He Reigns!

Monday, June 18, 2012

What We Dislike In Ourselves...

Have you ever heard the saying, "What we dislike in others is usually what we dislike in ourselves?" It is a true saying and I've often noticed that people who tell me that so and so is such a (?), it sounds as if they are talking about themselves! Not that I'm above such things, but I do try to be self-aware and recognize that if someone is doing something that makes me not care for their presence, perhaps I need to do a little soul searching and see if there is something in me that needs to change.

I've also learned more recently that some of my old behaviors that I've diligently tried to erase, have come to the surface and it has made me feel quite small and guilty. I've been trying to deal, without much success, with the feelings of loss and anger over my daughter and her family suddenly moving to California, followed by my youngest son's move to a different part of California, and then my older son moving his family to yet another part of California. And my youngest daughter and her family moved to Texas. I have felt so alone and lonely since their departures, but especially with my older daughter's move because she and her family have lived with us over the past year and a half, and I am so attached to her children, and especially her son, who just turned a year old on May 11.

As time went by, I thought I would adjust and get over the crying binges, the anger at feeling as if they betrayed me, and the feelings of overwhelming loss of those grandbabies. Instead of prayer helping, it seemed as if every time I prayed, I only felt the loss that much more keenly. I tried keeping up with my Bible reading but the words just seemed to have no meaning. As the days and weeks passed, I became more depressed, more crying binges that lasted longer and longer, and I couldn't even have a conversation with my daughter without feeling as if I had to tell her exactly how much she had hurt me, which only angered her, and then we didn't talk at all. The more time that went without talking, the more I felt as if she and her husband didn't care at all that I was hurt and missing them and the babies. They never once said, "Mom, as soon as we have our own place, we'll make sure there's a bedroom for you and you can visit and stay as long as you like." Which they had done when their daughter was born. I went out to California when she was born, they had a room for me and said I could stay as long as I wished. Since they were staying with relatives, I didn't even think that they were mainly worried about just getting caught up on their bills, and finding their own place, and would, I'm sure, invite me to visit indefinitely once that was accomplished.

If you've read my past posts, you know I have been a mother since age sixteen, and have always had a houseful of kids and grandkids until just the past few weeks. And with my husband, Nathan, working in another state, I have been here alone except for my doggies. Although they are a great comfort, they aren't much for conversation. If you know anything about me, which would mean you've read Dancing With Bear: A Love Story, you know that the past thirteen years of my life has been tumultuous to say the least, and more than any one person should have to deal with in an entire lifetime, let alone such a short period of time. But through it all, I have tried to take it all with grace and knowledge that the Lord is in control and my life is His to do with as He pleases. However, over the past few weeks, I have been so much less than grace-full, and have been downright mean on several occasions. I've said the most awful things to Lisa, just to underscore the depth of the pain I feel.

I am writing about this now because I did call her and apologize, because she didn't deserve such an attitude from her own mother, but also because I know she is probably feeling a little lost herself right now. But the main reason I am making my deplorable actions public is because I know how God works, and I know how the enemy works. My actions have kept me from doing God's will, and that is what happens every time the enemy is allowed to horn in on our lives, no matter where we are or what we are doing.

"Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8

It is so easy for us to take our eyes off the Cross of our salvation, the way Peter took his eyes off Jesus while he was walking on water from the boat. (Matthew 14:28-30) We are often like Peter, full of faith one moment, and faith-less the next. We forget who the author and finisher of our faith is, we take our eyes off of Jesus, and look instead at our circumstances and see the worst. Instead of saying, "Jesus, look at our circumstances," we should be saying, "Circumstances, look at our Jesus!"

No matter how long we have been saved, or how long we've been in ministry, there comes times when we are bombarded by negative circumstances, people, and attitudes. We might not handle these situations with the grace we would like to, but the bottom line is, which side we come out of them on. Do we come out with the realization that we were wrong, and need to apologize to the person, or people, we've offended? Do we repent and ask the Lord's forgiveness and trust that He allowed the situation in order for us to learn and grow? Or do we give up and walk away, playing into the enemy's hands?

Keep praying, keep reading the Bible, keep your eyes on the prize, which is our salvation that leads to Heaven.