Thursday, September 10

Dealing With Disappointments

"But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." 1 Peter 3:4

My mother died when I was nine-years of age. It was very traumatic for me. I distinctly remember being a recluse for 3-weeks. During this time I would write sentences to my mother like “I love you and I will love you forever. I love you and I will love you forever. I love you and I will love you forever.”

It was the private chant of a little girl longing for her mama. Eventually, I returned to a somewhat normal life of going to school each day and continued to write “I love you and I will love you forever. I love you and I will love you forever. I love you and I will love you forever.”

When you experience trauma, don’t opt out of the normalness of life. As hard as it may be, the cadence of routine will keep you from falling further into depression.

Getting along with others during a crisis in your life is paramount to getting on in your changed life. Women do not always say the best things at the best times. As Christian women, we need to learn what to do with the hurt others hurl - knowingly or unknowingly.

This is wisdom God has taught me, and as I look back on my response as a child, I have learned what not to do and how to help others in overcoming sorrow.

I was allowed to recluse myself and that alone became a stronghold that I had to overcome through incredible toughness, disciplining of the mind, and the grace of God throughout my life.

Don’t make your sorrow solo. Have a time to cry but pick up your chin, wipe the tears, and keep moving forward in the company of other Christians.

As I wrote my mantra on paper, I could hear my teacher’s voice but did not know what she was saying. I kept sending love notes to my mother in the hope that this was a bad dream and her shadow would appear in the door of my class room.

If you know of a child whose parent has died, ask God to give you the ability to reach out to that little one and show them the love of God. It won’t bring their mama or daddy back but they’ll feel the touch of God in their sorrowing hearts and will never forget it!

The love of God is unforgettable! It appears to us in the classroom of life and casts a shadow in the doorway of our hearts. “He will never leave us nor forsake us."

My mother’s death left me with the scars of abandonment. Although her illness was something out of our control, her leaving earth represented her leaving me. Because God has taken a hold of my heart and I stay close to Him each day; I allow Him to control my thinking reins and the imbalanced responses to the hurt I may feel from others. I rarely feel abandoned however, in weakness, I take rejection to heart and suffer deeply.

If I do not guard my spirit; when I feel a lack of acceptance from other women, this can cause me to spiral into feelings of aloneness and abandonment. Given the right ingredients, it’s enough to push the 9-year old history trigger built in me and bring much uncalled-for-sorrow.

Whilst I run to God and cast all my cares at His feet, it is quite an exercise for me to put things into perspective during such times.

I would describe myself as a Christian woman who is easy to get along with. I love life and I love people from all walks of life. Australians are known for their easy-going personalities. When the going gets tough, our character trait is to always look on the bright side of life. Generally speaking, we have a positive, accepting, hard-working approach to living and our philosophy is - everyone deserves a chance!

I praise God for my heritage and being raised by a daddy who typifies the peace-maker was a HUGE proportion to the moulding of my character.

It takes a lot to ruffle my feathers and when I feel them standing on end, I run to God as my feather-fender.

God is great at taking the garbage out of our lives and replacing it with hope and heavenly thinking.

Garbage in – Garbage out! Jesus in – Jesus out!

“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Matthew 12:34

Most recently, my husband taught a lesson in our Sunday school class as part of a series taken from Pastor Jack Schaap’s book – “The Art of Getting Along With People.”

Getting along with people is an art and it’s an art that can be learned. So where do we begin with our relationships? God begins with love.

God is Love. Everything that God does is based on His love for us.

When it comes to getting along with others, we must remember that God has commanded us to love one another. If the love of God does not dwell in you, perhaps you are not saved?

Because God loves us we should also love others. We show God’s love by how we treat others even when they do wrong. The way that we treat our husband, our children, our friends, our coworkers, and our fellow church members - is a direct reflection of God’s love. If we showed more of God’s love to others, perhaps we would get along with others better.

What is true love?

Love is not hurtful by action“…Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” Romans 12:9b

Love is not hurtful by acting. God wants us to be real in our love toward others – “Let love be without dissimulation [pretending, hypocrisy].” Romans 12:9a

Love is not hurtful by association. If we truly love a person, not only will we not hurt them by our actions, but we disassociate with those who hurt the person we love. In other words, if I am a teenage girl and my associating with another teenage girl hurts my parents, or someone else that is important to me; my love for my parents or my friend should say. “I don’t have to understand, and I will break my ties with them.” - “…Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” Romans 12:9b

Love is expressive and affectionate – In most cases, men outweigh women in the affectionate department – hands down! As a wife, one of the ways I work on showing my love toward my husband, is by being affectionate on a daily basis. Men love to be touched in passing and they definitely love a great big hug when then arrive home from work. “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love;” Romans 12:10a

Love is respectful. We should believe in each other and believe the best of others – “…in honour preferring one another;” Romans 12:10b

Love is patient. We should be patient with others during hard times – “…patient in tribulation;” Romans 12:12

Love prays. Our first response and recourse in any situation should be prayer – “…continuing instant in prayer;” Romans 12:12

Love is generous. There is nothing else that reveals the absence or presence of love as one’s generosity – “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” Romans 12:13

Love blesses others. When someone comes after us and tries to hurt us, our response should be to love them – “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.” Romans 12:14

Love is sympathetic. True love is both weeping with the friend who is going through a tough time and rejoicing with the friend who has something good happen. True love is both! – “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” Romans 12:15

Love unifies. Our action, words, restraint, kindness, and our sympathy should bring unity to the body of Christ – “Be of the same mind one toward another…” Romans 12:16a

At almost fifty-years of age, I am still learning the art of getting along with people. God continues to throw a line-ball in my classroom of “how to handle the prickly ones” in life. My response is not always His response and the closer I get to God…you’ve got it – the less I need to say!

Praise God for His forgiveness and His example. It’s because I have been forgiven that I have the ability to forgive others. Because He provides me with a perfect example, I have a mentor to train me in heavenly responses.

Jesus was surrounded by difficult people and His love was magnified through the most difficult circumstances in comparison to what you or I will ever have to deal with.

I Love You,

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