Saturday, October 3, 2015

The gift of listening

Today, Jason and I biked down to the lakefront a few miles from our house.

While we rode, I got to talk calmly about all my stresses and frustrations the whole way there.

Some of them big, some small.  Some irrational, some legitimate (from a human perspective).

It wasn't necessarily an out-of-control rant or venting session, but just a genuine sharing of the things my mind and heart have been wrestling with the past 24 hours or so.

When we arrived at the lakefront, I felt overwhelmingly and completely loved.

Jason gave me the gift of listening.  And he gave it well.

He mostly listened quietly.

But at times, he asked questions related to what I was saying.
Not in an attempt to criticize my unfounded fears or stress, but to help me process.

It meant even more to me because I really didn't deserve an audience.

Before we left the house, I had made some immature and selfish comments (I know, shocking).  If I had been a 2 year old, I'm sure someone could have rightfully said, "She's testing you."

After my indignant words, I'm surprised Jason didn't just say, "Fine then. Forget it! Who in their right mind would want to bike with you after all that!"

But he didn't say anything, except a gentle: "I'm trying really hard here," giving me a reality check on the things I was saying.

He calmly put air in his tires, prayed for us before we left (yes, out-loud), and then got on his bike and off we went.

After I had gotten all my processing done, I realized how generous Jason had been with his time and thoughts to truly listen to me.

I am incredibly grateful to have a husband who not only listens to me over and over again, but intentionally asks me to share my life, thoughts and feelings with him - even when he has his own set of stresses and frustrations to deal with.

I also couldn't help but think God continually listens to us when we cry out to him.

God does hear us.  He does listen.
He invites us to talk to him.
About everything.  All the time.
What a gift.

"But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. 
Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!"
- Psalm 66:19-20

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