I am writing this at the end of a very long day, and for that matter, a very long week, and come to think of it, an incredibly long month. I am tired and I find myself wanting to climb into bed and just stay there for a day or two.
Have you ever found yourself in that place?
Of course, I’ve been here before. I think we all have at one time or another. But, these are the times when we have two choices. We can give in and give up or lean really hard into Jesus and the grace the He offers.
My pastor once said that, “People will say terrible things when they are in pain.” The words struck a nerve with me, so much so that I wrote them down.
I have found on my life journey that the world is full of people in all kinds of pain, whether physical or emotional, and I have found my pastor’s words to ring true. I find truth in them when talking to my teens about things people have said to them. I have found them to be true in my own life.
I have found that hurtful words spoken are very rarely even personally meant for the person who receives them. They are simply manifestations of some type of pain that the one who speaks them is bearing.
When I am rested, I remember. When I am focused on God and not my own need for control, I remember.
When I am weary, I sometimes forget. I also forget when I am focused on my own feelings. That’s when I allow myself to get frustrated. That’s when I allow my feelings to get hurt. That’s when I forget that I truly have a choice.
I can choose to believe that I am where I am for a reason. I can choose to believe that God has a plan. I can choose to understand that people in pain have sharp edges and that hurtful words are not really about me.
I can also choose to believe that God is not in control and that I’m on my own. I can choose to strike back and lash out. I can choose anger and frustration over grace and understanding. There’s an enemy of my soul who would love for me to make those choices. Honestly, those choices sometimes feels like the right ones.
But, they are not. They never are.
Jesus calls us to something different, to a higher purpose. He calls us to love one another and to extend mercy and forgiveness because we have been given mercy and forgiveness.
When we stay focused on Him and remember that, our hearts stay whole and our souls stay well. Sometimes I need reminding. Perhaps you do too.
Have an awesome day!
PS My kids are on spring break next week, so I’m taking the week off to spend with them. I hope to see you back here in a week.