For as long as I can remember, I have always fought battles in my mind. (I know everybody does but stay with me here) Maybe its the melancholy in me. In my mind, I would meditate on how to verbally assault others who have or had the potential to hurt me with their words. I have done this for YEARS.
A year or so ago, I started to lessen this habit because I realized I was giving someone power by letting thoughts of getting back at them fill my mind. Five or so months ago, I released a lot more of this when I was reminded that my thoughts guide my future. I see God doing big things in our future so these thoughts were not working for us. However, I still struggled with trying to fight things out in my mind.
Let’s say someone said something that was uncalled for, meant to be hurtful, or surprised me by how uncaring or thoughtless they really are. I would work out in my mind how to defend against them verbally until I saw them again. The next time I interacted with that person I would be on guard waiting for a chance to verbally assault them.
Or, let’s say that I saw or heard that someone wronged someone I associate with. I would verbally prepare a response in case that person tried that mess on me.
What I was really afraid of is that I would not have the words to retaliate if I did not prepare for it in advance. I was caught off guard the first time and I refused to be caught off guard again. (Fool me once shame on me…) I was taught that if I showed fear, like crying in front of someone when they hurt my feelings, I gave the other person the power.
Here’s the thing. I cry when I am angry. I could be mad as a hatter and cry like a baby. I’m talking snot, tears, snorting, the whole nine, and I am not a pretty crier. That is not a good look for someone angry and certainly does not work in the favor of someone who is trying to defend themselves against a verbal assault.
My defense mechanism was to not let it get that far; to make a preemptive strike.
Needless to say, after all these years of practice, that failed like a charm.
What I was really doing was telling God how much I didn’t trust Him. My actions reflected what was in my heart. I don’t trust the Lord with my feelings; for Him to see that I have been hurt and to rescue me. I have to learn how to trust the Lord; for Him to give me the words to say, the time, tone, and manner in which to say it. I have to learn how to trust the Lord. Not plan for a future attack, but accept the life lesson as it is presented and trust that He will allow me to recognize the same attack on sight the next time and speak to it honestly and humbly.
Usually, I write in the past tense indicating that a problem has been resolved or worked through. Not so this time. I am still learning here. Every day is a struggle to choose to trust Him instead of taking the reigns and trying to work it out myself. Each negative thought, each thought I have where I try to win an imaginary conversation that never happened or happened, each replay of shoudda-woudda-coudda-why-didn’t-I, I have to decide whether I am going to release that thought and trust God or trust myself.
If I had to grade myself thus far, I’d give myself a D. But I am working on getting an A.