How Do You Handle Hard Conversations? {A Guest Post}

life unstuck intro

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.

Woods Family_0154

Kristi Woods is a writer and speaker passionate about seeing women walk deeper with God. She clicks her words of encouragement at 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.

Abby McDonald guest post

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.

24 thoughts on “How Do You Handle Hard Conversations? {A Guest Post}

  1. Great advice that we all need! Thank you Kristi, for sharing your difficult situation with us so that we all can grow stronger in our abilities to handle these confrontations with grace!


  2. and this? –> ‘My mama bear itched to roar.’

    I’ve been there … and even more so I think as a grandmama in this season!

    He still whispers, ‘peace, be still. Let me handle this. I’ll do a much better job than you ever will …’

    And He does.


  3. I think those mom conversations are the worst! Mama bear does want to roar! Love your suggestion and like you, I talk to myself to keep things under control!
    Your Testimony Tuesday neighbor! 🙂


  4. This is some good, practical advice, friend! Peace prevails even when problems remain unsolved. I like that. And just the reminder to give grace to the person on the other end, even if we think they’re being plain unfair. I’ve received grace myself so often.


  5. Kristi, those hard conversations make me want to run and hide. For those times God’s propels me forward or I can’t find an easy exit, I pray I hold onto your words and remember: “Controlling others isn’t an option, but controlling “us” is. It’s all in Who we trust.” Trusting God to fill my mouth with words to say and strength to have those hard conversations with grace. Thank you, Kristi, for sharing your heart at #IntentionalTuesday on Intentionally Pursuing. : )


  6. We had a similar theme in “grace” this week, ladies! Abby and Kristi… thank you for this awesome post, I have a difficult conversation coming up and I will be remembering these important points before I open my mouth or rush to judgement… so awesome!
    Hugs and blessings and good things, girls!


  7. “The one hurling hurtful words is not our enemy. Darkness is.” This is so true! I have to remind myself of this when I want to argue or lash out in anger towards someone who is saying hurtful things. It’s too easy to get caught up in the moment and forget who the real enemy is. Thank you for sharing this today. 🙂

    Alyssa (visiting from #RaRalinkup)


    • It is easy to get caught up in the moment, Alyssa. I suppose that’s part of the ploy of darkness. Thank goodness God has something better.


  8. Great advice! As a mom of grown sons prayer before a difficult conversation helps tremendously. I simply ask God to give em the words. Conversations can still derail but when we turn to Him first and trust Him with our words, we end up in a much better place. Thank you for your words today.


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