|The stage of my church as taken by the members of Julian Drive.|
One of my favorite people flew all the way down from Canada to teach the message yesterday, and I swear that that woman cannot be on the stage without making me laugh or cry. And if you could hear her sing...oh, I really wish that she had sang yesterday.
But anyway, she was talking about the 3 steps that we women should follow to live our lives according to God's plan and to make sure that what we are doing is in line with what God wants for us.
One of the steps got me, it got me bad, and I have been thinking about it ever since.
"Respond, Don't React", meaning that if your kid is going off with some craziness about how she wishes that she did not have a mother and that she hates Mother's Day and she can't wait until Kid's Day, instead of popping off with a response that kind of sounds like this: "Oh, yeah, well you are starting to make me regret even becoming a mother..."*, or "Kid's Day does sound awesome, too bad you can't go because you will be grounded until you're 25"* instead you should respond with something more like, "Kid's Day does sound like fun, what kind of things do you think you will get to do on Kid's Day?" (because then you have diffused the situation and then, when you get home, you can sit in your bathroom and cry silently that your kid just wished you dead on YOUR stinking day).
*She said all of that after church, so I was able to go to my happy place and not say any of these things, although I cannot begin to tell you how fast they came to mind or how close they came to raining down on her. I have said it before, I have a dagger for a tongue and I can cut pretty deep when I am not thinking.
She also pointed out that if you take a medication and you say that you had a reaction to it, then it's a negative thing, but if you say that you responded to it, that's a positive.
And (here comes the conviction) if what you do or say, outs someone else's bad behavior, curses someone or is negative - then what you are doing is not of God.
You see, a few months ago, I was hurt really badly, I was torn apart, and I felt lost. I felt so secure in my innocence (and, okay, maybe I felt a little righteous too), however, that I blasted out all of the sins that he had committed against me on this very blog. "I'm right, I am good - look at all the wrong that he has done..."
I debated on buying team T-shirts for my girlfriends to wear with me to church...
Here's the thing, his sins, they weren't ever even about me, they weren't committed against me, they were committed against God and against himself. I had no right to claim them, or put him on blast for committing them. The only things that I should have been doing was focusing on forgiveness and healing, and praying for his salvation.
But I reacted. I reacted to the hurt, the pain, the injustice...I reacted instead of responding and became just as guilty as i was pointing him out to be.
Just in case I hadn't gotten the message, I was scheduled to teach Kid's church for the second service yesterday. The message that I was teaching was about Joseph.
Joseph had 11 brothers. His brothers were terrible, abusive, and awful to him, but rather than crying or whining about it, Joseph always did what God wanted him to do. And when his brothers came to him looking for food, he forgave them, fed them, and invited them all to live in his house.
Sometimes I think it would be easier if God could just flash in, fix the things you muck up, erase all of the blog and Facebook posts and set you back on the path He wants you on.
Of course, then, you probably wouldn't really learn the lesson.