Sunday, August 17, 2008

Internal Battles

I was really struggling with myself this evening. I was really mad at Chris and my feelings were at odds with my head. I wanted to lash out and retaliate, but I knew what I SHOULD be doing. I went to church this evening, a little bitter and angry. In the car, I could hear this still, small voice in my head telling me what I should do, but I was squelching it in order to think on what actions (direct or passive-aggressive) would make me FEEL better. If you remember the Bible story where God reveals himself to Elijah, it says that there was a wind so strong that it tore the mountain, but God was not in the wind. Then there was an earthquake, but God was not in the earthquake. Then there was a fire, but God was not in the fire. After that, came a still, small voice and that was God. Sometimes I think that if you don't listen to the still, small voice, God stops speaking to you. But other times, I think God tries a little louder to get your attention. Such was the case tonight. Our pastor's father-in-law was speaking tonight. He just celebrated his 65th anniversary and has been in the ministry for 58 years. He spoke tonight on I Corinthians 13--the love chapter. I groaned inwardly. THIS is what the voice in my head had been trying to tell me, but I had shushed it quickly. Now, I was at His mercy for about half an hour. You know already what happened. The passage is: "4) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5) It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6) Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7) It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8) Love never fails." The italics are mine, indicative of how much of the passage was convicting! So, instead of leaving my phone off and staying out as long as possible, taking the kids to McDonald's and bringing him nothing (as was the beginning of my evil scheme), my first step of charity was to turn on my phone. Which promptly warned me of a message, of course from my infuriating spouse, who was locked out of the house and accused me of doing it on purpose out of spite. I bit my tongue near off and tried to call him back. There was no answer. I could have gone on to McDonald's with the kids, but I took a deep breath, gritted my teeth, and went by the house first to see if he had gotten in yet and if he had eaten yet. He was, in fact, there and was hungry. And instead of ignoring him or letting him have it, I calmly stated why I was angry. Not sure if it did any good, but I did what I think God wanted me to do. I know it seems like a simple thing, turning on my cell phone, and picking up some McDonald's for him, but it was an about-face for me. Someone once accused me of not having a backbone because I didn't stand up for myself and basically didn't fire away with both barrels when someone (specifically, Chris) mistreated me. Honestly, I think it's harder NOT to react. I didn't want to be nice. At all. I'm right. He's wrong. Why should I have to be the bigger person here? Because anyone can react. But God demands for us to love our brethren and the world and "by this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." That self-control and collaring feelings and proceeding even though wounded is one of the hardest things I think I have ever done. And it hasn't gotten any easier over the years. Jesus never said it would be easy to turn the other cheek. And I have to keep recalling the lesson I learned years ago about forgiveness--how can I expect to be forgiven, if I don't forgive?

Anyways, that's enough deep thinking for today. My brain hurts.

I am biting the bullet and getting my hair permed in the morning. ACK! I called the lady that used to cut my dad's hair and the bottom fell out when she said she was quitting to be a nurse in two weeks and she is booked solid. So, my finding a bond with my stylist scheme fell apart. I decided to call the Xenon beauty school and make an appointment instead. I figure whoever does my hair will a student, too new to be unfriendly towards people who aren't regulars. And if I like her, I'll ask her to let me know where she ends up working and I will go to her every time. Best I can come up with at this time! We'll see how it goes. I am so nervous!

No comments: