When people tell me stories, it's common that tears will "pop up". They are surprised; it's disturbing to them.
- I can't believe I'm crying!
- What's wrong with me?
- I thought I was over this.
As I encourage them to continue, I'm inviting them into their pain. Many quickly reject it. It is uncomfortable. They don't want to look at it. They don't believe it will help. The thought of looking at their memories becomes terrifying.
Jason Miller spoke beautifully this weekend about the time he needed God most. People related to his story. Tears came to the eyes of some. Others leaned closer for comfort for the one they were with. A few people left.
Maybe they had an emergency, but some were feeling an invitation to their pain, and they were afraid. I hate that for them. The longer they delay it, the thought of looking at the memory of their story can become more terrifying.
Whatever you fear gets your attention and focus. The more you try to ignore or forget it, it often becomes toxic and shows up in behaviors that are puzzling to you and and others.
"You don't need to be afraid of things you were afraid of when you were five" [from the movie, The King's Speech]. While the feelings of fear are real, the truth is that you are an adult. You are not powerless. The memory does not need to control you any longer. Look at it. Tell the story. Cry over it. Write it out. Talk it out.
Accept it as a part of your story; it isn't the focal point of your story. It does not define you.
2 Timothy 1:7: For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.