by Tricia Wilson
When I look back at my childhood, there are so many interesting and exciting memories. I spent a great deal of my childhood traveling, whether it was moving to a new province with my father’s job, or spending time with my grandfather on his traveling carnival.
I was reflecting on some of those memories today. One thing in particular that my grandmother used to do came rushing to the front of my mind. Whenever it would rain, she would run around the house, unplugging everything.
She was worried that the rain would turn into a thunderstorm and the lightning would somehow come through the cords and ruin her TV. She didn’t want to miss her ‘stories’! That picture of her running through the house unplugging appliances has stuck with me.
How often do I do that in my own life? Maybe not with my appliances, but my own everyday life. How often do I unplug and withdraw from others when I am afraid of not having the energy ‘to do this right now’, or when I am fearful, or when I am battling dark thoughts? There have been times when closing off from everything has seemed like the only option.
As an ambivert, I am a mix of hyperactive and shy: I am a true entertainer at heart, however, I have an introverted side that can be crippling when it takes over. It is this side of me that readily puts up barriers and unplugs when my self-talk takes a turn for the dark side.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. – James 5:16 NLT
It took me a long time to see this, but God uses people to speak to me. Whether it’s through a children’s pastor encouraging me to serve (which led to finding my calling in early childhood education), or through people in a group that get together to share their daily struggles, or someone else. He speaks through others.
About two years ago, I got involved with Celebrate Recovery. In a nutshell, this is a Christ centred recovery group for everything that life throws at us… One of the 12 steps centres around James 5:16. Confess your sins to each other. Not just to God. To each other.
Every week we gather together, share our struggles and our mistakes together, and to pray together. Through plugging in to Celebrate Recovery, I have seen lives change – including my own – for the better… because we do this together.
God never meant for us to travel this road alone. He fully intended for us to work together, to pray together, and to heal together. James 5:16 finishes off with ‘…produces wonderful results’. How could we walk away from that promise?
We need each other. We have to stay plugged in throughout the storms that we face so that we can see the wonderful results that God has promised! We don’t have to fear our own storms like my grandmother feared the lightning. The storm won’t go away without a fight, but the lightning won’t destroy our story. It will magnify it.