I don’t share a lot of deep - or even “on a whim” - thoughts on our blog. Most of those thoughts are sitting in a Jitney Blog Draft folder on my hard drive. Others have been jotted down in my Moleskine with a buffalo leatherskin and turquoise cord wrapping them up unnoticed. Still, some, are logged away in the back of my brain tucked away so nobody can ever read or hear them.
JD and I had the opportunity of sharing our testimonies with our new small group this past Sunday. Normally I love sharing my testimony because each person’s story is a story of redemption and grace that can only be given by Christ alone. But JD wanted to share about a few of our ugliest struggles both pre-marriage and inter-marriage. He told me the things he felt led to share as I responded with, “Are you sure you want to share that?” We shared things with them that we had only shared with a handful of friends, our closest confidants.
Somehow we also - non-purposely - entered into a time of confession with one another the Thursday before we sat with our small group. It was a time of embarrassing confession. A time of fearing judgment from one another. A time of releasing our deepest, darkest secrets in which we had shared with either maybe one or two friends or nobody at all.
It was also a time of liberation. A time of uncontrollable laughter. A time of true intimacy.
It was beautiful to feel so free, so unshackled, so unburdened.
Before telling each other these things, we both felt ashamed, embarrassed and judged - even though we hadn’t even told each other. We assumed the other would think of us differently or - worse - have a thought of, “Who is this person I thought I knew so well?!” While, yes, we will forever learn about one another, these could’ve been game-changers (or at least, in our own minds, they could’ve been). Fortunately, they were game-changers in the sense of directing our hearts to grow deeper with one another, to forgive one another (if needed) and to laugh at each other’s strange quirks.
Fast forward to yesterday… Our friend Karen is leading a bible study at the YMCA which started yesterday. She spoke about guarding our hearts (which I’m afraid is too often associated with single women and not associated enough with every person, regardless of gender or season of life). In Psalm 139:23-24, David pleads with the Lord, “Search me, God, and know my heart.” David is longing for the same knowing and intimacy God allowed JD and I to share last week. David is offering - exposing - his heart to the Lord. What a joy it was to see the dynamics in intimacy between marriage versus our relationships with Christ. God longs to know us, way deeper than I could ever long for JD to know me or for me to know him. Whether in your marriage or, more importantly, in your relationship with Christ - I challenge you to pour your heart out. Be vulnerable. Our Father longs to know you, longs to know your needs and your struggles. He offers grace freely and abundantly. He has made His dwelling among us. Through His word and the Spirit, God will speak truth over your struggles.
It will be a time of feeling so free, so unshackled, so unburdened.
PS: We finally won at trivia night last night!!
We won second place (which was amazing because we're normally towards the bottom of the list).
Final Bonus Answer: Germany.
Way to go Team Shermanators.