This has certainly been an eventful week with many all-nighters and a surplus of espresso. In short, it's midterm week. But amongst my own personal trials and anxieties this week, it became quite clear to me that I would have to put my own concerns on hold. Multiple close friends have chosen this week to make their struggles known to me. It seems that our discussion on listening and speaking from the past two weeks could not have come at a more perfect time. It really puts things into perspective when people open up their world to you. Somehow all of your own annoyances and problems seem petty and insignificant in comparison. I find it incredibly flattering that these people would hold me in confidence and that they would seek my advice. This is also incredibly intimidating for me. I feel a lot of pressure to be there for them and to say the right words. The words that will give them clarity and comfort. The words that just may very well solve their problems. I put a lot of pressure on myself like that. Many times when I don’t see immediate results or get that immediate gratification, I get discouraged.
This week as I was grappling with all of these issues—both my friends’ struggles and my own inadequacies in helping them—I was inspired and encouraged by a note card pinned up on my desk. I’m one of those types of people who tack a lot of things up on my walls and on my desk. Empty spaces on a wall kind of make me uneasy. Because of the amount of things pinned up on my desk I find that they almost become a visible white noise. They all fade together and I can kind of ignore the chaos. This one note card in particular was from a Women’s Ministry gathering I went to some months ago and it says simply, “I Will” Luke 5:5. I vaguely remember putting it up there, originally hoping that it would inspire me daily. And luckily, this week, it did. This verse is from the story of how Simon, after a night of unsuccessful fishing, tells Jesus that he will cast down his nets, simply because Jesus told him to. What really struck me about that story was the blind and trusting faith Simon had in Jesus. God put it upon the hearts of these people to share with me, and I know that God will find a way to use me to encourage them. I’m still not one hundred percent sure of what my advice to them will be, but I am striving to trust that to God. Another encouraging verse I found this week (also pinned up on my desk) is Philippians 4:9, “Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” I have been really focusing on letting that peace of God flow into my life rather than stress or anxiety. For me that certainly is a daily struggle, but I find that anytime I have any sort of success in that, the reward is overwhelmingly satisfying. So I guess for I could use prayer for myself, in my dealings with advice-giving, but also for those close friends of mine. I pray that I can give them the support and encouragement they need by being a good listener and then I pray that with the help of the Holy Spirit I can be an equally good speaker.