"The heartfelt counsel of a friend
is as sweet as perfume and incense."
Proverbs 27:9 (NLT)
Ahhhhh... I can attest the truthfulness of this Proverb. Last night (Jan. 26, 2012) I bared my soul to my dearest friend about something I wrote about here, but was unable to write about. I've decided I'm not going to share that here on this blog. Perhaps someday I'll change my mind, but it's just a bit too personal to put on on the worldwide web.
I felt the Lord guiding me to share this information with my friend, Terri so I could get the opinion of someone who isn't trained (and paid) to make me feel better (my Christian counselor). I needed to know if the things my counselor was telling me were really true or if she was just saying what she thought I needed to hear.
So, I bared my soul to Terri. My emotional self was so scared to broach this subject with her. But, my spiritual self kept reminding me that the Lord pushed me to do this, so he would be with me. I just let it all out and then sat back - knowing, in my heart, that she wouldn't condemn me, but being afraid, in my mind, that she might think I was a loser.
And just like the smell of sweet perfume can make you melt in comfort, the words my dear friend shared with me made me feel like I was floating in a room full of incense. There was no condemnation. There was no judgment. There was acceptance; there was compassion; there was understanding; and there was love. She gently corrected me on some of the things I believed that she felt were not quite right (such as me saying all I needed to do was ask for God's forgiveness and he'd forgive me. She said he has already forgiven me.)
I felt like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders and that I didn't have to carry the guilt and shame I had been carrying for over 20 yrs any longer. I have been forgiven and I am on the way to forgiving myself. I can't say I'm quite there, yet, but I'm a lot farther than I was yesterday afternoon, that's for sure!
I have said it before and I'll keep on saying it: I am so blessed to have the friends that I have. And my friendship / sisterhood with Terri is one of the things in my life that I'm so incredibly grateful for! This blog post is for you, my sister! I love you!