Recently I was invited into a pretty interesting circumstance. Had there been a formal invitation explaining the details surrounding this event I am most certain I would have declined the invitation. However, this one just happened to sneak up and present itself in the midst of what seemed to be a lighthearted and fun gathering.
Usually I wouldn't even blog about this as the person involved will have no doubt what and who I am referring to. Out of love and respect for them I am not going to go into any details. I do feel that I learned some great things in the process of being involved though, so this is what makes it post worthy. AND afterall - this blog is about the redemption of all things - bad to good, worthless to meaningful. Why not redeem an unforeseen painful circumstance.
It happened so quickly. It was as if something in the atmosphere had changed, was there a gas leak contaminating the air? Had our dinner been laced? It was so strange. One minute we were laughing and talking and the next we took a fierce dive into the pit of accusations and anger. I sat stunned and numb... which was probably a VERY good thing. Typically, I am quick with the tongue and not so kind when my character feels threatened. This time was different. Something had me sitting there listening and asking questions. I wasn't easily angered, I wasn't dishing back the generous helping of what I was receiving.
I remember a moment where some pretty hurtful words were coming at me. In fact it seemed almost as if the enemy of my soul was hitting me anywhere he could... adopting our Son, working in Africa, loving my family, not being smart enough or informed enough to have a right to an opinion and much more. The VERY arrows the enemy had used in the past to mess with my mind and disable my belief in my abilities were shooting at me again. The difference this time was instead of just running through my head they were actually verbally hitting me by someone I loved.
I think this was a VERY defining moment for me. God showed me what was happening... my long list of inner negative self talk had come to life in the form of harmful words directed to my soul. I can't explain the why behind the words being unleashed, that is not mine to understand or even to ponder on. (Although, I must admit, I do have to stop myself from trying to figure it out) I do know the minute these began to come at me I could hear them and know without a doubt that they held no truth. NONE! I didn't have to get emotional, angry or respond with the ugly - because they had no hold on me. I simply just kept hearing God tell me "Nope, not yours to take." with every accusation. I remember sitting there almost in awe... God was creating something new in me.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinth. 5:17
What once would have unleashed the complete UGLY in me this time around left me feeling comforted and closer to the God who loves me despite my weaknesses. I am not saying I was the perfect gem in all of it. I am sure that there were a few comments here and there that probably didn't need to be said in the moment, I wasn't completely quiet. I was, however, able and equipped to speak up in truth.
After several hours of this conversation doing nothing but creating more strain it was time to walk away. It wasn't resolved, there was no reconciliation, no apology, no act of love in the end. I went away to meet with my best friend. I got to my room and asked Him, Abba Father, to reveal whatever he needed to reveal to me about myself. I knew there were things to be learned out of this. I am a BIG believer that in the painful, uncomfortable situations God brings about AMAZING growth and REVELATION. Frequently it is in the toughest times that our stubborn feet and hearts get forced into a new direction.
"Frequently it is in the toughest times that our stubborn feet and hearts get forced into a new direction."
So, as I sat there literally crying to God and feeling sorry for myself, he reminded me that I was love-worthy. That I was growing, reacting differently and believing more about who He had created me to be. The past years of negative self talk conversations in my head had been diffused. I could see his truth and believe it. I know the enemy had a plan in this - he wanted to take me out. However, I know the ONE who is greater, and he ALWAYS has a greater, more loving plan.
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."Gen. 50:20Someday maybe there will be a complete happy ending to the story. For now some of it remains unresolved. I have to trust God knows the why behind it & there is something in it for me to learn. In the mean time I will rejoice that the truth of His word is renewing my mind and taking root. I won't forever be who I have been, I am a new creation in Christ. I will not let my mind spin on destructive thoughts that bind me from truly living free.
That is why I really liked the Vincent Van Gogh quote I posted at the top. If you hear a voice telling you that you can't...JUST TRY! Don't be bound up in doubt - just TRY! Move forward. Be positive. It is pretty amazing how the act of doing dissolves the doubt.
I want you to know I am really feeling called to pray for anyone struggling with this inner negative self talk. Tonight I am praying for whoever will read this. I cannot encourage you enough to really get to know the ONE who loves you, He has so much to tell you about how lovely you are!