Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Other Side

It was just an email.

But the words, to me, were shocking.... and cutting.

They were helpful suggestions but to me were presented in a selfish, judgmental way.  I felt attacked.  I was hurt.

I was angry!  

I knew I shouldn't have let it bother me, but rather just roll with it.  But I just couldn't.  I was too mad!  I also knew that if I didn't handle it properly, I could hurt their reputation, my own, and worse yet, my Savior's.  So I did something I hadn't done for a few weeks.... I went to the Word.  I knew I couldn't face this person, or handle this situation on my own.  I knew I would lash out or slander or accuse and I really really didn't want to do that!  I wanted to honor the Lord, but I just couldn't handle it!

The ladies retreat I had gone to with my church group just a few days prior did a study on Mary and Martha.  I learned a lot about my self during those three retreat sessions!  As I read through the booklet, looking for ways to tame the Martha in me, I found Hebrews 12:14-15:

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord;
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God;
lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, 
and thereby many be defiled.

I read this, and re-read it, and re-read it again.  "Lord, I just can't do this!  You have to do it for me!"

Now I know what it is like to be on the other side of the fence; he receiver of such criticism.  How often have I been the one offering "helpful suggestions" that, I am sure, were equally - if not more- harsh and hurtful.

I was also very careful not to talk to too many people about the situation.  I only talked to the necessary people to handle the situation.  I didn't even want to tell Hubby, because I knew his protective hairs would stand on end and I didn't need encouragement to be more angry!  I only told those who could help, and pray.  {I was trying to be wise!}

Thankfully the story has a happy ending!  I knew people were praying for me, and the Holy Spirit was working.  The eve before I had to face this person again, I had peace!  The Spirit of forgiveness I had been asking for came.  I had peace.  When it came time to face the music, God had not only given me peace, but also joy.  I had learned many valuable lessons:

1.  Keep your mouth shut!
2. Take it to the ONE who can fix the situation.
3. Ask for prayers from the people involved-- or the un-involved, 
who have no idea who the offending party is.
4. Submit to the Lord's help for which I so fervently asked.