A Catty Little Chat

Harboring bitterness in my heart toward a friend, I decided to vent about it with another friend.

I decided.

Because, that always works out so well for me!

And so, God waited.

While my friend and I had a catty little chat, God waited.

And heard every hostile word.

Later on that evening, as I poured a dollop of oil into the bubbling pasta water, I started going over the conversation in my head. As the water boiled, so did my envy.

But, God waited.

As I lay in bed that night, I began to feel restless. I turned my bedside lamp back on and pulled out my journal. I grabbed for my Bible and flipped straight to the back. I was on a mission, as I searched for a specific word.

And still, God waited.

When my eyes lit on the word “jealousy” and all of the verses He gives for dealing with that green monster, God finally chose to tap on my heart.

There are moments when the darkness, that resides within me, makes itself so glaringly evident that I’m left gawking at All The Ugly.

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God, Himself, tells me that all of His Words are summed up in one simple command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

One.

Simple.

Command.

That I get so wrong, again and again.

God was done waiting.

Patiently, gently, He drew my eyes here:

“But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.”

Do not deny the truth…

The truth was, the truth is, that I am envious of what comes easier to some than others. I am jealous of the special treatment I think I see some receive over others. It irks me to know that for some, recognition will be quick – and yet never at all for others.

Ultimately, it scares me to think that I might be in with the “others”.

Once again, God’s grace sheds light on my darkness.

You see, He decided a long time ago that He was going to show me special treatment and give me His recognition.

Thankfully, when God decides, it always works out for me.

It became pretty obvious that I needed to call my “other” friend and apologize. For the catty chat, yes.

But more, for not trusting our God enough to remember that there’s room enough for each one of us to stand on The Rock.

Yes indeedy.

Of Class Mottos and Thankfulness

“Fine is rock. Rock is fine. We are the class of 89′!”

Surely, surely, The Best High School Class Motto in the history of ever.

Am I right?

Twenty-five years ago, this month, I graduated from high school. Moving right along, because you do not need to do the math… I freaked out about this, the other day. That it’s been 25 years.  Not, that you might be doing math.

I should amend that to read that I freaked out for just as long as it took me to remember how relieved I was to be done with all that High School Hierarchy Business.  And, if I’m being honest, I’m just glad I made it out of high school with the shred of self-esteem that I did!

Thank you, God!

It also got me thinking about what a microcosm high school can be.   We think these people, who we are so sure that we know, are going to be These People, forever.  And, of course, at the ripe age of seventeen or eighteen, we know All Things.

Funny thing about people – they can change.

The comforting thing about God is that He doesn’t.

So, although He is indeed the same yesterday, today, and forever, He allows those of us who desire so, to change.  And, be changed.

Thank you, God!

And I, for one, am ever-so-livin’-grateful that He is continually changing me.  That He broke my old mold and continues to create new ones for me. That He loves me enough to not leave me in my old shape. That what I might have been isn’t what I’ll always be.

Again and forever, thank you, God!

For some of us, high school awakened passions that propelled us to pursue dreams.  Others of us are perpetually plagued by the past We continually strive to climb out of the labels we were given, fairly or not, for the rest of our lives. And for some, high school was simply the greatest time, ever!  We struggle to believe there can ever be another time as wonderful as it was.

Where did you fall? Because, as I look back through my Maturity Lens (which does not get enough airtime), I can see now what I couldn’t see then.  I was a bit of all of them.

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A person’s past is not always the truth of them.

Thank you, God!

Seeing and experiencing that people can indeed change, reminds me that from dust I came and to dust I’ll go. It’s okay if I wasn’t the Most Popular. It’s okay if I wasn’t the Smartest, Prettiest, Sportiest, or Wittiest.

What I wasn’t doesn’t define what I am.

Thank you, God.

I am thankful for the freedom that is in Jesus who has set me free.

Free to move forward, in grace.

Loved.

Changed.

Unlike rocks.

Unlike The Rock.

As I watch friends and family step onto and off of that graduation stage, I have a prayer in my heart. That prayer is that they are able to create a life for themselves beyond the Senior Class Motto or Prom or Graduation ranking.

Because, when it’s all said and done, The Rock is the only one who can ever truly define any of us.

And for that, I am thankful!

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