Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Living Room, my home

Hello everyone,

I've been writing prayers - conversations with God. This has been a wonderful, therapeutic activity and I hope to do much more of this. Thought I would share this one with you since it's about my beloved Living Room. I hope you enjoy it and learn a bit more about this ministry.

Lord, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about why I feel better at Living Room than I do anywhere else. It’s so easy to be completely myself there, not worrying about what people will think of me. That’s not how I’ve been in the past. In fact, when I was younger I had social anxiety disorder. I wasn’t comfortable at all in group situations. Afraid to talk to people I didn’t know well. Today I still feel somewhat that way in social situations.

But at Living Room I’m an outgoing hostess. I love welcoming people as they come in. All of them are dealing with some kind of mental health condition: depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder. I want to make them feel at home – fully accepted. The greeting is not anything I have to work at. It just happens.

Why is it so easy to be myself at Living Room? Why does the welcoming come so easily and naturally?

Is it because of what I used to pray shortly after I started following you Lord? Many times I asked you to fill me with your love and to help me share that love with the people I meet. I recall the warm glow I felt inside as you filled me up. Was it that prayer that started it all?

Whenever I prayed this prayer in the morning, you always answered. As I went through the day I was able to share your love with others, without effort. It wasn’t anything I did. I know it was your doing, God – you working through me. Thank you so much for this. It has made such a difference in my life. I learned the truth of the statement “to give is to receive.”

Lord, these days I don’t consciously offer up that prayer anymore, but it seems like I don’t need to. You know that I long to share your love, especially with those who suffer in the way I myself do. I know what people who come to Living Room need. So many are feeling the effects of stigma. They are hungry for acceptance and understanding. They need what I need. Open arms – the kind of love you showed the sick and the outcast.

You know God, although I can speak reasonably well about the things I have a passion for, I’m sometimes not a very fluent speaker, often unable to recall the simplest of words. It seems to be getting worse the older I get…or is it all the meds I’m taking? Yet at Living Room, though I spend about 45 minutes speaking and leading an interactive devotional time, I feel completely at ease. Although I stumble, fishing for words, I get the message across, just being myself.

Stumbling on my words is not such a bad thing at Living Room though. When the group hears me doing so without embarrassment they easily join in the conversation. When I come across authentically, everyone is encouraged to be authentic. They, like me, can relax at Living Room, sharing openly and honestly.

Thank you, God, for Living Room, our home. What a gift you’ve blessed us with!


Anonymous said...

This is beautiful, Marja.

Tery Lynne said...

I have three awards for you over at my blog! you have always inspired me all these years!

marja said...

Tery, long time no "see." Thank you for the awards. Just wish I had the time and patience to visit other bloggers like you. I've tried to get back to doing that, but just can't seem to do it. Very sorry.