Posted by: angelnorman | February 26, 2008

Spiritual medicine

Bible study was very hard for me tonight. I don’t really feel like divulging a lot of information, but it went something like this. I came face-to-face with my own disobedience- the roadblock that was keeping me from receiving the fullness of God’s blessings in my life. Myself. My procrastination. My excuse-making self. 

Then, if that wasn’t enough to put me in a state of discomfort (and that’s not a bad thing– I think we as humans need not get as comfy as we sometimes allow ourselves to get!), my MIL says something to the group about her son, my husband, that struck a nerve with me. You see, my aforementioned disobedience is aligned with what she said in a way. Still, without divulging any details in this blog because now is definitely not the time and this surely isn’t the place, I felt a little judged when she said that… not by her but by myself. I realized that I was partly to blame for what she felt about her son. Partly. And that was enough to send me reeling into regret, confusion, a little anger… all in just a couple of minutes.

That discomfort I was feeling quickly led to insecurity, and that blasted insecurity was like an open invitation to Satan to get in my head and keep me from staying focused throughout the study. All I kept saying to myself was, “Just forget it, Angel.”

Then I also heard, “But she’s wrong. And who is she to tell everyone that? You should probably just quit this Bible study because she’s going to say things about Mike and they’re going to bother you, you know they will. And you’re to blame for his reluctance to go to church in the first place. She thinks her son is a total non-believer because you haven’t done enough to build him up, to help him. You’ve failed him. You’ve failed God.”

And there was more. Oh was there more! So many bad thoughts about how unworthy I was, how different I was from the women there with me. Surely they were better than me– more holy, less disconnected. Satan can surely get to you if you let him, man… and he was all over me. But I tried to hang on. I tried to listen, to learn, to let Beth Moore remind me that God loves ME regardless of what I am.

Afterwards as we got in the car, my MIL asked me if I was okay. And for the first time ever, I said what I felt when I felt it. This in itself is a major feat for me. I told her I didn’t want her to think badly of my husband and that it was hard for me to discuss it because I felt like maybe I was to blame a bit. I know I should be held accountable, but tonight, I guess it was just too hard to swallow. Plus, she never meant to accuse ME of anything. I only took offense to what she said because I love the man she was talking about and I wanted her to know that while he’s not perfect, he’s also not that bad. He just needs a little work. We all do, though. And instead of having miscommunication, she understood and heard me. She offered advice and made me feel better. We were friends.

It is so much nicer to just say what you feel than to bottle it up, as I so often do with my parents and in-laws. I had every intention of not telling her that what she said bothered me at all. I don’t know if I’m chicken or if I’m just respectful or just chicken (ha), but I know that I rarely say, “This bothered me” when I am bothered. I cannot effectively communicate with people. So I was proud of myself for being able to tonight, with such a great success! And I’m going to need to learn to not let things bother me, to not let Satan twist them in my head, if I’m going to continue my bible study with her because I cannot expect her to not share her heart if me, my child, or my husband is weighing on her heart. Right? (And I love my bible study and have no intention of giving it up!)

Needless to say though, when I got settled into my jammies tonight, I found a moment to say a quick prayer of thanks to God for helping me to be in the moment and to express myself… and for helping me drown out that incessant nagging in my head that I am not good enough for His love and His blessings because I’ve failed so many times. I even shed a few tears because I was so moved, so convicted, and so thankful too that I had such an opportunity tonight to have all those things.

Because it may have been a tough pill to swallow, but it’s all spiritual medicine nonetheless. And I needed it.

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