When the Going Gets Tough…Love.

Yesterday was tough. Thankfully, I don’t have many “tough” days so, in a way, having one now and then is a nice reminder of how good I’ve got it. And also that Someone cares enough about me to give me opportunities for growth!

First off, I started Sunday emotionally wrung out from Saturday and the memorial service we’d attended for a loved one. Second, we had a full day at the church from helping teach SS to having a pizza-puppet-prop-party right after the morning service. Junior high boys love to push my buttons. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

Then, that night, I inadvertantly ticked one of the Awana leaders off, to the point that this person left during club and possibly won’t be coming back. *I* wanted to leave and never come back, so I don’t blame the poor person! Very sobering how a simple misunderstanding can avalanche a rockstorm of anger and hurt.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, I about made one of the TnT girls cry because I kept after her about her text-messaging during Council Time. She just wouldn’t quit, even with me beside her. I had to finally get up and leave her to it. Grr. What a night!

But you know, after I dropped off the little Sparky we’ve been taking to Awana, her dad surprised me with a thank-you gift, and told me that in a round-about way I’m the reason that they’re back to coming to Sunday School. Among other things. Here I just feel privileged to have his sweet daughter chattering with my darlins in the back seat…and I told him so.

Then today, I was stopped by a complete stranger in the grocery aisle of our hometown market. She asked if I homeschooled. And that propelled the beginning of a new friendship, as she’s just embarked on her first year homeschooling her pre-teen son. We exchanged email addresses and I promised to get her on our home education newsletter list. What a boost!

And last but not least, tonight we sold not one but TWO puppies to a wonderful family who only live 40 miles away…they have thousands of sheep, and thousands of brand new lambs and have invited us to come for a field trip whenever we want…the third puppy sale in three days!

Ahh the balm in Gilead…

It’s hard to be thankful in the midst of trials, yet strangely, in between wishing I could STOP welling up with emotion during the Awana snafu, I was thankful. Thankful that I really wasn’t at fault, that hopefully a note of explanation to this leader will help us put this all behind us, and thankful that God has it all in His hands. He has His own purposes for allowing these types of hurt. If it was chastening that I needed–well, at least I know He’s doing it for my good. If it was just one of those tests to grow me, well, bring it on. I want to be more like Jesus, and honestly, how many of us American Christians really know what it’s like to be persecuted falsely for real or imagined offenses? I sure don’t.

Does it seem strange that I’m looking back at yesterday as a touch from God? Good or bad, I think I needed it. I’ve certainly rethought some of my approaches and hope to never make the same mistakes again. And once I get through this snapshot of trouble, perhaps I’ll reevaluate and hope God shows me if there’s anything even bigger to glean from this.

And with this now off my chest, I need to go write the apology that’s been weaving through my mind since last night. Will you pray with me that it will explain/assuage things satisfactorily to this precious leader? I really really don’t want to lose this person’s help at Awana. Pray for humility for both of us as we work through this.

And God bless you who are hurting at the hands of “do-gooder” Christians. Cut them a little slack. Hopefully, just like me, they’d be horrified to know you felt offended by their actions.

And remember that God’s love covers a MULTITUDE of sins. Live it.

13 thoughts on “When the Going Gets Tough…Love.”

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your bad time! It’s so hard to have discord, and I know how that feels. It’s like I can’t do anything else until the situation is resolved. I hope it all gets worked out soon!

  2. What an excellent post, Mary!!!!! It’s very encouraging to read someone’s ups and downs and witness her praising the Lord for them all. What a testimony! I will be praying for the whole Awana situation and am challenged to follow your last sentence – Go live it!!

  3. oooh yeah I hear ya. Texting in church? uh-uh…I thought I was the only one who had foot in mouth issues but yes you’re right, God’s love covers a multitude of sins. Mary, it’s nice to know you’re “real” that’s one of the reasons I enjoy reading what you have to say 🙂

  4. It’s awful easy to be the one cracking the whip and hard to be the one healing the hurt– at least for me. I got the nickname “enforcer” in college at summer camp when I was a counselor because I always stuck to the rules. I still stick to the rules pretty much now, but I also try to mix it with love and mercy.

  5. Let me be an echo of all the above, Mary. You bring me that ‘greater joy’ when you verbally praise and thank Him even for hurting times. I see echos of Deut. 8:2 in this test you’ve had. To be tested…that is great! To be humbled, that is even greater! And to be learning what is in your heart and whether you’ll keep His Word or not…that is awesome. Thanks for trusting Him. Mom

  6. Lol, thanks, Amy! I’m very real indeed, but I know what you mean. So often I try to keep upbeat here on the site, but there is so much healing in writing…it really helped to put my feelings into words here.

    MIn, so you’re a whip-cracker! I bet that means Mrs. MInTheGap is a mercy…I’m very black and white in my heart but very much a mercy outwardly. Strange, huh. I think that’s why I kept my blog a “secret” from the real people in my life for so long. I just wasn’t ready for them to see how die-hard I was on many Christian issues. But now they know and seem to love me anyway! 😉

    Mom, I’ve learned so much from you and Dad and in seeing you respond to testing, and your teaching on undeserved suffering and Christlike-ness. I’m so thankful God gave us to each other and that He’s giving you guys a good long life here on earth to continue what you’ve started! Hope you’re feeling better tonight! Any improvement?

  7. Whew! What a day for you! I do hope today is a better day.

    And don’t feel too bad, I have had to scold some teenagers at our church for yapping and playing on their phones while the sermon is going on. Kids…

  8. Yes….kids. However, I think I’ll just sit back and let another adult deal with it next time. Nothing angers me more than kids that ignore adult instructions. And when you can’t enforce it…it’s not worth the heartburn! Plus, who knows what story these kids take home to their parents about what we Awana leaders put them through. This particular child is from an unchurched family. Very touchy situations sometimes. But thanks for reminding me that I’m not the only one playing the meanie!

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