Last night I recalled a motto a former professor used in my Ed Psych class - "Talk it. Walk it. Chalk it." He used it to talk about our role in the classroom. As teachers we were to share information with our students (talk it), then show them (walk it) and finally it explain it and help them own it themselves (chalk it). The theory made sense years ago as a college student, but now as I've been out of the classroom for almost 6 years I honestly hadn't thought much about this until last night.
But I've come to believe this not only applies to teaching students; it's relevant in sharing life's lessons as well. In my last post I shared about a timely talk I had with a friend this past Monday. Now many of our conversations have lasting impacts, but this was definitely unique. She had shared her biggest struggles and the choices she is least proud of, but in no way did this change how I thought about her. But in a way it affected thoughts about myself.
As I watched Leanne take off the mask, I was moved to take a better look at myself. The evening after our talk I didn't sleep much, but spent some quality time in prayer and after years of avoiding and trying to deny this issue I seriously discussed it with God. The peace that brought was wonderful.
I know God is a forgiving God and sensed he had already let this go, but as the next day passed satan started planting doubts. I knew they were lies, but yet they got in my head and I shared a bit of this with Leanne. She assured me of God's forgiveness and reminded me "nothing you say to me will make me think any different, I will promise you that."
I appreciated her words, but yet I wondered - Did I really need to tell her this? That was a question I struggled with for awhile. I mean I had already told God, wasn't that enough? Yesterday morning as the thought still rolled around in my head I had a comment back from Lisa Whittle in which she answered a question I had posted.
As we work through her book about being real, open and honest I asked if there are somethings that can stay just between us and God. I was blessed and touched by her answer and obviously the timing was all part of God's plan. She said, "I always try to check myself before I share things to make sure my motive is right. I always pray and ask myself before I share, "Will this be helpful to someone? Could this be used to help change some one's life?" The key is just to be open and willing to share whatever God wants you to and yet pray for discernment that you will share things only of Him. It sounds complicated, but really, it's just simply a matter of prayer and God seeking."
As I thought about her questions, I knew the answers. I really didn't think this would help Leanne or change her life, but God had impressed on me that someone would be helped and a life could be changed - mine. So I called and told her, "Yes it will work to get together."
We talked a little politics, caught each other up on our kids and made some final adjustments to our book. And as I read the following paragraph out of the epilogue, "Once his plan is revealed allow him to work by making yourself available and going where he leads. It will take time to build the relationship, but it will grow. Let go of the doubts and worries and simply be yourself. God is a God of truth and he will work through your honesty." As I read this God confirmed I was doing the right thing.
Was it easy? NO! Was it right? Yes! Trust me as I shared something I never had before I struggled more than I succeeded, but it was good. And freeing. Before we even started Leanne asked if I thought I had to tell her this and assured me for her sake I didn't need to bear my soul. I appreciated her words and realized it wasn't something I had to do for her sake, but in a way I did for mine.
Just three days earlier she had honored me by trusting me as a friend and sharing who she was and how that has helped her become who she is. I didn't need to tell her, but I wanted to. And now I'm glad I did. Did it change what happened or erase the mistakes I made? No, but it led to a wonderful conversation and reminded me of truths that are real and freeing. And when I saw the acceptance in her eyes and felt it in her embrace, I knew the same was true of God, but even in a bigger way.
All this brings me back to the title of this post. My husband had asked if were getting together to work on our book, one about the beauty of a spiritual mother-daughter relationship, and I said, "No." But as I drove home I realized I was wrong. Granted you will not finding anything we discussed on the pages of the book, but what took place is what it's all about.
We have talked about our faith and being real. Leanne has walked the walk. I have watched her live by faith and have been touched by her honesty. In society today that is often where things stop, but Leanne isn't simply talking it and walking it, she's doing just what my college prof instructed me to do, she's chalking it. Her example has inspired and influenced me to live this life myself and that is the beauty of a Titus 2 woman. The role she plays, changes the life I live!!