Friday, December 3, 2010

Yes, Buts

It’s been a stressful week.

Nothing devastating, but several disappointments pock-marked the fabric of my existence.

Unfortunately, many of the frustrations could have been avoided if other people had done things differently.

I think my tongue is shorter from biting it so much.

Though I wanted to be perfectly forgiving and gracious, I had serious irritation issues, which I really struggled with.

I was… angry.

I don’t like to be angry. It feels icky. Heavy. Gut-churning. Hopeless. Like something vital inside is broken.

But I don’t like it when people are mad at me either. Feels the same way. And I’m not perfect, so I should dispense grace in the same flowing fashion by which I would like to receive it. Right?

Well, yes. But…

That angry tortured me with yes, buts and if onlys until I thought steam might actually explode from my ears!

Yes, I should forgive, but I put my neck on the line.

If only so-in-so did their job, I wouldn’t have egg on my face.

Yes, everyone screws up, but this is major and takes the cake.

If only I’d been in charge, I could have fixed this before it broke.

On and on… even knowing how arrogant all those angry excuses sounded.

What do you do in those moments? (I hope I’m not the only one facing such dichotomies of character!)

Here’s how the wrinkles in my emotional state smoothed out.

#1 – I think the saying Time heals all wounds was created for situations like this. Once the initial disappointment passes, I discover that I’m still breathing and most likely life goes on. A harmful word or deed is like a gigantic wave – it crashes into you, might knock you off your feet and leave you feeling gritty and drenched, but rarely does it actually drown you.

#2 – Another popular saying applied to my recent inner turmoil – everything happens for a reason, which is basically the secularized version of “Everything works for the good of those who love Christ…” (Rom. 8:28) It’s not that the action or consequence is good, it’s that Christ is the Redeemer and makes all things, even bad things, new.

#3 – Communication really does span gulches and build bridges. I’m not a confrontation fan, and the downside to that is if I’m mad about something I stew when really I should go ahead and spew – get it out, talk it out, work it out. Although it was unpleasant at the time, constructive communication propelled me to a place of understanding and grace.

#4 - I wasn’t feeling it, but I clung to the principle that Christ forgave me, I forgive others. Bottom line. Even if it takes time. Even if I have to crucify my pride (which is usually the case) or concede a point or swallow the consequences. Make the decision and do it. No more yes, buts.

This is how we get to “They will know we are Christians by our love” (Jn 13:35) and “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed” (Jn 8:36).

Be forgiving. Release those who have offended or hurt you. Be blessed. Be free.

Happy Weekend, Dry Ground friends!

(photos by


Jay Harris said...

Been there, Lori. Before my walk, I was like Mount Vesuvius. You hurt me and you are going to pay, BIG TIME! Either its my advancing age, or my sometimes rock walk with Jesus, or the gentleness of your mother, Mount Vesuvius has been dorment. But, I've had my moments when people just p..... me off. Instead of praying, I usually call your mother, then PRAY for forgiveness!

Sarah Baker said...

Oh wow, this definitely sounds like some of my internal monologues. I take things seriously, sometimes too seriously.
I hope everything is alright, and the negative isn't lasting.

KM Wilsher said...

niCE! :)