I am on vacation. So, why, oh why does my body insist on me being awake at 6:30? 🤔 And to add to this, there is a time change so it was really just 5:30 when I popped out of bed, mind already racing with thoughts.
We are staying in a restored farmhouse tucked away in the woods. Our friends whose son is also from the same orphanage as our son are here with us. It is a great time of fellowship with family and friends.
I find that I best disconnect from my day to day life in places like this. I need to be in the nature, away from the noises of the world.
This morning, sleep is eluding me so I have escaped to the basement. Here, it is quiet…just me and my thoughts.
Down here, I look up at the ceiling. Everything is exposed. Nothing is hidden.
Have you ever felt like this? My friend and I have talked about feeling as though our lives are being peeled away layer by layer much like an onion. As I pray to grow closer to God, things about myself, areas in my life, suddenly feel very exposed.
The definition of expose is to make something visible. When things and areas in our lives become exposed even if just to our own awareness, it can leave us feeling vulnerable. Typically, I think most people would agree, this doesn’t feel good. When we feel emotions of guilt, shame, anxiety, weakness…it doesn’t feel very comforting.
I came across this passage in the Psalms…
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24
The psalmist was inviting God to search his thoughts, to expose anything of offense. Why would he ask this knowing God already knows? I believe when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, when we willingly invite God to examine our hearts and lives, I believe He will expose areas in our lives that may feel much like layers of an onion being peeled back.
I look up at the open ceiling again. I can see the light bulb. I see wires, a nail, a cobweb. Nothing is hidden from my sight.
Are we willing to be this transparent with God? With others whom we trust who can help us grow?
Feeling exposed isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It is what we do with these feelings that makes all the difference in our lives. When we understand how our behaviors and feelings impact our motivations and actions, then we can understand and begin to make changes.
For example, being told I second guess myself by someone initially upset me, but as I prayed and reflected over it, I have been able to see and understand the reasons I have second guessed myself and to now change my thinking.
Being brave enough to confront our areas of exposure in our lives can open doors to some exciting opportunities for personal, professional, emotional, and spiritual growth. Keeping a prayer journal, having a prayer partner, and spending time with God in spaces where you can disconnect from the flow of life even if just for a few minutes, will help funnel exposure into growth.
Are you willing to invite God to search your heart and thoughts? You don’t have to walk this journey alone.