Lessons Learned from Difficult Situations

Sometimes I wonder if my writings about my outlook and observations on life, and how the Bible relates to it, could ever be of help to anyone, with my happy, laid back lifestyle that I am lucky and smart enough to be living.  For I’m a stay at home mom, and I love my job.  It is so laid back that one of the most dramatic events in my normal day, besides the normal toddler meltdowns, includes watching my dog bark at the neighborhood cat, and I love that.  Even though some argue they could never stay at home with their children, as some think the drama a toddler and a very much lived-in household bring are far worse than any work problems, I don’t have to deal with the difficult situations that come along with the territory of a job outside the home, and those situations were always much more difficult for me to navigate and maintain a positive spirit through.  Similarly, I sometimes try to decide if my goal of never going back to work for anyone else, and instead trying to be a self employed business owner or make an income from home-somehow, some way!- is a cop out of not dealing with the real world (or if I was too influenced by Robert Kiyosaki’s books?), or if I’m just smart enough to know myself, and know that I’m happier in these latter situations, as well as being smart enough not the be in a desperate financial situation in which I’d have to take any crummy job that comes along (thanks, Dave Ramsey- always a safe financial influence!)  If I want to be a writer and relate to people in the real world, wouldn’t I need to be facing the situations they are regularly facing to have adequate experience and fodder to write about?

A recent situation has made me feel otherwise, however, so I’m going to share another personal story.   I was in a circumstance in which I had to be around difficult people, people who I know from experience that my visits with always end up with ridicule against me, combined with plenty of good ole’ unsolicited advice.  An unpleasant situation for me, I end up leaving the place earlier than planned to avoid further conflict, which I’m not a fan of.  My blood pressure raised, my mind was ruminating on the rude comments made, and my heart was filled with sour thoughts, and disgust during my little over an hour drive home.  Mulling over the events in my head over and over, I realized I should turn to God and seek his wisdom.  The scripture about having a solid foundation under my house came to mind- for I was crumbling, mentally, my mind staying focused on all the negatives I was unhappy about, and I was clearly behaving as a house built on sand when confronted with a difficult situation.  Then the scripture about how God disciplines us throughout our lives came to my mind.  God needs us to go through certain events in life so we learn from them, and we should look at difficult situations as a learning tool from God, and be thankful he’s taking the time to discipline us- teaching us a lesson he deems necessary and valuable in our lives.

God will never give you more than you can handle, and this wasn’t more than I could handle.  All of a sudden, I had another “episode,” if you will, in which I felt filled with a great sense of peacefulness, a gift from up high, I’m sure.  It was like the multitude of clouds fogging up my mind parted, and the beautiful sun (what a coincidence that it’s a synonym for Son!) shone right through, and I found peace.  The negative feelings went away, and I looked around and kept finding blessing after blessing of positive things in my life, all around me, that far outweighed the negatives.  Plus, I was inspired to write, so that made me happy as well!  Maybe my point of view could help others, was my hope and new focus.  I started looking at it as a situation God put in my life just for me to practice how to best respond in that particular type of situation.  What’s the Godliest way to behave when confronted with persecutors who don’t believe in boundaries?  I know the Bible says to forgive, and I do, but it also says to avoid fools and the wicked, which I also do, but there are still some situations in which it’s unavoidable, and you just have to deal with them.  I want to use this situation to spur my learning of how God would have liked me to respond in lieu of dwelling on the negative side of it.  Then my house- my mind- will be founded on stronger ground, like concrete, as I’ll be able to see the situation in a different light and find peace- staying out of the danger zone of raised blood pressure and uncontrollable rumination- as it happened in a flash in my vehicle on Highway 100 on Saturday.  Besides, how can I feel sorry for myself when I’m merely verbally ridiculed, and Jesus was physically nailed to a cross for not doing anything wrong himself?  I know his pain was a TON worse than mine, and for a much, much  greater cause.  What a great example we can look to in life when we’re misunderstood- he was misunderstood for a much greater reason than we will ever be.

Now, I’m instead glad that God finds me strong enough to go through such times, as I know he’s trying to teach me in each situation and lead me where I need to be led.  Maybe if I’d learned from the first several hundred times or so he put me in such a situation, he wouldn’t have had to keep dragging me back to the same spot, over and over!  One positive from all the harsh reality I’ve had to go through is that it makes me so intentional about those areas of my own life.  I’m so careful with how I’ll raise my children, and treat my husband and my friends, because I know how it feels when people aren’t careful with their words, relying on their instincts to guide their tongues instead of using reasoning and wisdom to withhold negative comments or discern any behavior.

In summary, going through this hard time made me realize that I’ll have plenty of real world experiences to relate to others about, even without going to work outside the home.  I will no doubt face this type of situation more times in my life, have many other group events I’m involved in with growing children where situations that require careful discerning will come up, and I still have access to the local news, where I can voluntarily be bombarded with multiple difficult and/or ridiculous situations every day, if I am ever so desperate.  But instead of just going through these things and moving on to the next event without even thinking about them, I’ll hopefully have the time to carefully analyze the situations that hit me as ones to ponder on, and find what I best believe God’s point of view toward them would be.  I would indeed take a job outside the home and risk incompetent management over me again, if the time called for it and I needed to support my family, in an instant, but for now, the goal of maintaining a slower, more distraction free lifestyle that I so love, and that allows me to better gain insights into God’s word, versus the crammed schedule, minimal idle time hectic-ness that has become commonplace in our culture, is what I feel is right at this time in my life.  I can’t believe that is a bad thing, or that it will not allow me to help others via my writings.

P.S. A week after I initially wrote this sort of worry of not having enough real world problems to relate to people in the so-called real world of work outside the home, I found out about a more serious problem: a friend of mine since high school tried to commit suicide.  How mortified I was at the situation, and how awful I felt for not being a good friend.  She’s beautiful and smart, but the poor girl didn’t feel loved enough to carry on with her own life.  Luckily, thank God, she made it out alive and told me about it, and now I want to find ways to help her out any way I can, without sounding like an overzealous God freak that would be sure to annoy the people who don’t yet realize God as the source of all things wonderful, the ultimate one you can and should go to for help in any situation.  I don’t want to make this sound like I’ve made this tragic incident all about me, but I realized this is another happening to me that pulls me like the world’s strongest magnet back into the real world of life’s problems- not just the 24/7 hunky-dory Sarah-and-familyville I normally live in, even if I choose to focus on the positives in the majority of my posts.  Please keep this recovering woman in your thoughts and prayers!

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