I have spent most of my writing time this year writing private things to my children, especially my son, who is in his senior year. My blog has suffered. I am okay with that though, because it's a monumental year in so many ways and I am trying to share very personally with my children what this year means to me. Time is going very fast and I am absorbing every possible moment I can! That doesn't leave a lot of time for further writing! However, I just needed to come back to this tonight. I miss writing in this way and I am glad to come back tonight and share something on my heart. I learned a lesson again this weekend that I started learning many years ago. It's crazy to me, really, but it's true.
Here I sit at 29 years old (okay, okay....give or take quite a few years... uh-hmmm is that really important right now?) and I am realizing that even at my age, bullies that have never grown up or moved out of that miserable mean-girl mentality, still exist. It's a hard pill to swallow for me, but it's true. The things they say and do may have different content than back in middle school, but the approach and behaviors are 100% spot on to what they were all the way back then. They can get under my skin in a New York second, as the phrase goes, and my blood can boil something fierce. I learned a long time ago that I am not intimidated by them. They are a mush of pretend toughness that is camouflaging their obvious weakness. I find myself struggling to maintain my own maturity because sometimes I just want to dish out what is given.
Man, sometimes it would feel good to walk right up to a bullying adult and just start an official "cut down war" like we used to have for fun... only I want to do it and mean it. If I am really honest, every once in a while, with this one particular person, I want to put my fingers on my forehead and do the signs for "WHATEVER- MAJOR- LOSER!" with every ounce of mean I can muster. Sometimes, I just can taste the sweetness of the tell-off.
And if I wanted, I could find a way to justify it. Goodness knows bullies give plenty of obvious ammunition to pull from. I could even use God's word (by isolating certain verses of course) to justify my behavior.... the scripture about eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth comes to mind... or in an adult bully's case... nasty words for nasty words, nasty actions for nasty actions. Uh-huh, I could definitely convince myself and others I had every right to be as nasty as I could possibly be. People would probably applaud me because if I am feeling it, so are a ton of others because the bully path is wide and ugly. So that could even be a justification... I am doing a service for others.....
But wait... WAIT. Just before I embark on that well deserved tongue lashing, it happens. IT happens. You know.... that still, small voice that says, "Robin, are you Mine or not? Who are you about to please right now... self or me?" pause..... then I think, "Uh... well. Hold up. I am not doing this for ME. It's for the WORLD. I am stopping the nonsense." The still, small voice is a little louder, "Oh I am not saying you shouldn't use your voice and your power of tongue. I gave those to you. Of course you should use them. I don't ask my disciples to be weak!" pause... then I think, "EXACTLY. Enough is enough. You gave me a brain, a tongue, and a heart that knows what is an injustice!" The still,small voice, "Yes, and I gave you a brain to think and a heart to care. You do remember what is greatest of all, don't you? DON'T YOU?" Pause... then I begin to justify, "Of course! The greatest of these is love! So I love the bully enough to stop them. It is my job to STOP them!" The still, small voice, "Oh child, there you go again in your arrogance!" I respond, "Arrogance? NO! This isn't about arrogance. THEY have arrogance. I am just trying to stop their attacks and lies." The still, small voice isn't so small anymore. We are in a full on wrestling match. He says, "It is not nor ever will be your job to change them. That is MY job and mine alone. Sometimes I use you for what I am doing, but it is NEVER, EVER you! Pause, long, long pause. Then a whisper from my heart... "Forgive me, Father."
And as quick as that, the justifications slip away and the truth reigns victorious. I cannot justify acting like the overgrown bully acts for any reason in the world. And because of that still, small voice, I suddenly don't feel such a need to justify it anymore. Suddenly my thoughts go back to what I know... this person doesn't hate me or any other person they are so ugly to. This person hates herself. She isn't satisfied with who she is. I don't think she knows that, but I do. She is jealous of everyone and every thing, including kids and that comes from an unsatisfied place in herself! She mocks me for my faith. She mock anyone in any religion of any faith. She hates God and religion. She hates faith of any kind. Her words. Her proclamation. Her treatment of others isn't a reflection of the other person, it is a reflection of her own hatred inside. She isn't trying to fight for good things. She isn't trying to battle for anyone to have a better life or better opportunities. She is trying with all her might to be destructive because its the only thing that makes her feel better inside. It is a sad existence and because of my Father, I am drawn back to pray for her rather than to "do to her what she has done to others" as my flesh may feel because that is opposite of what God actually wants from us.
