I am a private person, but am learning to share. I don't believe there is anything wrong about the tendency to guard your heart and emotions close. Not every friendship requires you to lay yourself out exposed. But in the past year or so I have had opportunities to learn what it is like to share openly about joys and sorrows, triumphs and trials. I have felt what it is to have someone pray for me and a specific need. I have experienced what it is to hear clarity in my words aloud that have been swimming in dense fog in my mind. I have been relieved of anxiousness and felt peace by simply sharing.
A good friend and I were speaking the other day, very openly on the subject of pregnancy. I lamented how hard it had been to have to tell people about a miscarriage, but that it is too hard for me to conceal a pregnancy until 3 months because of how ill I get. Her reply taught me a wonderful principle in friendship. She said that she shares the joy of pregnancy right away, because if she ever did experience the loss of miscarriage, she would want to share that also.
This caused me to think over the 'accepted waiting period.' What other joy in life do we conceal for so long? A success in the workplace, a treasured compliment, newfound friends and family - we eagerly spread our good news abroad as soon as it comes into our hot little hands. And yet we force ourselves to wait 3 months to share about pregnancy, in case something goes wrong.
Yes, waiting may eliminate the need for have to tell others about a miscarriage. But we cannot have joy without sorrow. And we cannot have deep friendships without sharing deep pieces of ourselves. I don't see vulnerability in opening up - I see the strength I can gain on the shoulders of friends. I don't see the pain in sharing heartache - but I do recognize the loneliness of solitude. So although guarding one's heart from negative and evil influences is always necessary, I am seeing the wisdom in my friend's idea of opening one's heart to greater friendships in this world. Heaven knows we all need friendship in our lives.