“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 NIV (Emphasis mine)
“Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.” Bernard Meltzer
I received the nicest birthday card from someone who had wounded me terribly in my childhood. It truly was kind, thoughtful and so welcome. You see, my pain was from this person, which included some physical abuse and emotional abuse at a time when I had no resources, adults, church or mentor to properly process this. The pain reared its ugly head after my husband’s death many years after the offenses. Grief pulls out all the stops of buried “stuff.” It hurt like hell! And I stuffed it for months.
But it came back.
I wanted to rant and rave and tell this person off! I wanted her to hurt as much as she hurt me! Maybe more. I asked our Father for help and I got it. And without finding fault for either of us.
She came from a dysfunctional home. I came from a dysfunctional home. No good comes from that until we have a new home—a home not made with hands. The story of Joseph came to mind. His brothers set out to kill him–what’s this about? — The brothers’ jealousy and Joseph’s narcissistic traits. Joseph was dropped into a well instead of being murdered. As we know, several years later, Joseph saved his father and brothers’ lives during a great famine. Joseph never had a chance to tell off his brothers even though he was imprisoned for years. Dysfunction imprisons for years. But Joseph said, “You meant me harm but God meant it for good.” I can say the same with thankfulness.
What’s this about? Do not overcome evil with evil but overcome evil with good. So I worked on why I clung to this hurt and anger. Was it because I felt alive? Was it because it was familiar? Was it really my problem? No, I didn’t put myself in a dangerous or harmful situation. In fact, she’s worked on her “stuff” too. Will we talk about it? Probably not. She loves me the best she is able—no harm. She has her own work to do and she’s doing it, with her Father’s help. All I’ve done is go about my own business doing the best I can with my Father’s help. And I’ve told this rant and rave to my Father many, many times.
The right books fell into my lap. The right people companioned me. Surrender was mine. Rest. Hope. Willingness. And a new relationship with an old frenemy.
No matter if we’ve had a “healthy childhood” or drama-filled childhood, what’s this about puts us on the right track. Life still smacks us (or the Liar) when we’re most vulnerable. If someone is abusing you. Get out! Get out now! But most of the Christian Life is becoming conscious. Most of the Christian Life is more unlearning before truly learning. As Einstein said, “You can’t solve your problems with the same mind that got you the problems.” We have the mind of Christ –1 Corinthians 2:16.
What’s this about? Gets us to the Father with some remarkable insights about our hearts, other’s hearts and a whole lot of freedom. No condemnation whatsoever!
Thank you for your mercies that are new every morning. When we pause, pray and genuinely ask, “What’s this about?” you are there. There’s no condemnation for us or others because of an open heart that wants to do your will instead of hanging on to destructive emotions.
We’re here. We’re open. We’re thankful.