well, i don't either, obviously...i'm not a buffoon. well, i take that back. i am a buffoon. but i don't believe that, anyway. but, boy sometimes do i wish it were true. sigh. i will explain....
and i will preface this by saying that i am posting this particular information with great reluctance...in fact, if my computer were to crash all of a sudden in the middle of this and i, were to lose everything, i can't say i'd be too terribly sad, because i am about to admit something to the world out there that i am just flat not proud of. but, recently, it dawned on me, that i sure hope no one out there reading my blog thinks that i am "too good", ya know?!? i don't ever want to come across as someone who doesn't struggle, or always take the high road, or leaves the "real" sinnin' for the rest of you girls. so, it full disclosure....this won't be pretty. but it's real. it's me. ok...deep breath....here we go....(darn that computer...still no crashing...:)
so, one of my dearest, sweetest friends came over to visit me recently and we were talking about various things.....she wanted to catch up on how i was feeling....she has missed me (because she is lovely and kind and good) and hadn't gotten to see me while i was in the hospital or since i'd been home (PRAISE GOD I AM HOME!!!)....and i was asking her about her super wonderful family who i adore.....her children are so very fine, well-behaved, good-hearted, and she is, just wooonderful......the kind of person who you hope really likes you and stays friends with you and who you want to come over and hang out with you every single day.....and, well, i tolerate her husband. he, he. just teasing....he is one of the finest men you'll meet, such a great heart.....and although he likes to act like he's tough, he really is a rascal and we treat each other like brother and sister, often teasing each other relentlessly, it is greatness. and yes, he smells funny. :)
anyway....my sweet, sweet friend and i were talking...now, mind you....i have just come home from the hospital, i mean i don't even have all the remnants of tape debri scratched off my arms from all the iv's yet.....and this was a time where God and i have spent A LOT of time talking...i have been reading A LOT of His Word....trying to keep my mind on things that are lovely, good, pure, etc (phil. 4:8) and while i have been f.o.b. (see other blog entry for more info) i have just, ever-so-recently really had a lot of time to reflect and stay in tune with God and His presence.......ok, so you get my drift....moving on....(and yes, still no computer crash, sigh)
so we are talking and she asks me some questions about some people i once knew....(innocent enough on her part, poor thing) people i haven't thought about (or seen) in years and years.....and one person, in particular...let's just say, wasn't my favorite person then (ok, or now either, apparently...stay tuned)......and she wanted to know if i knew these people and what i thought about them. let me be clear, if i haven't been clear enough already about my wonderful friend....she was IN NO WAY looking for gossip, or anything ugly like that....she just loves and trusts me (well, did....hopefully still does) and wanted to know my opinion......well...girls and boys...she got it. gulp.
upon hearing the name of someone from my professional past who had genuinely caused me pain, embarrassment, trouble and who had belittled me, falsely accused me, and flat out hurt me....not to mention, not done a thing for my fragile insecurity issues i was carting around at the time(yes, yes, my issues, not hers!...and clearly i have dealt with all of them, eh?).....i proceeded to throw up all over my dear sweet friend. now, i didn't throw up literally...although, let's be honest... this wasn't much prettier......i told her my unfortunate story, my experience with this woman....my hurts....my history.....my opinions....faaaar more than she surely had bargained for....faaar more than she surely wanted to hear....and FAAAAARR more than i should have.
this, friends.....is when i would like to believe the alien took over my body. i would like to believe that i wouldn't act this way at all. not me?? not grateful to be home....thankful for SOOO much....spending so much time talking to Him or about Him in my day....lovin'-my Jesus-ol'-me?? oh yes...it was me. no aliens here. bummer.
now...i don't think it was all gossip. trust me, i have over-thought it since my friend left. most of it was just my version of what happened. and most of it was fact. shame on me sitting here (lying here) and for trying to justify it. (i would like to delete this part, but darn if i'm not leaving all this justification part in, too! ughhh.) the fact is, the lady was not sitting here to defend herself. and goodness gracious it was SEVEN years ago.....who knew i had so much hurt buried about the whole thing!?! not me. and not my poor sweet friend, that's for sure. i bet she felt she needed a cold shower after leaving me. goodness gracious, i felt i needed one..and i didn't get to leave me.
and would you like to know what chapter was next in the book i am currently reading when i got to bed that night?? (joyce meyer's "battlefield of the mind", by the way)...it was the chapter titled "a judgmental, critical and suspicious mind". don't you just love it when God gets you right in the gut?? well, me neither, silly. who loves that!?! but man, He is good at that with me. and yes, i genuinely am thankful, because clearly, i need it.
would you like to read the verse that opens that chapter?? i laughed out loud when i read it (almost woke ryan!)...not because it was funny....but because it was like one of these moments....
clearly, you need to read this.
i love you,
it is from matthew, chapter 7...perhaps you have read it? beginning with verse 1 through 3...
