Thursday, August 6, 2009

She Hides at She Speaks

I walked into the She Speaks conference with an overwhelming sense of peace. I read that many were concerned about their wardrobe and their speeches and book proposals, and though I had my days of anxiousness, by the time I walked in I was completely relaxed. Each person I met enthralled me with their experiences leading up to the conference. God was calling me to be "others-focused," and it was a whole lotta wonderful. Except for the normal bit of nervousness that came Friday night just before 3-minute speech time, the Lord's peace prevailed.

Until Saturday afternoon.

The session after lunch came, and a funk came over me right in the middle. I felt dizzy, sick to my stomach, exhausted, numb. It was as if I had been sitting in the middle of a beach somewhere basking in the sun, and out of nowhere a gynormous wave rolled in and knocked me over, leaving me flat on my back.

So I did what any "others-focused" individual would do. I limped to my room and hid. Behind that closed door, I hoped that my roommate wouldn't come in and see me sobbing on my knees by the bed. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. Had I been sandbagging my anxiousness only to have it explode and make a mess now? Was I exhausted from the days of preparation getting ready for the trip? Was it a spiritual attack? What in the world had come over me?

As I moved to the bed and tried to drift off to sleep, my cell phone rang. It was my 11-year-old daughter, and she was in the same shape I was. She missed me. She felt like she was doing everything around the house and others were taking her for granted. She didn't want to tell anyone, especially Dad, because she didn't want to come apart in front of him. I advised her to go into her closet and pray (the only place she has privacy), and to ask the Lord for strength to talk to Dad. I told her, "Sweetie, you'll be amazed how much better you'll feel if you can find the courage to admit to dad how you're feeling." We cried together for a little while longer, and I shared with her how I was feeling too.

While I was ending my conversation with my daughter, my roommate Amy Bayliss walked in. She saw I was a mess, but she didn't pry. I felt led to tell her what I was going through, but I didn't want to bother her with it. After all, she had another publisher's meeting to go to and a whole list of things to be focused on herself. It was a mixture of my care for her and pride that I wanted to continue faking my strength until she left the room again.

Then I remembered my words to AnaLee. You know, about how much better she'd feel if she just admitted she was weak. So I grabbed Amy, and I told her. She immediately prayed as I continued to weep, and I was amazed. A healing wave of peace and relief flooded over me. Not long after Amy left the room, my daughter called again. She said she took my advice and went into the closet to pray and that she was ready to talk to Daddy. I was definitely able to encourage her after what I'd just experienced.

The memory of this mind-boggling moment ministers to me on so many levels. Pride had convinced me that I was to be "on" while at the conference or else I'd be no good to anyone. I let the enemy discourage me and speak lies into my ear. I almost cancelled my publisher's meeting AND my talk on Saturday night. Honestly, the thought went through my mind that maybe I'm just not cut out for any of this stuff. Nobody else was in their room having a meltdown, I thought. LOL, Like I would know...

The power of releasing our pride and our weaknesses to one another can be an amazing thing. Often, we have experiences that are meant for the Lord's ears only, but in this case, He wanted me to admit. I don't know why I felt the need to hide when the unexpected hit me. But I was humbled and encouraged in a way I will never forget. Maybe the next time I won't be so stubborn.
"Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]."
James 5:16, The Amplified Bible
"If one falls down, his friend can help him up."
Ecc. 4:10a

Is God leading you to walk out of your hotel room
and let someone pray for you?

16 friends shared a comment:

Patricia said...

Wow. What an honest post... I think that's exactly what I needed right now. I will be pausing and pondering your words today.

The Real Me! said...

A beautiful transparent post my friend. Sometime it is so hard to admit our fears and failures. You did the right thing and God prevailed!
Big hugs to you my sweet friend.

~*Michelle*~ said...

I love this....beautifully written!

Joanne Sher said...

You made me cry. What an incredible, honest, penetrating post. I need this. A lot. (and you're often my "someone," by the way)

Debbie said...

This one really spoke to me. I have a tendency to hold things in and look fine on the outside. But often inside I'm trembling and afraid. As I'm writing this so many emotions come up. As a child I somehow felt responsible for keeping everyone else OK; being the one to comfort them but not me. I think I need to journal. That's what I do when stuff like this surfaces. I thank you for sharing what you went through with us today. I do not believe for a minute that you are alone. Many of us try to keep it all in but maybe it's time to share and real. I've actually been posting on this topic on Mondays on Heart Choices so it's interesting that I "happened" to read this now.

Thank you for your honesty,

Julie Gillies said...

Truer words were never written. Sometimes we need to share!

When I ran down to the prayer room Saturday morning after my in-room-cry-fest, then poured out my heart (and tears) to Charlotte, I felt 1000% better. I'm SO glad you shared with Amy.

Wouldn't it be funny to take a poll of all 600 women and see how many cried at some point over the weekend? We all think we're the only ones, but clearly we are not.

Thanks for keeping it real, LauraLee!

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

Girl, you are so not alone! I enjoyed meeting you and getting to hug you! And you got to room with Amy- I am envious =)

Karen said...

Sometimes it can be so hard to let others see us so vulnerable. I can have a tendency to not want others to see me cry. I really appreciate your transparency here. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

Hope you have a great day!

Antique Mommy said...

I love this post, just the honesty of it and this idea that a lot of us were feeling the same thing.

And now I'm thinkin' I need to get one of those signs for my front door. To warn the Girl Scouts and others who sometimes come to the door unawares a crazy lady resides therein.

I wish I could cry and have a therapeutic little meltdown. As it is, I'm a high-cope chickadee and have been since I was about 3. I don't need no! body! is standard operating procedure for me. As it is, what I need to learn to do is lay it down and depend on the Lord, give Him a little room to work once in a while.

Karen Wilber said...

Thank you for sharing. No you're not the only one who has self doubts. I hope I have a close relationship with my kids where we can encourage each other when they're older.

Irritable Mother said...

I just LOVE IT when God speaks to us through our very own words!
Oh, how many times have I been saying something to my children and sensed the message was really from God to me? He's very creative. Glad you heard Him!

Denise said...

Thanks for sharing your beautiful, honest heart. I love you.

Mikes Sumondong said...

Just dropping by today to share to you an on-going challenge in my site about sharing the gospel in 140 characters or less. Hope you can join: Tweet The Gospel

God Bless you!

Lisa said...

What a neat, growing experience.. not fun to go through, I'm sure, but so thankful that God told you to confide in your wonderful roommate. We can ALL learn from this one - Pride is such a powerful and yet subtle thing to overcome. We need to be on our knees every day to stay real. So glad you shared this. You are loved!

Laury said...

Oh Laura, thank you for sharing your heart. I wanted to cry as I read. I can certainly relate to your feelings. We just started reading Dream Giver - don't go back to your "comfort zone, or your invisible wall of fear." Don't let the border bullies beat you up.

Love you lots and I am just one of the lots who are your champions.


There's nothing like pure honesty of heart and humility to cleanse the soul and create even more direction for others who share in the reading of these words!

And yes, the spiritual warfare attacks have been in full blow bomber mode all week - everywhere - because women are TRUSTING God like never before!

We make satan sweat!!!!

PRAYER draws us close to Jesus and the Father - while the Holy Spirit fuels us up to continue this journey of faith we are walking out!

Blessings to you.

Choosing JOY, Stephanie
[JESUS - the One I THIRST For]