I Did the Unthinkable
by Jimmy Pruitt
I made a decision last week that was unthinkable for me. It was completely counterintuitive for this independent West Texas boy, but I’m glad I did it. It wasn’t easy. I even struggled with a tsunami of emotions as I dialed the number to a make the call. “Don’t do it!” “You’ve got this!” “You’re weak!” “What will people think?” It’s a good thing I recognized the source of that voice pinging around my brain.
What was this epic act of bravery? I asked for help. Sorry to let you down. Were you expecting me to say I gave up a kidney or a lung for a suffering child or that I gave away my one remaining car to a family in need? I didn’t mean to disappoint you, but you have to know how huge this is for a guy like me.
You see, I am a career pastor. Twenty eight years to be exact. That’s a lot of years of helping, counseling, giving answers, preaching, praying, leading, ministering, writing and basically helping people on their journey of faith and life. This can build up the illusion that I’ve got it all together. Trust me. It’s an illusion.
News Flash: We pastors don’t have it all together nor do we have all the answers. What we do have is a call, a mandate to love and, hopefully, a high capacity for grace. Although we may not have all the answers, we happen to know the One who does. So our task is to graciously, tactfully and lovingly escort others to the One who can really help.
Back to my “help” experience. I called a Biblical Counselor/Life Coach. It was important to me that whoever I sought out for help with bitterness and unforgiveness be someone who would point me to the right resource. How did it go? Wonderful. I walked out of that room two hours later refreshed and hopeful. I wrote a post this morning as an outflow of what we explored.
“When we fail to forgive we succeed in binding ourselves to the person who hurt us. Making withdrawals from our already depleted emotional bank by rehearsing the offense only reinforces the bond and leads to deeper despair. Forgiveness severs the ties that bind, allowing you to walk again, free from the damaging emotional drain. It frees you to love and trust again. It’s not easy, but well worth the effort. More on the process of forgiveness coming.”
Yes, I paid someone to listen to me gush and vomit my junk. I so wish I had made the call earlier! You can build up a lot of stuff over time. I liked it so much that I scheduled another appointment. I left the office with homework and a reading assignment. The topic is forgiveness and I’ll share more as this journey toward healing and wholeness continues. Why? Because I suspect I’m not the only person dealing with unforgiveness and the havoc it so quickly wreaks. So, onward on the journey.
The “Good News” is there is hope and there are solutions. We will explore those in subsequent posts.