"do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves. for just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you (use to) deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you."
ok...so this part made me say, OUCH!! obviously. according to the measure, huh? shoot. that can't be good.
and then i read verse three and that is when i laughed (more of a snort!) and almost woke ryan...you will see why....
"why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother's eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye?"
ha! beam of timber!?! love it.
i'm not sure what version of the Bible that joyce meyer used here, but i think it is probably the AMP version, she likes that one...anyway....i love this translation....because i am an extremely visual person......an immediately i pictured that person i "discussed" with my friend with just a SPECK, an itty bitty, super small, don't even need to get out your compact mirror, it's so easy to get out, particle of dust in her eye...and me, the fool, walking around with a beam of timber sticking 15 feet out of my ridiculous face, just taking out people left and right, old ladies, small children - knocked to the ground... as i walk down the street. sigh. a BEAM OF TIMBER, people..i think God is pretty clear here. it is irrelevant if this person actually hurt me, and who was actually right and wrong back then....right now, when i chose to "go there" and tell my dear friend all this stuff.....i CHOSE the beam of timber. ugh. and now, thank God, i was doing as the verse said and taking time to "become aware of and consider" my beam of timber. double sigh. you know what....i am afraid that some of us (myself of course included here) truly don't stop and "become aware of and consider" this thing.....honestly....i think some of us try to put a little more foundation on, maybe a bit of concealer, in hopes that we cover up that ol' beam of timber.....and then we walk around wondering why all these poor people keep getting flattened in our wake. goodness gracious. you think king kong did some damage?? i would venture to say that the enemy could get a lot done for his plan with one of us and a beam of timber we consider, and instead just put some L'Oreal color-stay on.
which leads me to what joyce goes further in her book to say.... that "the devil loves to keep us busy, mentally judging the faults of others. that way, we never see or deal with what is wrong with us."
whoa. that hit me, too.
and it is sooooo true. the enemy of our soul, who is relentless, by the way!! (1 peter 5:8) would love NOTHING more than for me to stay this way, and keep this type of behavior up...decorating my beam of timber....sprucing it up, carving me and ryan's initial's in it.....so that i don't ever deal with the fact that i am not acting like Jesus, like i should be...and therefore not growing up in Him, like i should be (hebrews 5)..and therefore, not being as effectual as i could be.
well, i want NONE of his stupid plan, that is for sure.
i called my dear, sweet, darling friend.....and apologized truly for, well...throwing up all over her....and she loves me and said she knows my heart and knew where all that was coming from....but still, whew...that wasn't enough.....it was almost like i couldn't apologize enough.
i've heard it said that you must be so careful about what you say out loud (matthew 12:34, james 3:10) because once you say it, you can't EVER "un"-say it...again, i am soooo visual, and they said it is like trying to get toothpaste back in the tube...it is impossible. i felt that way. couldn't get that stuff back in the tube for the life of me. you can try, but all you are left with is an empty tube and messy hands. so, obviously.....all there is left to do is go to God, repent and give it up.
fortunately for me, i am f.o.b. all the time and so i gotta face Him, face first a lot....so i just laid there and apologized for blowing an opportunity to act like Him.....to love on and minister to my sweet friend who i adore....to honor the person who hurt me and turn the other cheek, bless those who curse me (luke 6:28)......man....that was not a fun night. i felt better after repenting, that's for sure....but there's a reason God doesn't want us to sin.....it is not in our best interest. it feels awful.
so....there it is. me...in all my not-glory. fyi---this is just one small instance i have shared by the way...from a big ol' handful that i could have shared. this one just hit the hardest and stung the longest....at least over the last few days...so i felt i should share. did i want to? of course not. (and yes...please notice that my computer has still not crashed. of course.) and darn that area 54 for not being real. i can't blame the aliens for taking over my body, making me do something i wouldn't normally do. i take full responsibility. i do take a small bit of solace (is that the right word, here??hm?) in knowing that the apostle paul can relate....i will leave you with The Message translation of romans 7:14-25 (which is the whole, "what i want to do, i don't do, but what i don't want to do, that i do" thing... that i can totally relate to! and maybe you can to?! i think this version, while not super Biblically accurate as far as translations go...but it is easy to relate to and i think, in this case....a great read...so, please do, friend....please do.
14-16I can anticipate the response that is coming: "I know that all God's commands are spiritual, but I'm not. Isn't this also your experience?" Yes. I'm full of myself—after all, I've spent a long time in sin's prison. What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary.
17-20But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
21-23It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
24I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?
25The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.amen.