Friday, August 9, 2013

The Vault

I have this funny nickname given to me by several friends, they call me ''The Vault'' because of my listening skills and super memory.  A few years ago, Elizabeth said, '' Momma, people always like to talk to you. You make them feel better.'' At the time she was eight or nine years old, it caused me to pause and think about her statement. She is right, people like to talk to me, they feel safe talking to me and I can easily lock away their secrets safely.

Being a talker, you would think that I couldn't be a good listener. The thing is,  I like talking about someone else other than myself all the time. Listening is a skill that causes me to look outside of myself and pause for a moment. It really is a skill that is important in life, far more important than talking all of the time.

Once people found out that I am the vault, they have tried to pry me open and get my secrets to spill. I am lock tight and very rarely spill. My friend said the other day, ''You're like the safety depository at the bank. Lots of little boxes in the vault.'' It is one of the benefits of my crazy memory that serves others well.

Some have asked if it gets wearing? It depends, sometimes it does get tough when someone is struggling with something really heavy. Because I am tenderhearted , I will often cry with the person and feel their pain in an empathetic way.  When my friends and family are hurting, I am hurting as well. That is who I am as a person and I really don't want to change that about myself. I think that is the way it should be!

The funny thing about me being the vault...........I rarely confide in anyone myself. This year, I started realizing that I am not one to open up and share my struggles. I am a person who bears the weight of her own burdens along with the burdens of others. I am working on confiding in others and sharing some of my own burdens instead of carrying them myself.

 I may be a crybaby, sob sister, tender heart but I am one tough mama. I've lived a lot of life starting at a very young age, I have been through stuff that many people would have crumbled under. This life experience, though I often wish it wasn't mine to share is something that makes me a better person and friend.

There have been a few occasions that I have failed at being the vault. One incident two years ago, a burden of a friend became public and caused me much heartache. I had tried to help the friend but the people who knew the burden wouldn't help then when things came to light, everyone was mad at me for not ratting out my friend. It led to me needing to end the friendship because I couldn't handle the fallout associated with it. Not something I do and still something that hurts my heart. I learned a valuable lesson in that case and there was more to it than I can share.

Thankfully those instances are few and far between. I pray for those burdens that I put in my vault, I don't just listen and file away. It is like having a giant rolodex of prayer requests and I love bearing those burdens in love. It is a privilege, a God given gift in my eyes and being able to bear someone else's burden is a precious treasure. Bearing one another's burdens is something the world needs to do more.

Proverbs17:17 A friend loves at all times,
    and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

I heard this song as I was writing and it goes very well with my blog and thoughts on being a friend