story by: Lisa Petrarca
Yesterday I had an incident happen where I felt my “old” self rising up. The person that I thought I’d finally gotten under control over the years. To feel those old feelings get stirred up…anger, pride and a head full of vicious, hurtful words of attack, were surprising. My “old” ways and methods used to let people know “Don’t even THINK about messing with me or my family! You have no idea what you’re up against!”
That was years ago...years of perfecting a tool of defense to keep others at a distance. But I’ve grown. I’ve changed. Since allowing Christ into my heart, I realized that I’m not alone. He is with me in all my struggles and battles. He began to soften and change my heart. As I started my day reading the Bible and praying, a noticeable change began to happen. It was slow, but obvious, the more I stayed in God’s word daily. I began to see people through Christ’s eyes and not my own. I actually began to pray each day to see others through HIS eyes. It’s amazing how faithful the Lord is to answer! Bitter, angry people who used to set me off, I started to have compassion for them as I saw their actions as that of a hurt, insecure, lost, broken child. WOW…it was a whole new concept! I actually felt bad for them. Instead of responding to their anger, I started responding with love and kindness. Love conquers all! It diffuses situations, people and the enemy.
Now, imagine my surprise to find myself falling back into my old ways. I was faced with a choice, I could respond with anger and harsh, stabbing words in return or I could pray and ask for God’s wisdom. I had a choice! I could take a moment and make the right decision rather than just react. I decided to ask for prayer from an online friend, who quickly asked me, “What would Jesus do?” At the moment, I wanted to take things into my own hands. I didn’t want to respond in a Christ-like way. I didn’t want to respond with love…I was mad! I had the perfect things all prepared to, “let them have it” right back and then some. But I chose to wait, pray, read some scriptures and listen to praise music. I needed help. I was battling my “old” self and that’s not easy! It’s easier to give in and justify my actions. I can always find reasons why I did, said or acted in a certain way. But God wants to change us, heal us, help us. He wants to give us wisdom, peace, comfort and love. So then we in turn can be an example and blessing to others. Learning to show Jesus through our actions; allowing His love to pour out onto others.
I’m happy to report to you that I was able to do what God wanted me to do. The conversation started out with a little bit of my old self trying to creep in, but as the conversation continued I remained calm and was able to diffuse the situation. I responded in love, even coming up with an idea to help everyone involved get closer and work towards a common goal. The Lord faithfully stepped in because I took the time to ask for His help. He gave me the peace and wisdom to make things better instead of worse.
Today, if you find yourself in a battle, take a minute before you react. Go spend some time with the Lord alone. He will fill you up with wisdom, strength, and direction. You don’t have to react the way you used to. You have a choice…choose to change. God has BIG plans for you. Allow Him to help you grow!
“Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.” Psalm 89:9
“I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 89:1
“ For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” Isaiah 54:10