I enjoy going for prayer walks, mainly because I’m such a busybody I struggle to sit down and zone out on just one task. So I often combine two activities together, I find it to be a good way to maximise time and resources. And prayer walks satisfy both the spiritual and physical.
So the Friday just gone, I took myself on an extra long one of those walks; playlist set, prayer list at hand then I set off.
To be honest that’s not how it started. What really happened was I was forced to go on the walk before I combusted.
I spent the whole week feeling really heavy. A sort of heaviness that I struggled to articulate, a heaviness that was written all over my face and demeanour. This despondency came from the feeling of helplessness. There were things happening around me, that made me feel in plain English – SAD. And most of these things were beyond my control.
Have you ever felt like wanting, wishing, needing to do something that you just couldn’t? Well, that was me. I can be a bit of a control freak (call it first born syndrome) so when things are beyond me I stress out.
Now, I love detail. When telling a story or engaging in conversation I
need want to know all the ‘whats, wheres, hows and whys’. And this doesn’t stop at the factual stuff. I want to know the internal processes too, this includes feelings, emotions, physical sensation. Everything. I like to know it all. I mean it helps me to build an accurate picture of what actually happened which usually informs my next move.
But this time, I was not privy to this information, and I felt useless and despondent. I wanted to know it all so I could lend myself and help….but I just couldn’t.
In reaching the height of my restlessness birthed from my inability to change or influence the situation I said a brief prayer. This was mainly to fulfil all righteousness- and by that I mean a quick talk to (not with) God because I knew it was the right thing to do, even though I really did not want to.
This brief conversation brought to the surface an internal battle that I had tried to suppress all week.
Whenever I felt the urge or call to pray about this situation I tried to blank it out. What I did instead was talk to friends, which was interesting because I was not really talking to them about the issue, because I couldn’t fully disclose the situation. So, all I got was a temporary relief from the build up of emotions I was experiencing, but it didn’t actually solve or help the situation.
So back to this Friday- I had reached breaking point and I resolved that I need to calm down and express exactly how I felt to God, so I started my walk.
3 minutes in I realised that I skirted around the issue this week by saying lots of quick prayers because I was not ready or willing to be vulnerable.
Intimacy is something that I struggle with in most of my relationships, not all, but the majority (when I mean relationships I mean with family, friends, colleagues, partners etc). I understand that each relationship has varying levels of intimacy, you cannot be open or confide in any and everyone, that would be quite foolish. Knowing whom and when to open up requires maturity and a discerning spirit (topic for another day).
Before talking about what the problem was, I explored the barriers that prevented me from opening up in the first place and the things that generally hinder me opening up to people I should.
I have this motto that I live by when it comes to sharing:
‘if it is not beneficial to the person I am sharing with or if they cannot provide a solution – then there is no point in sharing’.
And that has been my sharing/intimacy mantra, until this prayer walk.
I learnt that some things need to be shared, even if the person cannot provide a solution and even if it is not the thing that will ‘set them free’ from captivity.
Some things need to be shared because:
sharing and intimacy is the bedrock of any meaningful relationship
It shows trust which is an essential ingredient necessary for the growth and development of any relationship.
Now, God, our Father ‘knows what you need before you ask him’ (Matthew 6: 8). We know He knows what we’re going to say before we even say it, so it must not matter that much whether we say it or not right?
It matters a whole lot because it shows we trust. In sharing we are effectively transferring control of the situation from our incapable hands into His all powerful and very much able hands.
Sharing is a choice.
Intimacy is a choice.
We are not forced into relationship with Him. He doesn’t coerce us to pray- it is something we have the liberty to do, or not to do.
Intimacy comes at a price.
It costs ‘self’ because it means laying pride and ego to the side and showing another side to you. I was tempted to type the ‘real’ you, but realised we have different parts that make us who we are, and our public face is not necessarily our ‘fake face’, and neither is our private self our ‘real self’.
Intimacy means being up close and personal
An intimate relationship is a transparent one.
Transparency means being vulnerable.
Being vulnerable means being brave – because you’re taking a chance on the person you’re confiding in – if it’s God, there is absolutely nothing to worry about, but if it’s (hu)man, the there’s always a risk of being hurt and betrayed. But sometimes that risk is necessary for the relationship to grow to another level.
Whilst on this walk I realised that it did not matter how I described my feelings, what I said, if I was coherent or a hot mess. All these factors were irrelevant. What mattered was the choice I made to share.
I hope to talk more about intimacy…so stay posted for part 2. If you haven’t already subscribed, please do so, it means you will be alerted when the latest post goes live.
In truth and with love