Today we are continuing our 31 Day series by welcoming my beautiful friend, Kristi Woods, to the blog. I felt an immediate connection to Kristi’s writing when I discovered we shared the same struggles with the gypsy life. We’ve both moved all over the country, and encourage each other in our strides to build community and fight loneliness. She is a true gem and even though we’ve never met in “real” life, I hope one day that will change. Please welcome her today as she shares about a vulnerable experience with conflict.
Kristi Woods is a writer and speaker passionate about seeing women walk deeper with God. She clicks her words of encouragement at http://www.KristiWoods.net regularly and is published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and Premonitions as well as on various blogs. Kristi, her retired-from-the-military husband, and their three children survived a nomadic lifestyle and have now set roots in Oklahoma. Connect with Kristi here: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
How Do You Handle Hard Conversations?
She exploded. The harsh words hammered at me.
The upset mama’s child was hurt. Mine, she insisted, was the cause.
Fiery darts were flying. My mama bear itched to roar.
I faced a choice. How was I going to react to the uncomfortable discourse?
Turn her off, run away?
Suffer in silence or rupture in anger?
Bellow with blame or let resentment reign?
I tried many of them in past situations. However, efforts of “my will” seemed only to result in a worse scenario.
Fruit isn’t borne in the land of our personal will. Maturity doesn’t mount on those plains. No, spiritual fruit flourishes when we utter and trust, “Thy will”, when we make a choice to react with righteousness, not emotions.
It’s not easy, offering “our will” at the cross, opening ourselves to change. But it’s necessary to grow in the Lord.
I survived the difficult conversation that day with God’s peace which certainly passed understanding. There were a few, self-induced bumps in the road later, a few tears too, but I’ll celebrate all day long God’s faithfulness in the midst of the conversation.
Here are three truths to remember for righteous responses:
1. Trust Trumps
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths. Prov. 3:5-6 NKJV
Our words are an offering opportunity. Syllables uttered with trust, set at the foot of the cross, are sweet smelling. They’re a beautiful aroma to our God. Trust in God trumps darkness any day.
Keep calm, Kristi. Keep calm. Just listen.
The internal dialogue kept me on the narrow way during the hard conversation. My own selfish will wanted to roar, to react. Truth consoled and took my hand.
Controlling others isn’t an option, but controlling “us” is. It’s all in Who we trust.
2. Created in God’s Image
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Eph. 6:12 NLT
Enemy! The tag is easy to give when fiery words fly. On the other side of those words, however, lives a person created by the same God as us. Created in His image, there’s an eternal plan for them, too.
The one hurling hurtful words is not our enemy. Darkness is.
3. Give Space for Grace
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23 NLT
One thing is certain: We all sin.
There have been times when I was that emotional mama. Self-control flew out the window, trust too. A bigger issue often roars behind the scene, a lie birthing the sinful reaction. It’s much easier to give space for grace when we remember the battle.
In God’s faithfulness, He brings victory every time we trust Him with our hard conversations. He’s so good!
The encounter may still be messy. (Mine was.) Problems might not be resolved immediately. (The earlier mentioned one still isn’t.) But His peace will prevail. (It did… within me.) It might be a subtle, internal change, undetectable to many, but it’s a huge heart victory. It’s available to all of us when we simply trust, responding with God when handling hard conversations.
*This post is part of the #Write31Days challenge. You can find all posts for this series here.