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?