At a training event for a mission trip I recently went on, one of the sessions had to do with the way that people manage trials. The seminar was based upon the idea that people are either “spewers,” which means they feel the need to share every emotion, feeling, and thought that crosses their mind, or they are “stuffers,” which means they internalize all feelings and fail to share them with anyone. The goal was to recognize which one you are, and then seek out ways to achieve more of a balance between the two.
Well, if you asked anyone who knows me remotely well, they would tell you that I, unfortunately, am a “stuffer.” Being a first child, I have always been independent; and being a perfectionist, I have always felt the need to conjure up the strength to deal with problems on my own. After thinking and praying through these inclinations, I recognized that my tendency to “stuff” is in reality sin and pride.
When I choose to internalize my problems, I am essentially saying that I have things in control and don’t need help. When in reality, neither is true. I am so thankful that they aren’t true, and that Christ, in his infinite grace, forgives me and gently reminds me of His control and His help that is readily available.
Colossians 1:17 states that “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Things are not held together in my feeble attempts to be in control; instead they are in the control of the God who was here before this world was even created. Recognizing this helps to realign my perspective to one that is eternally focused.
In praying through my tendency to “stuff,” I also was reminded of what true community is. We were never meant to walk through this life alone; in fact, we are called to “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ,” seen in Galatians 6:2. How can we bear one another’s burdens, when we don’t know what they are?
I have been blessed with truly amazing friends and family, and life together is sweet, no matter the trials, if we are walking through them together. I am still a “stuffer”, but I am truly trying to become open with the people who care about me the most.
In Christ, we are not called to “stuff” or to “spew,” but instead to live life with others by being honest and drawing strength from our God who knows our every thought and feeling despite if we “stuff” or “spew” them.