I had an action packed week-end so I barely had time to even sit down at the computer. Today will probably be a long one (to make up for it of course) so hang on...
So, yesterday's sermon was titled "Persisting in Faith". It was a good sermon and came in a very timely manner. You've probably sat in a church and listened to a preacher talk, all while thinking..."Hmmmm, does he know what I am going through? Did he plan this sermon just for me? I know he had to because he is talking about what I am going through...". Most of us have felt that way before. I've heard many people say that. I've come to two conclusions: 1.Everyone is going through a lot of the same junk. People think they are alone because they don't know what others are dealing with when they walk through the church doors. 2. God gives us what we need to hear. Simple as that. As you know I was feeling sorta blah last week. I wasn't alone. Several people have told me they were feeling discouraged or disappointed just in the last week. One guy actually asked me if I tipped the Pastor off to how he was feeling. See what I mean? Here's the thing, sometimes even though it is what we need to hear, we don't want to. That is where I was yesterday. I am going to tell you why, what was said in the sermon and (lastly) what I plan to do about it. Ready?
Okay, last week I had something very significant happen to me. I am going to do my best to describe this event and keep it completely anonymous. Try not to get confused. So, last week I was, let's say out and about, and I was waiting to talk to someone who we are going to refer to as JKL for this story. So, I am waiting in this hallway and JKL is in a room. JKL in talking to some other people who know me. I was standing about 50 feet away from the room because I don't want to look like an eavesdropper or anything. Unfortunately, JKL was talking pretty loud. I had been there or a minute or so. I hear the group talking about something I've heard discussed before...no biggie. Then in a split second, JKL says my name. What came out of JKL's mouth next was not very nice. I am sitting there with my mouth hanging open, thinking "This can't be really happening." I can't tell you what I heard but I can say this...it wasn't "uplifting", it painted me in a very 'self serving' manner and it badly hurt my feelings. I decided it would be a good idea to walk away before I heard anything else. I called my husband and told him what I just heard. I knew he would be a little more reasonable than me. At that moment I wanted to freak out a little. So I talked to him for 30 seconds or so and then I see this other person I know. I talked with her for a minute or two. Then JKL walks out. JKL talks to me. My answers are brief and maybe a little cynical. You see, JKL is definitely someone who I need to see me for who I am. JKL is someone I need to have respect for and the respect should be mutual. I felt a little "destroyed". So I got out of there ASAP and called Jake. I even started crying. That is how I felt all day. Angry and hurt.
With that being said...I am going to tell you about the sermon. The subtitle was "How to Finish What You Start...when you feel like giving up". Now, I definitely don't plan on giving up my Faith or anything like that...but this event was big enough it could make a significant change in my life. So, first we were told to "remove any distractions". If something is distracting you from keeping focused on your goal, it has to go (well, with in reason...you can't get rid of your kids or spouse). remember the REWARD - "the why in what you do will determine how long you last." Resist discouragement. This was the big one for me. If you had asked me yesterday what the sermon was on, I would have told you it was about not being discouraged. Because that is basically what I heard. Obviously, I am feeling extremely discouraged. I made a conscience decision yesterday, to just wallow in that disappointment. Process it. Figure out a game plan. Next- FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS! Focus on God's Goodness in the Past. Focus on God's presence Now. Focus on God's promise for the Future. Then there was a little list of stuff we could check off if we need more persistence or not. (ex. time with God, Praying, Dieting/Exercise, Controlling my anger...) I didn't check anything off. Not because I don't need work in those areas but because I just didn't want to commit. Remember, I was still mad yesterday. And Lastly...Renew yourself DAILY: Get your proper rest & Spend time with God.
So, what do I plan to do? Well, first I decided to forgive JKL even before I confront the situation. I feel it can't have a good ending if I don't do that first. My feelings don't hurt as bad, even though it was completely rude and uncalled for. I do plan to talk to JKL. I might send an email. I know it doesn't sound that personal but I feel like what I say HAS to be purposeful. I can have diarrhea of the mouth sometimes...especially when my emotions are involved. I can only hope for an apology at best. Although, I don't really expect one. How JKL reacts may determine the ultimate outcome. That is, if I will choose to continue a relationship with JKL. It's not a threat, but we do have to remove all distractions don't we?
Well, have a good day. I am at a good school this week but it is a hike to get to! I guess I will have lots of quiet time in the car!