Growing through Conflict and Misunderstanding

Being misunderstood and judged is one of my worst fears. I pride myself on being forthright and direct in what I do and say, so when someone misunderstands my motives, I am at a loss.

Not too long ago, I had an amazing experience at church — an ordained moment that surprised and encouraged me. It filled me with such life and hope that it felt as though I were on cloud nine. But soon afterwards, someone approached me and questioned my experience. I was taken aback by her words, and I tried to explain myself while holding back tears.

Though her intentions weren’t meant to offend me, her words still hurt, affecting different areas of my life, my thoughts, and my emotions. We prayed together over the situation and over my heart, and I was grateful for those prayers.

When conflict and misunderstandings come my way, I need all the help I can get. Usually when it happens, I tend to over-tell my side of the story so the other person could hopefully know where I’m coming from. And once the shock of being misunderstood wears off, I become angry — angry for having my motives questioned, angry at the whole situation. But that experience and in the days following it, the Holy Spirit reminded me of this truth:

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
James 1:19-20 (ESV)


To read the rest, join me over at Incourage!


For Those Who Are Waiting

I am a pretty patient person. I wait in lines or waiting rooms and surf the interwebs. I’m not much of a spontaneous shopper. I order online and wait 5-7 business days. I do that fairly well. I wait.

As I’ve gotten older, my God-sized dream is becoming clearer. But, I’ve noticed that my normal patient tendency can become a bit hazy. I don’t want that to be the case. This God adventure that we call the Christian life is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and setbacks and successes. I want to wait well and trust the purposes of God.

Psalm 130 recently rocked me to my core. The Israelites, during their forty years in the desert, waited. That’s all they did. How they waited affected how long they stayed in the wilderness. Their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land was supposed to take 11 days. Although there is provision and learning in the desert, I don’t want it to take 40 years to see the fulfillment of my dream.

Like many of you, I’m in that in-between place. God has been so faithful to open doors of opportunity, and yet I desire for more open doors. But I want to wait in the right way.

Our attitudes have a great deal to do with our process and time frame in regard to stepping into our callings.

Help, God — the bottom has fallen out of my life!
Master, hear my cry for help!
Listen hard! Open your ears!
Listen to my cries for mercy.

If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings,
who would stand a chance?
As it turns out, forgiveness is Your habit,
and that’s why You’re worshiped.

I pray to God — my life a prayer — 
and wait for what He’ll say and do.
My life’s on the line before God, my Lord,
waiting and watching till morning,
waiting and watching till morning.

O Israel, wait and watch for God —
with God’s arrival comes love,
with God’s arrival comes generous redemption.
No doubt about it — He’ll redeem Israel,
buy back Israel from captivity to sin.
{Psalm 130, MSG}


To read the rest, join me over at Incourage!

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