Let me preface this by saying I am copying into here some emails as we began to interact entirely in writing, since phone costs were so high at the time, and though I edit inconsequential (read: boring) stuff I am leaving in many of the more personal things I was thinking/feeling at the time. I have no problem being so open about my heart, my life, the inner goings on of my thoughts at the time. It may go against some people's nature, and I thought of keeping some of these things private, but on second thought, I thought, no, maybe others struggle in the same way I did/do. Maybe reading and hearing how I worked through my fears, loneliness, struggles to find wholeness - maybe someone can benefit from it. I do not feel I need to hide any of it. But if it makes you uncomfortable to read it, I won't mind at all. That is just my disclaimer.
I do appreciate your words of comfort and encouragement...I was sure I would sleep alright last night in my own bed, but ended up not being able to. However, I don't want to discourage you by my 'sleeping progress'. I wish I could go with my parents tomorrow to visit you, but I have obligations here...
Your friend Dorothy is really quite sweet. She sent me another email. It's funny, the people you expect will respond to something like this don't, and the people you don't expect to respond do.
I take stock in what you've written...I am usually quite strong emotionally and don't find it so easy to share my fears. My heart has been closed to all around me for so long and I feel it bursting open - and don't know what to make of all the mess! Actually, you'd be surprised. I wrote a prayer a few nights before this happened and all I asked of God was that He would heal my heart and make me capable of love - HIS love I mean. Hearts were made to love, and when I don't I feel quite empty inside. Our Father gave us the perfect example of love and by living in Him, I too can be filled with His love. You know I don't mean romantic love when I'm talking here. Loving means sacrifice, selflessness, godliness. "Take my love, my Lord I pour, at Thy feet it's treasure store, take myself and I will be, ever only all for Thee."
When this event occurred and I began to come unglued, and feel utterly vulnerable I was uncomfortable with it all - I am really not used to either experience (trauma or becoming unglued!) In hiding from others I've hidden from myself in in communing with our Father I can find who I am in Him. His love can make me whole - and His plan for me is to love Him with all that I am.
I have been quite isolated relationally for a few years, and it has become very easy for me to close off from people. I feel a sort of sticky feeling about this whole ordeal because I am vulnerable. I almost don't want to say that I can't sleep because I feel weak about admitting it.
Thank you so much for bringing me before the Father. After I got to sleep the second time last night I slept well. I went to sleep around midnight, woke up at two and got nervous and couldn't fall asleep again... The lineup went okay - it also made me a bit nervous. I could only identify one guy. It wasn't too bad. (Note: I'll fill in more about the identifying lineup in the next post)...
Don't worry too much about me Sam. I am safe in our Father's hands, and I know He hears me. Though I firmly believe these things I need for them to be a reality in my heart. I think then I will sleep better.
Thank you for being a friend to me in this. You are dear.
Had a good time with your parents today. It is always good to show people around my home here and introduce them to my friends here. When they found out that your dad was a teacher they all lit up with joy, when he said that he was an English teacher, they literally started to clap. They were so glad to hear he was an English teacher. Inside all of them is this incredible passion to learn English. It came out today so much in their cheers and their words.
Sarah, so sorry to hear you didn't sleep well last night. I wish so bad I could change that somehow. I've been talking to Dad about you lots, asking him to help you. He can make you sleep soundly just like that. he is hearing so many people asking Him to do that, but He is waiting just now. Why, because he is refining you. How can He refine you by doing that, I have no idea.
I hope this will be the first time you have heard this story. I was struck so hard by it the first time.
One day a guy went to visit a silver smith. he had the silver in the pot and put the pot on the fire. Why are you putting the pot on the fire? Because the silver needs to be refined. How is the silver refined? The heat will cause the impurities to come to the surface where I can pick it off. How do you know how long to put it on the fire? When I look down in the pot and I can see my reflection clearly in the silver.
Isn't that awesome. What could be better Sarah? You are certainly on the fire: worried about your apartment back in the US, getting behind in school, not sleeping...He is waiting for the impurities to come out, He will take them away, and then He can see Himself in you. Wow Sarah - I'm really excited for you. I really mean that. I'm excited that He loves you so much that He will put you on the fire until you are more like Him. Others will be able to see Him in you...Think of a little kid being spanked. His dad does it because he knows that it will shape him for the future. It hurts the dad to know his son is hurting, but he knows it will be for his good. I'm sure your Dad above is hurting because you are hurting. He loves you so so much. Job 23.10 - When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold. The fire hurts though, doesn't it? It's painful, you want to get out of it. Remember He is right there with you every moment...
Thanks so much for your letter. It will be good to see you.
I read the silver story - I'm not sure how I feel about being refined. I am not sure exactly what God is doing in me right now. He is awakening my heart more and more to Him - which is significant for many reasons but specifically because I have that written in the prayer I wrote few days before this weekend. It said, 'awaken my heart to You.' The story does put things in perspective though. I had not heard it before. I've been lying awake and thinking a lot about everything. I awoke at 5 this morning (went to bed at 2) and haven't been able to get back to sleep. Just pray for strength for the day. I have much to do, and much to get done both for today and tomorrow.
I think I will begin to write my prayers down more often. I used to all the time...
Have a good day at work - don't sweat too hard, I know life is tough there! From what I hear, you're living like a king in a palace.