So where does that leave me? I have to cross paths with this person on a regular basis right now. I have to see her spread poison at every turn. I have to see people hurt by her, enraged by her, and others sucked into her lies only to realize a little to late, the spinster has them trapped in her web of deceit and destruction. It leaves me waiting and allowing God to show me the way. Nothing more. Nothing less. Sometimes that means He lets me speak truth to her. Sometimes... most of the time... it means I have to pray and stand back. I am not a savior, nor do I have any power to change a heart. My job isn't to fix her. My job is to just be a vessel and try to control my own responses. Saturday God let me speak, just briefly, to her about a situation she took entirely too far. I was furious. But amazingly, when I let God direct me, I was able to manage myself in a way that was very clear to her that she was not intimidating to me, but also in a way that were I able to see Jesus with my naked eye, I would not have been ashamed. That is most important to me!
As she squirmed a bit without any real recourse because I didn't handle anything in a way that would allow her cause for a "fight" which is what she is always looking for, I found myself so aware of God in me. Instead of going in for a fight on her level, I handled it in a way that let her know I and many others saw straight through her games and that a line is drawn where kids are involved, but I didn't engage in her level of attack. She huffed off and disappeared. I did it off to the side, in a non-spectacle way, so I drew very little attention to myself and was able to ensure that anyone not aware of the issues with her, weren't made aware because of me. I am proud of that situation. I am proud of me. Not because of me, but because of Christ in me.
And it takes me back to a very pivotal time in my childhood. There was a bully in my life.. in several of our lives. She would pick someone to be mad at every day and the rest of the group would go along for fear of them being the next target if they didn't. I remember many times going home to my mom and crying. She would always tell me that until I stopped letting her bother me, she would do it again and again. She said I needed to handle myself in a way that was direct, firm, but honorable. When I finally had the courage to do it, it was the most freeing experience of my childhood. It grew me and planted a strength in me. I learned back then, I could stand against what is wrong, but in a way that didn't breed more wrong. I am so grateful for a wise mom. And I am grateful for the remembrance stone of that day that helps me to continue to handle myself in that way today.
This situation isn't really that big of a deal. I just have to deal with her briefly in a certain season of the year and then our paths never cross. On the days she goes too far, it feels huge and my flesh wants a piece of her. But the fact that I have God's whispers to remind me who I am and who I belong to, I can overcome that flesh driven anger and deal with it correctly. Then I can move on and continue in the blessings that are all around me. And I can hope that the words I spoke to her, will somehow shape her away from what she does to so many. Maybe I said what others have yet to say, but will be positively affected by because I did it for them. Who knows. I just know I will keep praying for her and I will celebrate that the simple statement I made on Saturday released me from all those feelings she was building up inside me.
The greater lesson in all of this, beyond what I have shared, is how easily and quickly we let down our guard to the fact that Satan comes at us to distract us from our plan for good! So much energy was spent over the last few weeks, thinking of this person and her crazy treatment of the people around her. I have so much I am praying about, trusting God with, seeking God for, and I let my eyes fall from Him to her behavior. It is like Peter walking on water and starting to sink because he took his eyes off of Jesus. How easily we can start to sink. How blessed I am to have that still, small voice in my heart to pull me back to where I should focus. How in the world would I make it without the Lord? I don't even want to know.
You may not have a bully to deal with right now, the way I do, but just remember, Satan is always a bully and he is finding your distraction even as I type. It's funny, really. Todd and I have been through so much together and have learned so personally how very near God is. Even now, there are things taking place that in the bigger picture are far more of a concern than some mean-girl grown up. Satan knows we are laying the bigger things at the feet of Jesus, so he is bringing a smaller distraction. He is quite good at his evil craft! We have to pray for one another and we have to seek His face for one another! As the song goes by Michael W. Smith goes... "Pray for me and I'll pray for you!"
- Simple Family, Complex Journey
- Texas, United States
- Nothing really different about us... normal people, normal existence, extraordinary journey of blessings brought in the most profound, difficult, devasting, and amazing circumstances. To know our journey is to know grace. I invite you in to view this simple life where extraordinary events shape together to create something only Grace can explain.......