You Won’t Regret Going Deeper: Even if it isn’t Easy

Love deeply

This week for Five Minute Friday our fearless leader Kate Motaung let us choose our own one-word prompt. It seemed fitting that my prompt be my word for 2015—deeper.

The last two weeks have stretched me and pummeled me in ways that surprised me—and it has nothing to do with Advent or Christmas or students yearning for vacation. What has my knickers in a knot? Change. Disorganized, unpredictable, uncontrollable change at work.

We knew a change needed to happen, but the route to change has been fraught with contention, argument, discord and unkind words (sadly, I have contributed to all of those negative things). I have spent more time on my knees and more time apologizing and working on interpersonal relationships than I have in a really long time.

After a particularly contentious meeting and an infuriating email, I felt ready to abandon a relationship—my default mode for dealing with what I considered a betrayal of friendship. Treat the person with detached disinterest and close the chapter on that relationship.

I wrote a scathing email, but hesitated before hitting send when I realized that if tears blurred my vision, my emotional state and the resulting words that I had written probably needed editing—to make them nicer. I opted for a walk. A very fast walk that included as many hills as possible.

As I walked, I prayed. I begged for wisdom. I fashioned and refashioned emails in my head. When I returned to the house forty minutes later, I deleted the email I had almost sent. The Holy Spirit had convicted me that I needed to do what I shrank from the most—have a personal conversation. I needed to go deeper in the relationship—to NOT write it off because I felt hurt, misunderstood and downright peeved.

I don’t like personal conversations about deep subjects that threaten to divide. They’re messy, filled with emotion and I usually end up crying (the snot-all-over-the-place kind of cry—not the gentle tears that leave no trace). Hard work scares me (the relational kind—bring on the physical hard work or the intellectual hard work any time).

So I sent a text message to the person in question and we arranged to meet face to face the next morning. The delay disappointed me, because I wanted to get on with it—to make sure that the person understood me and my needs and frustrations. But God in his wisdom gave me more time to cool down—to delve deeper into what really bothered me.

And so we met the next morning. We prayed before we began our conversation. We stated our cases and cleared the air. We prayed when we finished and now we both feel better understood. The story of us will continue, and each chapter will probably show ways that we’ve grown and changed and benefitted from the relationship.

My knickers are still in a knot over the changes, but by answering the Holy Spirit’s call to go deeper, I have found something precious and valuable—restoration.

When you answer the Holy Spirit's call to go deeper, you will discover restoration. Click To Tweet

What about you? Did you have a word for 2015? How has it changed you or your relationships? Do you know what your word for 2016 will be?

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • Ahhh… when we search deep in the name of Love and Peace, we always find Restoration. This is a beautiful testimony. I love your heart, friend. Thanks for sharing so beautifully and may you and your family have a very Merry Christmas.
    karen brown recently posted…Give Me A Word… Any WordMy Profile

  • What beautiful words! I love the way you write and have your way with words!
    It’s amazing how God works us over and brings us out better on the other side as we yield to His working.

    My word for the year has been TRUST and wow what a year! I’m writing about the wrap-up of that soon.
    My word for next year, God gave me this week and it’s a little bit crazy. And looking at this last year and learning to trust I’m kind of crazy living with the word for next year: ADVENTURE! Eeekk.. scary and exciting all at the same time!
    Happy Friday friend! 🙂
    Rachel Quigley recently posted…The Final Countdown and Recipe FunMy Profile

    • I love your new word for 2016, Rachel! It’s interesting how TRUST has lead to ADVENTURE..that always seems to be his way, doesn’t it?! Thank you for your kind words. May you and yours have a wonderful holiday!
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Escape With the Perfect Gift!My Profile

  • Brave post, Anita.

    And darn it, I have to relate something similar…last weekend I created a negative situation at home,by speaking unkindly – no, cruelly – to Barbara. The reasons are unimportant, because there’s no justification for acting as anything less than a gentleman. And, yes, my physical state has gotten much worse (another near-death experience, and I am getting TIRED of those)…but neither pain nor fear is any sort of excuse. Illness is not entitlement.

    I knew what I had done, and was quick to apologise, and Barbara was quick to forgive – and I know God has forgiven me. But I have not really forgiven myself, because I let down the side, so to speak.

    It’s played hell with my morale (please pardon the word, there, but nothing else will do). A moment’s indiscipline has removed the underpinnings for self-respect and whatever confidence I had maintained, and the slow process of rebuilding trust – of myself – simply can’t be rushed.

    A long walk over some steep hills – at least metaphorically – before speaking on that day would have saved everyone a lot of grief.

    So in a sense I’ve gone deeper, into a place I would not have wanted to go. I opened the cellar door (to use C.S. Lewis’ image – turned on the lights, and found…ugh, RATS.

    Perhaps it’s necessary to learn those dreadful things about oneself. But there was surely a less damaging way.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 95 – Perspective’s Shoes {FMF}My Profile

    • Ah, Andrew. My heart hurts for you. It’s so difficult to forgive ourselves at times, isn’t it? I, too, am a sinner in the need of God’s grace (with a basement full of rats in my soul, to boot). Thank you for your brave response!
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Semantics Matter! Do Your Part to Stop the Stigma!My Profile

  • Restoration is such a beautiful gift. God gas a way of showing us exactly what we need. I’m over in the #15 spot today.

  • Anita, thank you so much for your transparency. I’ve fallen into the “you hurt me, I’m done with this relationship” mode too. The desire to protect my heart became stronger than the desire for reconciliation and working things through. I love how the Lord spoke to your heart during your walk, and you listened. And He spoke to you in the delay time, and you listened. He prepared your heart, and presumably the other person’s as well, for a healthy conversation.

    Thank you for setting a godly example of how to deal with those ungodly facets of ourselves. Yes, I’ve got them. Yes, God’s been pricking some of them. Sigh. But, going deeper with Him is the only way to bring restoration with Him, and with others.
    Jeanne Takenaka recently posted…Tender: Jesus’ Reflection Through UsMy Profile

  • Thanks for this. I grew up in an atmosphere where airing grievances was not accepted, and so I became an adult without that example of how to graciously handle it. Generally I don’t let it show outwardly but seethe inwardly – neither very healthy nor helpful not pleasing to the Lord. Thanks for this example.
    Barbara H. recently posted…Friday’s Fave FiveMy Profile

  • The “send” button can be so unforgiving and usually when we push it hard it is a sign of rebellious pride – the pride that tells us “we’re right” and “you’re wrong”. Why do I always have to justify myself? You chose the best part, Anita, and I know Father is pleased. xo
    Susan Shipe recently posted…five minute friday: joyMy Profile

  • I’m grateful you were able to restore your relationship. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work out so well. I wrote too about relationships, and mine is one that was not restored after multiple attempts. Now, we pray and hope that God will prick hearts.

    On a side note, I hate email for that very reason. It’s too easy to click send in the heat of a moment. UGH!
    Christy recently posted…Christmases Past, Many FMFMy Profile

  • Oh how hard change is! And when it’s unwelcome change, it’s doubly hard! Then add to that a difficult relationship…and well, I would have had to walk long and hard too. What a blessing it must be through to have listened to the prompting of the Spirit and to have walked in restoration. I believe that is what God calls us to when we are told to turn the other cheek…not sign up for abuse. But to continue facing the problem and the person, hang in with the relationship, and come to some resolution. Bravo for you!! And Merry Christmas!

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