Have you ever experienced a relationship or friendship connection who will always take what you say the wrong way no matter what it is? Or, maybe you have experienced that one friend who is about to make the biggest mistake of her life, but to tell her would rip her heart out (or maybe yours)? The only option is to keep your lips sealed or forever be “that one” who was the “Debbie Downer” in her life party. Its hard to be connected with very difficult people but in all honesty sometimes its hard to get away from that reality in this world. Frankly, we can all be a bit more difficult than we need to be at times. We all have our seasons. This truth should give us some much needed restraint when it comes to dealing with others, but sometimes thoughts just want to blurt out like a volcano erupting molten lava.
Let me be completely transparent here. My greatest struggle is when I want to fix my significant other’s life issue. I know in my God connected higher mind that I can’t do this for someone. Yet my brain, my heart, and my mouth sometimes won’t receive that same message. Then put in some power packed emotion and before I know it my mouth has a mind of its own! (You should see the look of horror on my face right now just reliving the thought of some moments when this has happened.)
Then there is that moment when someone not only ruffles my feathers, but plucks them from my peace of mind one by one, in a very torturous way with their words. The minister and rational person in me wants to say, “Would you excuse me for a moment”, step out of the room, and somehow delete the intruding conversation. The very wise, yet sometimes ego touched person in me wants to dig in with all claws and rip a shred into the ozone of the offender because it all hurts just that much.
Lean in here a bit more closely now sisters. Sometimes the struggle is just real enough that the only thing I can do to keep peace in all places is to step into a closet, grab the closest belt, and stick it in my mouth to chew on until the erupting moment passes. I can call this much needed God time if I need to. No matter what I call it, if it keeps my mouth from overloading its purpose then its a worthwhile moment. I know at this point it might be easy to look at me and think I lack some much needed restraint. Actually, it takes a lot of restraint to run in the other direction from an impending verbal “fixer upper fest”.
Wasn’t it Paul in the Bible who verbalized this first? Didn’t he say that the things he wanted to do he ended up not doing and what he should not do he did? Yet, he told us also to pursue peace. I wonder if Paul had his own personal belt he whipped out to chew on when his mouth wanted to express something it should not? We know he had a thorn in his side. Maybe my fixer upper mouth is my personal thorn? I certainly don’t know the answer to all problems but I do try to help when I can. I mean, it IS my calling to do so.
I pray all of the time. I pray for discernment. I pray for wisdom. I pray for restraint. Then when the situation is more overwhelming than I can handle I might end up praying and just chewing a belt at the same time. Whatever brings more peace in my surroundings. I like to do my part!
Just being real,
Pastor Jenine Marie Howry