6/20/08

Walk Away

Good and upright is the Lord;
Therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
The humble He guides in justice,
And the humble He teaches His way. . . .
For Your name's sake, O Lord,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great (Psalm 25:8-9, 11).

What a great thought to begin my Friday! We had a full moon this morning The sun on one horizon, the moon on the other. The longest day of the year and what a blessing to wake up and experience the first part of it! I just love how God shines in my world!

This week has been a trying week on the farm. My husband has suffered symptoms of heat stroke, one of the kids has been a little sick, and we lost a frog - yes - the albino pacman just would not adapt to his new environment. That sounds like trivia to the rest of the world but to my little girl who is now not so little, it is a complete tragedy. I have struggled with the idea of either replacing him unbeknownst to her since she is at grandmas or being honest and telling her that "yes, it's true - I am a failure as a frog mother". Of course, I am a horrific liar, so the truth will be told, she will cry, I will feel guilty and her Dad will buy her something because we all know that in a teenagers life - money heals!

All in all, however, it's been another week of amazing lessons and experiences. Perhaps it's "middle age" or perhaps it's just the fact that I have looked death in the eye before, but I find that seldom do I have an experience that I don't eventually see the reward in. More than likely, however, it's Christ's existence in my life. Because that gives me the guarantee that no matter what, He took the cross. I am so guilty of putting him back on the cross over and over again, but He's ever so willing to go there for me! He'll do it for anyone actually but I selfishly assume it's for me.

There was a time in my life not so long ago that I kept everything hidden and locked away. I kept my suffering to myself. I kept my shame to myself. I kept life events that have actually built my testimony and made me the person I am to myself. God has a way of revealing to us when we are making mistakes and He uses everything to His greater glory. We can not control that any more than we can control the tongues of those we have either trusted or those who would love to see us fall or our own tongues for that matter. God is the only being in complete control of this world and I am forever experiencing situations that provide me the reminders I need to know that.

The most amazing thing God has revealed to me is the cleansing value of confession. When we confess our mistakes, sins, regrets, hidden secrets that hinder our progress, we can then move forward towards repenting and restitution. In the last year, I have opened my life up. Those who want to know ask, some who don't want to know are told, but there are no white lies, no cover ups and there are no excuses for the mistakes I have made in my past. It's amazing how I once let my past control me and how I have been embraced by the honesty and my efforts to be better. There is only me moving forward, using all those things to make me a person more willing to work towards being better now.

There is a twinge of regret but there is this amazing sense for celebration and praise. I know that I am cleansed and renewed. I know that I am loved and I know that no matter how judged I am in this world, the judgment never existed in the next world because I know that Christ alone is worthy and He paid that price for me.

I am also learning to stop and think before I act, react or let my tongue run wild. That's a struggle I will face the remainder of my life ever how long that will be. Sometimes I do and say things that are unfortunate events later down the road. The only power I have over those events are for me to ask for forgiveness and to forgive. Past that point, testimony grows, my quest for answers through God's Word becomes more determined and God uses the situation to His own glory whether I see that or not.

I had the glorious opportunity this week to experience the growth in my spiritual life. I found myself in a situation that was less than glorifying. I found myself reacting to people who I should not have even entertained, people who seek to judge and hurt. I actually thought at one time I could change these people or be a positive difference somehow to them. I trusted them. I never realized how some will use information you share to control and manipulate. I never realized my own tendency to behave in that manner.

I have realized that not everyone wants trust, love, forgiveness, retribution and that some are insulted if they perceive you believe you may have something to offer them. I also know that those who make me feel badly about myself are just as deserving and perhaps better people on the outside than I am. Everyone loves and is loved - that's how life works. So for me to react negatively or at all is not always my right. That being said, the moment I reacted, I did something I have never been able to do. I walked away from it. Yes, I reacted but instead of lingering to see the reaction, or to see if I made any points, I simply walked away.

There's a lot to be said for walking away. As I went outside to clean up the mess of destruction the puppies always leave in their wake right now, to feed, to gather fresh eggs, water the animals, hug my Oops, walk, sit and watch the sunset with my husband, I realized that I don't have to react at all. I do not have to be in places or around people who draw my reaction. I do not have to defend every sense of insult tossed my way. As a matter of fact, if I don't see it, I don't feel it. If someone hurts me, it's up to me how I let that hurt effect my life. Do I live in bitterness and anger or do I simply move on with God's hand over mine?

A lot of the hurt and suffering in my life is directly or indirectly the result of my own doing. Regret can either make you old or it can make you grow. Yes, I'm middle aged, but I can tell you one thing- I am not quite grown yet.

So, while I was walking and experiencing, perhaps someone else was still reacting. That's the lesson to me. Walk away, "turn the other cheek" as Christ professes and then simply walk away because you may discover you are walking towards something much greater than what you just left behind. So, Friday is once again a great end to the week for me. I had quite a few failures for which I am ever so grateful.

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