Have you ever had one of those moments with someone where they say something that makes you wonder if that was a compliment or a cut? Have you ever had someone be mean to you and you honestly did nothing wrong? Have you had an interaction with someone and they are took something out on you, even though it had nothing to do with you? Have you ever been friends with someone and they just don't seem like to value you as much as you value them? If so, pull up a chair and join me for a few minutes would you?
It had been an awkward evening so far. The hug hello was more of a forced acknowledgment of my existence. There was no eye contact, no real greetings were exchanged, just a small quiet and quick "Hi", then a B line to the table. If I went to sit down near her, she would noticeably adjust her body so that her back was to me. It was obvious and so hurtful, yet no one talked about it. (Other than me to Griffin when we got home for hours. Love you babe.) It was an elephant in the room. This went on for years...five years to be exact. I tried to love and "Be Jesus" regardless of what she did. I sought counsel and advice and many would jump on my side and demand that my feelings were totally valid and ...well...they would pretty much tell me that she can stick it...you know where.
And then others would gently say, "Well she is hurting, and is probably jealous (Do you ever get that one?) and you, well you need to just ignore it and let it go." As they give me a back pat (Ps. I do not like those, or fist bumps...please don't fist bump me)
LET IT GO!!! How can I let this go? It is in my head all the time, I hear her name and my anxiety sky rockets through the roof. I can't ignore it. How do you expect me to ignore it? Do I pretend like this is a normal human interaction? Because it's not. This is terrible! I deserve an explanation. I deserve an apology.
(You and I both know we shouldn't base things off what we deserve)
Maybe you are thinking of a person in your head, and I hope it is not as painful as my story is but there are people that have a personal struggle and they project their struggle on to you. Do you know what I mean? People who have an insecurity that if you share a bit of a victory from your own life they get annoyed and make a comment to you. Maybe even a passive aggressive comment. (Those are the worst) What I have learned is that their comments are at me, but they are not about me. Gosh, I hope that frees someone today. I want to type it again for me and for you. Let's even say it together, "Their comments are at me but they are not about me!" Sigh..
I have learned that there is power in putting a line around my life and understanding the things that I can control and the things that I cannot. For example, I cannot control what someone does to me, but I can control my thoughts about them. I cannot control how someone acts toward me but I can control my actions towards them. (There is a difference between a reaction and a reply isn't there?) I can't control what someone says about me, but I can control how I feel about them.
Feelings have no moral value, and that is a big truth to remember.
The Bible says, "The heart is deceitful..."
A question I have been asking myself lately is, "Is this person powerful enough to go into my heart and mind and make me angry?
Make me jealous?
Make me insecure?"
The answer is No.
Now, yes I will feel, and I am not trying to tell you that you shouldn't feel, but what I am saying is don't get stuck there, it's a shaky place to land. A place where the enemy lies and waits to plant the seeds of bitterness and jealousy and insecurity in your heart. And we are not called to get stuck there
The secret to this is that there is nothing you can humanly do to make this all go away. This is a total spiritual thing, A God thing. I tried for a long time to make this go away on my own. To will myself to let it go, but what I realized is that the more I stopped trying to do it, and I just began to surrender it, the weight of the situation lifted away.
There is a difference between doing and surrender. Both are actions, both are verbs, but one has you with your hands full where the other has you with your hands empty. And the victory comes when your hands are empty.
So dear friend, just remember...
1. You are not alone. We have all felt the hurt you feel right now.
2. Knowing how to handle a situation like this is not up to you, it's a God thing, and I hope that helps you breathe easier today.
3. The more you surrender this to God the more you can see them the way He does.
Because it is about loving, and leading, and learning. Not pushing, proving and deserving.
Forgiveness is the ONLY thing to do. (Sorry, I'm over here editing Taylor's lyrics)
But that is the goal, to allow God to open your eyes to see them like He does. That's where the freedom comes and the forgiveness flows. But we do that by not figuring out how but talking to the One who can heal and fix and mend. It's never about the how, it's always about the Who.
I was next in line. There I was...about to make a decision and I had no idea what to choose. I could go with what I always get, play it safe, or I could venture out...be a little crazy, and do something different. We were at the ice cream shop and I didn't know what to get! Yes, that's right...ice cream was making me stress. I was finally able to make a decision for myself, not for a child, not for my husband, I actually didn't have to share this sweet treat, and I didn't know what to choose. Cookie dough is what I always get...should I try cheesecake? But can you really beat raw cookie dough mixed with sweet vanilla? Probably not, but I do love me some cheesecake. It's ice cream Heather, for the love of it all...ice cream....
But what was happening on the outside as I stared through the glass at all the buckets of dairy filled goodness, was a picture of what was going on inside of me. God was asking me to let go something so He could take me somewhere new. And I was scared. Anyone with me? Anyone been at this crossroads where you are asking for something yet you didn't know you would have to give something up in return? Like when you buy a new shirt, you need to make room in your closet by getting rid of something old. I try to keep this rule. But then I think, "So what I haven't worn yellow shirt in a year. What if I need it and I go to wear and I don't have it? Then I'll have to buy a new yellow shirt and that will just be annoying. I should probably keep it." Suddenly, my closet just gets really cluttered and messy and full.
Are you asking for a new job, but forgetting you have to first let go of the comforts of where you are now? Desiring a relationship but now seeing all that is about to change when you get it? Your heart's desire is to become a parent yet there are so many sacrifices you have to make that you don't know if you are fully ready?
Maybe it's internal. Are you wanting to be freed from a certain way of thinking only to realize thinking this new way will totally put you outside your comfort zone? Are you tired of believing a lie about yourself but the pruning process to get to freedom is intimidating?
I am feeling the tension of seeing what is ahead of me. I see what God is doing, I see where He wants me to go, yet I don't want to walk away from where I am right now. I love this season, this place I am. I am good at it, it is comfortable. I know what every day looks like, the good and the bad, and I like that. I like knowing what's coming. I don't want to let go of what I have. What I have is so good. But I want whats next. I have seen a glimpse of what could be, and it is so sweet. Just like those flavors of ice cream I was looking at I see how good it will be.
But I don't know....There is a flow and a rhythm I have found here in this season and now You just want to come and take that away and have me start over in a new place? Have me change to a new way of living and move on to a new season? Yes. Yes He does.
I feel the angst, the worry, and the fear of all that I don't know about the future. And letting go of where I am now seems so hard to handle. But the truth is...the promise we have when we let go is all that God will give. Because....with every new season, there is a new supply.
Isaiah 43 in The Message puts it this way.
“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new."
Brand new in the Greek means "Fresh this year". God has been reminding me and gently showing me that it is time to move on. Have you been feeling this tension at all in any area of your life? If so...know this....letting go is so hard, but when God is calling us to a new season, a new place, a new adventure that means we have learned all we can where we were, and it is time. Every season needs the other ones. We need this next one, it doesn't stay winter forever. And what is so good to remember is that everything starts out as a seed. So this new place you are about to venture to, this new way of thinking, of living...well it is a brand new seed. It needs nurturing, sunlight...("Son"light), water, nourishment, and grace. So take a deep breath, let go of where you were and say yes to God leading you to where He wants you to be.
I chose cheesecake.