He called me a liar, and I turned away with sadness in my heart. I had reached out. I had tried. He had rejected. All that I had left was prayer.
And then he attacked my husband and called him incompetent. I shook my head with a heavier heart. We had tried. We had accepted him. He had lashed out in response. My husband and I prayed over the situation and trusted it to God.
And then he went after my child – and all bets were off. My only prayer was that God would provide me with the friends that would provide the bail money. I was angry. I was protective. And I was determined to make things right for my child.
I stewed in that spot for a long while. I planned out the steps to make the wrong righted. I talked to the people that could provide the right support in the situation. I had all of my ducks lined up perfectly. It took something completely different to make me remember my place.
“My child” is not my child. He is a child of God. He took the steps to become a child of God several years ago. He has been growing in his relationship with God. He is not MY child – although God has blessed me to be a steward of his life and in his life until he is no longer a child.
It hit me hard to realize my place. I still desired to fix it – because it needed fixing. I still struggled with the hurt – because there was no cause for the hurt. I still wanted to make amends – or to make something. That was my emotions talking. The moment I took a long enough break, my spirit had a chance to step in. I would have calm and peace and be able to give the situation to God in prayer.
Until I let my emotions back into the mix.
Kicking the Emotions to the Curb
1. Remember who is in charge. I spent most of my youth and teenager years taking on the bullies and those who would oppose the underdog. I spent the last decade learning that it is not my job to fix people and the sooner I get out the way the sooner God will be able to go to work on them. God will handle it – believe in His abilities.
2. Let go of the people. I had to see that “my” children were not mine, but God’s before I could begin trusting them in God’s hand. I had to begin seeing “my” marriage as God’s, before I could get over myself within that relationship. I can act with prayerful consideration when ownership (and therefore responsibility) goes to another.
3. Let go of the feelings. If feelings are driving the cart then you will always end up in the ditch. Sit quietly. Take a hot bath. Go for a walk. Do whatever you need to get to a place where you can think beyond the feelings. If peace is not present then strife and anger will find a way in.
4. Let go of the situation. There will be times when you have to just move on. There will be moments when you have to choose to walk away. There will be situations that you would be better off NOT investing energy in. Get to that place where you can (and will) walk away.
5. Do invest in prayer – for the persons involved, for the situation, and for a covering of peace. Prayers of hope and praise will make way for peace and patience. Use Scriptures on peace to get you started or just make a list of all the things you are thankful for in that moment. The more you practice prayer before taking actions or making response the better you will discover your actions and responses become.
People are tough to deal with – even in the best of situations. When people begin to attack, then the need to fix them or the situation will often arise as well (and not always in a good light). To get to a place where I can respond in the spirit, I have to find that place where I can overcome the emotions that seek to drive the flesh.
Today on Growing HOPE Radio we talked about tips and Scriptures for helping us to learn to love the unlovely. Listen to the archived show below and be sure to catch us every Monday morning, 8 am central at the CWA Radio.