Jeremiah 33:3
I woke on a beautiful Saturday morning with its open, vast, empty hours. I began the day by praying, while my family slept in, no need to rush off to work and school. I have been trying to discipline myself to sit still before the Lord for a few minutes. I try to be quiet and let Him speak first, to wait and see if there is something He wants to say to me, before I tell Him all about my problems.
However, when I attempt this kind of prayer, I am filled with all of the same twisted and tangled emotions – guilt and shame. I always have a nagging doubt: will He speak to me? Does He want to speak to me? Even though I have known Him to respond to me SO many blessed, beautiful times, I still wrestle with those emotions surrounding fear and anxiety.
In my relationships, so many phone calls have made me feel invisible and worthless, as I try to be the supportive friend listening on the other end. I think and feel like I really don’t matter that much. Then I hang up feeling yucky and drained of all energy. Yet, I feel relieved of any guilt and shame because I did my duty of keeping in touch.
This past week, I sat still and quiet during my Saturday morning prayer. My thoughts drifted to the rest of the day. A friend came to my mind. I quickly wanted to call and catch up with her. I pictured myself calling her on Facetime, seeing her face, and catching her in the kitchen making another cup of coffee. I pictured her kids running around in the background, interrupting her a few times, both of us pausing for each other and talking about any random thing. And then, both needing to hang up because life is crazy. But catching up would have felt fun and delightful.
Even though my drifted thoughts seemed to be off track, they ended up becoming my prayers as I listened for God. I felt God remind me that praying to Him is really just like talking to a dear friend.
This is how God wants me to call on Him. Not in a serious, hard, or anxious way, but the kind of calling you do when you want to Facetime a sweet, dear, fun, friend who refreshes your soul.
“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” -Proverbs 27:9
When God calls to me, He doesn’t do it to trigger emotions of shame, guilt, and anxiety. He calls to me to reveal great and hidden things! It’s a two-way relationship. I can give to Him my time, my attention, and my heart. He pours water onto my thirsty soul. After a chat with my sweet friend Jesus, my soul is deeply refreshed.
I can’t wait to call Him again!