Struggle, awkwardness, pain, mental games, anguish, frustration, loathing of the process as it cycles repeatedly through your heart and mind. You pray. It won't go away. You do exactly what you didn't want to do. More guilt and frustration piles on. Silence. Isolation. Darkness. Defeat.
Someone notices your struggle.
They venture into the unknown to bridge a gap with you. They walk gently and tenderly. Grace and mercy are in their words. They empathize. They affirm. They cautiously but firmly question. They persevere even in your silence.
"Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." Proverbs 27:17
"Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy." Matthew 5:7
The clouds begin to break. A glimmer of light shines into the foggy bog. The thaw of mental ice signals a feeling of life. Another force has stepped in to counteract the storm of feelings, thoughts and emotions. You sense more than a glimmer of hope. Someone cares. They stuck by you in the seeming ugliness of your struggle.
I can move forward.
Peace is restored. A thirst for life and vigor begins to develop. Baby steps. Unsureness. A sense of growing confidence. Firm steps.
Full out laughter and enjoyment of life surges through your once desolate being.
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." Matthew 5:9
This changed perspective could never be accomplished without those God-sent, blessed, merciful, peace-making iron sharpeners. Thank you Jesus for these people in my life!