Listening -

Hi World. It's me again. 

I'm flipping over my iPod, and pulling my hair up. I'm turning on the peaceful writing music. 
All of a sudden I had to write. I thought about waiting until Five Minute Friday, but I couldn't wait that long. 

Ooh. It must be something big, right? Well, it's not. It's nothing. 

"It's nothing", not even anything, it's "just" small....we say that a lot don't we? We make little of ourselves. 

I've decided I don't like that at all. 

We aren't small. Jesus says we are worthy to be known. Jesus says we are worth so much

So why do we minimalize ourselves? Why do we hesitate to spill the real reasons of our hearts' hurts or worries? 

I've seen many friends share things in life, and at one little question at how they really are doing, they'll say "It's really.....nothing...." as their eyes fill up and overflow as they share the hardest things that are "I know it's not....well. As hard as ____". I'm on a mission to stop that. 

It may sound small to say it aloud, but that doesn't mean it IS small. 
The smallest things are usually the hardest things, because it's the one thing that reminds you that something is wrong. 

And even if it IS small, that doesn't mean it's unworthy of being shared. Of being heard. Of being prayed for. 

Pain is pain. Burdens are burdens. Hurt is hurt. Grief is grief. Hopes are hopes. Dreams are dreams. 
Don't make yourself small. Don't tell yourself you don't matter. Don't listen to the one who says "You aren't worth it.". 

So often I feel guilty for sharing my heart. I feel as though I've burdened others by sharing. 

So I hold in, hold back, keep quiet.  

I don't want to waste anyone's time. I try to shorten sentences. I try to tidy it up in a happy box at the end.
I smile when I want to cry. I bite my lip from spilling too much because this probably isn't a good time. 

I have friends (and family!) who listen so well, and I'm so blessed by them. 

One time I met a girl named Anna who lived in Texas and we spent a few very short days talking almost constantly. We didn't know each other at all, and spent time getting to know each other well. She drove the car, asked questions, and I spilled out who I was, joys I'd seen and grief I'd known. She took me out for BBQ and then on the way home, I wiped away tears over a little boy named Avery and how that broke my heart, and she listened to it all. She had time for me, and wanted to know who I really was

It was one of the greatest blessings of last year. I still tear up when I remember how loved I felt. 

How much she really wanted to know. And know ME. 

{Thanks, Anna. Love and miss you!}

Coincidentally, this very same trip, a very vivacious (and very in love with a guy named Josh) girl named Mercy turned to me in a Panera Bread on the day that our Jas married her Philip, and lovingly told me flat out and in no uncertain terms that I mattered. I immediately looked down at my napkin and fussed with it to hide the fact that I had instantly burst into tears. I had needed to hear that for a long time.

I have come to the conviction that there are fewer ways to make someone feel loved than to LISTEN to their hearts.
No matter how long it takes. No matter how the pain and questions and the way you won't have answers at the end. 

I wish I could say that I'm going to start sharing my heart so much more now....
but I'm not sure that's true. ;) 

Here's what I know: 
1. Jesus says we have great worth. Trust this!
2. Jesus calls us to community. It's important.
3. Jesus calls us to be like Him. No greater goal!
4. There is no Greater Listener or a more Compassionate Friend than Jesus.

I've recently been bringing everything to Jesus, and I do mean EVERYTHING. I've been more like talking than praying. Constant stream of talking. I've needed it. And it's such grace and mercy that He is always there and He never grows tired or never tunes me out because I've rambled on too long. 

He is faithful to love. He is faithful to be near. He is faithful to hear the worries and fears and take them. 
He is good to remind me that once they are laid down that they do not need to be taken up again. 

He is Comfort, Refuge, Shelter, Companion, Friend. He is Always, Forever. He is Peace

He is the Safe Harbor where I can bring everything I've ever thought to and know He will never be surprised or turn me away.
He already knows my heart before I bring it!! I'm so thankful for this. 

And I want to be like that, to the best that this imperfect heart can! I want to be like Jesus. 

Thanks for me. 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~ 


  1. Dear Jean Marie,
    For a few weeks now since I discovered you at Five Minute Friday I have grown to love you as a sister in Christ!
    wow! This post, as so many of your posts have been, was great. How much we need to listen, even with the nitty-gritty, dirty, really-don't-want-to-be-knowing-this stuff that our hurting friends tell. It's sometimes hard to be a listener, but I have been very blessed from my Father's hand as He has placed some patient listeners in my life when all I wanted to do was spout into someone's ear. Better than any human ear though, is my Precious Heavenly Father's ear. You are so right! Having Him available all the time is better than I can comprehend, much more, tell!
    I hope you have a lovely weekend!
    ~For Such a Worm as I


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