Will got some unexpected news this week from work. Not terrible, but it was a big. old. bummer, and it was not what he wanted to hear.
The turn of events was not part of our short-term plans.
My initial reaction?
The kind that brings irrationally hot tears and teeth-clenching.
Because I know how passionate and how excellent my husband has been at his job. And the news that came was, to me, totally and completely unfair. "Lord," I thought, "why this? Why now? Haven't we been through enough? Couldn't You have just allowed this to work?!"
and, if I had to be honest,
I was angry because my idea of what is best for Will and our family had been overturned. I am not. getting. my. way.
Will's response - a calmer, cooler "I'm not going to get worked up over it; I won't even know more until Monday" (even though he was shaken up by it all) - was much wiser than mine. And even that irritated me. (Is it just me, or do people with more self-control seem more obnoxious when I am in the middle of a tantrum?)
"Stand up for yourself!" I wanted to say. "Don't let yourself give in to this! It's stupid! How can they treat you like this! Fight back - rise up and fight for what you know you are worth!"
After biting my tongue and breathing deeply for a couple of minutes, I felt just like this:
For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.
My off-the-cuff actions give my true heart condition away: in me, nothing good dwells - just bitterness, a sense of vengeance, selfishness, and irrational anger. I know in my head that it is: a) wrong to react to something like this in anger, and b) not outside of God's total sovereignty [...you know, the kind that I wrote about just the other night?! Here?!]...so why? Why do I do it?
Because I am inherently sinful - from the womb, and because even though my sins were all paid for on the cross, I will struggle against sin for the rest of my life. Through Jesus, I can choose whether or not to sin; I am no longer a slave to it, but I still have to actively choose in each circumstance how I'm going to react or act. And sometimes (too often) - I allow sin to have the temporary victory.
I have to train my head and my heart to react in pressure situations - train them to react in a way that absolutely honors the Lord.
What I will to do, that I do not practice - but it doesn't let me off the hook from trying to practice even after my 1,000,000th fail.
Here's what I *should* do when something starts to rile my emotions and I'm not getting my way:
1) PRAY. Short and sweet if need be! 'Jesus, help me by reminding me that You are in control, even of this!"
2) PROCLAIM the truth of the Word. For me, it helps if I read it out loud! Here are some that I have written in strategic places all over the house to turn to at a moment's notice:
3) PRAISE. I want to undermine whiny, self-centered thoughts. Praising the Lord fills my heart, mind, and home with the reminder that He's got this, and that He's awesome at all times, no matter what happens.
After the reassurance of my calm husband, the Lord & His Word, and my sweet Titus 2 mentor - I was able to calm down. To breathe peacefully, and cast this care upon the Lord. And able to try to encourage my husband to wait on the Lord, rather than tell him to do something unwise (run ahead of the Lord to fight on his own merit, and/or hit people).
I have no idea what Monday will bring, except the continued reassurance and hope that God is always revealing His greatness & goodness in all situations. Even the ones I didn't plan for.
Where do you turn in the Word when life doesn't go as planned?
Praying, proclaiming, and praising,
for His glory!
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