As some of you know, I work every Thursday at my church taking care of 4-5 year olds during Mother's Ministry.
Today, the teacher asked for prayer requests from them. Their "requests" ranged from the improbable, the serious, and the childlike.
"That a fire won't burn down our house."
"That my Mommy and Daddy would stop arguing."
"That the tigers under my bed wouldn't get me."
This got me thinking about... uhm, myself. ::looks sheepish::
Whenever people ask for prayer requests, I usually give them some innocuous request about my back injury or schoolwork. But really, that's not what needs prayer right now. I don't MIND prayer in that area - certainly not - but there are more serious, more hurtful things going on in my life right now.
So why don't I mention them?
Several months ago, I started withdrawing myself from people, rather suddenly, as the result of a falling out I had with a good friend. All of a sudden, people were hard to trust. I didn't want to trust anyone with knowing me, because if they knew me, they could hurt me. If they knew my thoughts or my secrets, they could spread them to people I didn't know or didn't trust. There came a point where I would only talk to three people in the world about anything personal - Jester, Morwen, and Doc. The latter two are easy to trust, because they live in other states and one is an adult (both Old Souls), and the former because I've always trusted him unquestionably - somehow, the trust issues have never applied to him.
For this reason, I do not usually give truly personal prayer requests when asked.
I'm thinking about changing this.
You see, lately, I've been attempting to open myself up a little more. Trying to realize that letting a part of your heart show is not giving away your heart, and it does not have to make you vulnerable.
Also, not all friends who go off to college are going to forget about me. This has been another one of my concerns as I open myself up more. I tend to be attracted to friends who are older than me, because they're more mature, often more intelligent, and better company than those who are younger than me and my own age. The problem with this is that they go to college (in other states), become busy, and no longer have time (or as much time) for me. Selfish, perhaps, but right now I'm sitting in a boat with three good friends (only one of which lives nearby), a few casual friends, and a bunch of people labeled "friendly acquaintances", with several of my better friends moved on. One of the few who has kept in touch had this to say - "That's how you tell who was a true friend, and who didn't actually care."
Isn't that a painful thought?
Then there are the New People. I have stumbled upon a few people as of late who seem mature and intelligent and absolutely hilarious. I want to get to know these new and interesting humans - but I have to struggle against the voice in the back of my head that says "Don't. It's not worth it. College is too soon - you can't build a good friendship in just 1 1/2 years before you leave. And they're leaving sooner. They won't have time for you. They won't care. Anyway, you're not interesting enough for them."
All these admittedly jumbled thoughts about trust and friendship have driven me to evaluating what I want other people to know about me. I have become a mystery to most of the people around me, and part of my soul takes comfort in that thought, even justifies my closed social doors as "introversion".
But I don't want to be a frigid wall of ice, impervious to friendly advances. Because another thing my soul takes comfort in is True Friendship, closeness with someone else's heart. I love my best friends more than they could ever fathom. As I've said before - I'd die for them. But that can still be a lonely existance if only one lives nearby. I mean - after Morwen left for college, I went months without a hug. Being a touchy-feely person, this was extremely hard. In fact, I didn't have a hug until she got BACK from college over Christmas time. Something has got to give.
The question is, how to strike a balance between my natural introverted guardedness (YES, I looked it up, it's actually a word) and being, within reason, emotionally and socially available?
As should be made obvious by all I have divulged in this post, it's not easy for me to hit "Publish" this time. But I will, because I do have to begin somewhere. Maybe my faithful (HA!) readers can help me. Maybe you can help draw me out. In a way, you are already - without readers, I wouldn't have any motivation to post.
So let this be the new Beginning. Next time someone asks for a personal prayer request, this is what I'm saying: "Thanks for asking... I've been struggling with trust for a while now. If you could pray for guidance and wisdom in this area, I would be extremely grateful."
Love Thinks No Evil,