Can I confess something? I have been accused of being heartless at times. And I have been rather proud of it. When I was younger, I felt everything so keenly. Other peoples emotions, their pain or joy, could so easily move me. And that is a difficult way to live. Gradually, over the years I have built a wall around my heart. For a long time I didn't even realize it was there. When something sad happened and others cried, I handed out Kleenex and vaguely wondered "what's wrong with me?". But really, it felt like a good thing, not feeling all that pain.
Thing is, pain is a part of life, and when you cut it out, when you build a wall to keep it out, you are also keeping out joy.
I have mentioned before that I have a calling to prayer. (you can read that here) But in order to be effective as a prayer warrior, you have to feel. So, naturally I have struggled against my calling for several years. 2 years ago I finally started giving in to God's direction and began to open my heart a little at a time to the world around me.
Fast forward 2 years. I am still claim to be hard hearted, but it isn't as true as it once was. Prayer has changed me. It has made me stronger and weaker. It has made me more vulnerable than I like, but it has also brought me closer to God and his people. And that is a good thing. Last Friday, I lead a prayer meeting at work for the children and families of Newtown. Yesterday I lead a smaller group in prayer for our work family and their individual needs. (If you know me, you know these are huge things. I am NOT a person who likes public speaking). God is working on me, in me, and through me to touch lives. And that is pretty awesome.
Today I am thankful for prayer. For all it's wonder and beauty. For how opening myself up to a real, ongoing conversation with God has changed me. For how that change is changing the world around me. Not because of me, but because of Him.
Prayer is an amazing thing. It's a journey, a long walk with the Creator through the peaks and valleys of your heart and His. I highly recommend it, because it really does change things. :)