Things I'm Learning from Facebook

Last week, we posted a very simple question on Facebook: “How can we pray for you today?” I have to say that I truly wasn’t expecting the response and I have spent the last several days trying to find words for my heart that has been deeply moved. I have read each and every one and have been praying over each person as I read. I have been moved by many things — - the level of honesty. - the tremendous needs in our brothers and sisters. - there is a level of authenticity that exists on Facebook. - there is a freedom to speak deep personal truth. - there is a need for each of us to share our hurts. - it is a clear reminder that we are not alone in our pain. And it makes me pause to be puzzled at this thought… Why do we seem to feel more freedom to be open, raw and honest on Facebook, than we feel the freedom to be vulnerable in our church?   It seems to me that one of the very things we desperately need in our church community is a space of grace to be real. It’s very hard to be real. I honestly spent the first many years of my life trying to pretend I had it all together — that I was perfect… my life was perfect. But truly, I was just hiding behind that mask of pretense. And then I fell… HARD! And made choices that people quickly surmised — “She is FAR from perfect.” But can I tell you, since that day, when I said, “I don’t care what people find out about me, I don’t care to whom I share the truth of my wounded-ness and wrong choices, I don’t care if it costs me my career… the ONLY thing that matters, is to be right and clean before the Lord. So I will be bold and I will be honest, truthful and confess…” When I got to that place in my life to FULLY surrender, THAT is when true freedom began to plant its seed in my heart. I felt that same sense of freedom on Facebook, as I read through message after message of gut level authenticity. I have come to believe this with my whole heart: Where there is truth (and often that truth is about ourselves and so hard to bear), there is freedom. Jesus says “The truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). That truth is God’s Word, but that truth is also about the honesty of our heart. Where there is truth, there is freedom, and where there is freedom, there is GOD, right smack dab in the middle! Because He is TRUTH and FREEDOM! So, here is what I’m learning from FACEBOOK ––
  1. We so desperately need community –– people to come along side and walk with us; people to whom we can simply say, “Here is where I am today; I just wanted someone to know.”
  2. Oh, how I pray that our churches will not only have a sanctuary but that churches can be a sanctuary! A safe place to cry out, “No I’m not okay! I just need someone to know!”
  3. We are not alone. While our hurts and wounds are unique to us, there are others who share similar pain. So often, it just helps me to know I am not alone.
  4. WE NEED EACH OTHER. It’s that simple.
  5. Keep sharing your story. In the pages of my own story, there are chapters I’d like to rip out. But I find that it is within those very pages, I have seen God most at work.
Lastly, I want to share one of the sweetest verses I have found in the past few weeks. Romans 15:13 (ESV): May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Be encouraged my friends — there is a hope that awaits us.  Be encouraged, today! - Sandi SP_Facebook_Blog

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Vera Wilson

Thank-you! I needed to be reminded of the hope our God gives to each of us.

Leigh McGuirt

The song I mentioned in my last comment was sung by Ray Boltz Thank-you for Giving to The Lord. It is a very good song. I hope you will listen to it. Leigh McGuirt

Leigh McGuirt

The song I mentioned in my last comment was sung by Ray Boltz Thank-you for Giving to The Lord. It is a very good song. I hope you will listen to it. Leigh McGuirt

Leigh McGuirt

Sandi, I thank -you for your wonderfully comforting words. We all do need each other. The reason I do not have a home church, other than the fact I am a care giver for my mother. She has to stay home. She wont or can’t get up and out early enough to go to church, but also I was a Christian Scientist. Do you know what that is? They do not go to doctors. I no longer consider myself a Christian Scientist. I do go to a doctor now, and have for at least the past 20 years. If the church had known that when I was active, I would have been dropped out of all activities. I follow Shelia Schuller’s church service sometimes, but right now I consider your church my home church, I watch on livestream. I missed it today though. I sure did want to watch it too. That right now is the only way I can attend church. I love your pastor, and the music in the church services is awesome!

Anyway, Christian Science really messed up my life. I went into Christian science nursing instead of college. The nursing and the religion is no doctors and no medicine. It is only prayer, and I saw a lot of suffering, a lot of people in pain, and people who had no idea who they where. I was bitten, kicked, spit at, pinched, hit, and get this, cussed at by the patients. I was about 19 or 20, and I had a full blown mental breakdown. Do you think these people helped me! Of course not. They let me stay in my room in mental trouble, until I lost so much weight I was practically skin and bones, I was so skinny. They The Christian Science Facility I trained and worked in, finally put me on a plane, and sent me home to Georgia, with no warning or reason why to my parents. They were so shocked and hurt when I got off the plain. They could not believe the physical, and mental condition I was in. They almost did not recognize me. Of course even then I did not go to a doctor. My mom was a Christian Scientist, and she called a practioner. That is someone you pay to pray for you. I was not given to love and care I needed. Not sure why, all I know is that “I picked up my bed and walked”. I got into my bible and prayed the way Robert Shuller did on Hour of Power, and got my self out of that mental state enough to get a job. My mother helped me with that, I got a job working for the Federal Government summer program. Which later turned into a full time job with benefits. It was at this time I got some physciatric help, and went to the doctor. Later, during the time I worked as a Military Pay Clerk, in the coding section, that I listened to your music and it helped strengthen me. I have worn out a lot of cassettes. I prayed for you during your divorce, and I just prayed for you to be happy and safe, and prayed and hoped you would continue singing. You did! Thank-you so much for that. There is a song, I forget who sings it, but one of the verses is" Thank-you for giving to the Lord, I have a life that was changed’. Well that’s to way I feel about you. Thank-you for giving to the Lord. You helped me to be strong through your music, and comforting words of truth.
I am retired from the Government now. I was paid to retire early because Fort Mcpherson, and Fort Gillem closed. Big loss for Atlanta. I am trying to find work. I am having a lot of trouble with my mother fussing about money, and my health is going down, down, down. I am still trying to find work. I hope I have an interview coming up with AFLAC. It will be selling insurance. If I get the job, it will not be the one I have been praying for, but it is a job.
I trained online for medical billing and coding. That is the job I am trying to get, but the places that has seen my resume wants you to have 2 to 3 years experience in that field. I have a certificate but not the experience. I am not giving up. I do have experience coding Reservist pay and benefits, but I guess that is not good enough for them.
I have recently had surgery on both wrist and one elbow for carpel tunnel, and I am seeing an orthopedic doctor for my sever lower back pain.

Enough of that. sandi again Thank-you for giving to the Lord. Thank-you for being you! Thank-you for helping me through your music.

How did you like working with the gaithers? Dottie Rambo, and Vestal Goodman. I loved both of those ladies. How was it working with them, and how did you take it when they went to be with the Lord? I watched Dottie Rambos funeral where you sang We Shall Behold Him. I could tell you were hurting, but you sang beautifully.

Much love to you my sister in Christ!
Leigh McGuirt from College Park, Ga

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