Friday, October 31, 2008

Feeling Yucky

Nope, this isn't a physical thing, (outside of the spare tire around my middle steadily inflating - love that Halloween candy!) - it's an emotional thing.

Yesterday, I found myself joining the bandwagon in at least three different circumstances of "standing up for what's right", "defending the REAL truth", or simply "enlightening people to what they ought to know". I got a little fired up in a couple of circumstances because I found that people I know and care about were hurt by insensitive statements and therefore I took it upon myself to strive for vindication. And, in doing so, I ended up just as bad as the original perpetrator.

By the time John came home, I was in a slump. He kept asking what was wrong and I kept giving rather empty answers until finally I just said, "The Holy Spirit is really doing a number on my right now, and I'm feeling pretty sad about it". Then, it turned into a dialogue demonstrating why I might be feeling convicted that ended up with a few laughs...

As crummy as I felt about all this - I find myself rejoicing for a number of reasons:

1.) It was the Holy Spirit at work in my heart, illuminating my mistakes instead of someone else. It hadn't yet gotten to that place where anyone was directly affected by my attitude, so there wasn't a need for confrontation. (Either that, or folks just held their tongues). I crumble under confrontation, it is such a hurting experience for me, so for the Holy Spirit to take care of the job and me come to internal realizations - that's a big deal.

2.) God loves me that much to step in. How HUGE is that!?! He knew I was walking down the wrong direction and sent His Loving Counselor to redirect. Recently we discussed the passage in the Bible at church about the pruning of the vines. (John 15:1-11). The second verse has always confused me, regarding the vinedresser "cutting away" the branch if it's not bearing fruit. However, Pastor Ben explained that if you take the words back to their original language and discover the context, the probable reading of the text would indicate that the vines are being "re-arranged" so that they would become more fruitful - draped out so that they would get sunlight and bear fruit. Wow! I walked away from that service with such a great feeling that 1) a passage of scripture finally made sense and 2) it is never God's intent to give up on us - He desperately wants our relationship and what is best for us.

3.) I am not so far off in my Christian walk that I wasn't able to hear the Counselor. This is very reassuring, as I'm sure I've done a lot of ignoring in the past. I know the Enemy would not want me to feel bummed out last night - he'd have wanted me to disregard that whole feeling of conviction and continue hurting others. In the end, it was a victory.

So, there you go. Today is a new day, I've been made clean all over again - as white as snow - and I get to start fresh. Praise God! Today my new college buddy comes over and we get to make cookies with the kids, and then of course comes the Trick or Treating (apparently with umbrellas in hand!) and great chili feed (with corn bread and apple pie - I can feel that tire inflating already....) so it should be a super day. I'll certainly be much more mindful of making the kind of choices that won't derail that goal...


JustMe said...

Steph, that is so wonderful. Our God is such an awesome God. I am feeling relieved right now because I wanted to give you some kind of advice or 'talk you down' a bit but just felt I shouldn't. Even though it wasn't my first instinct I felt I should love on you and leave it be. Bless the Holy Spirit for whispering to us and setting us straight, and your hubby for giving you the right perspective!

Colie said...

I love your perspective that God loves you enough to step in. Thanks for sharing it! Good job for opening up eventually to John's prompting. So many times I stick with the empty answers and then Randy has no way to help me out.

It's a new day! Have fun:-).

Joanne said...

Stephanie, it can be so hard standing up for what we believe, or what we used to believe.

Our walk is such a process. If we are seeking Him, there will be growth and He will cut away those things in our lives that are dead or are not fruitful. It is not comfortable, but in the end quite we can have a bountiful harvest of fruit!