...got really, really scared. Confrontation. I hate it. I guess because I always expect the worst result to come of it. Well, heaven knows I've had enough experience with negative results. But I've grown a lot in the last few years, too. I've learned - in my thinking part, anyway - that confrontation is a good thing. It might be a bit messy, but it gets things out in the open where the problems can be tackled and worked out.
So today I had to draw some boundaries. If I didn't do it, I knew that I would end up feeling taken advantage of and maybe even would have clung to some feelings of resentment. I knew that wasn't good for either of us. It wasn't fair, either. How was the other person to know what I really thought about the situation if I only nodded assent to everything he said? He couldn't possibly read my mind unless I opened it up for him so he could see inside too. I had to take the plunge and let him know what I was thinking and try to help him to understand.
I took a deep breath and I said it. I didn't mince words because I knew I would get lost in them if I did. I said it quick and kept to the facts as much as I could. It went over really well. I mean it was uncomfortable for a few moments, but he could quickly see where I was coming from. The lights went on, the discomfort lasted for a bit and then it was over. I had been fair. Fair to the person who was now understands what my needs are and fair to me who had to make my needs known.
I thought about how hard it was for me to express an opinion or to stand up for myself when I knew it was going against the tide - if I thought that others might not like me if I made waves. I wondered why I had been able to take the plunge today when in times past I would have avoided the conversation and instead fought a slightly different war inside my own self. I didn't have to think long before I realized the answer.
Work. When working with others toward a common goal, there are many opportunities to face confrontation. There are times when I need to disagree. If God had not put me in this situation where I was forced to do it, and paid to do it, I would never have grown in this area. I still don't like it, but I know it has to be done. And I know that it ususally turns out to be a really good thing. It just doesn't always "feel" like it's going to at the time.
I'm almost always wrong, though. Like today. Thank you, Father, for putting me in a situations where I have to grow - where I have no choice but to be squeezed and molded and changed whether I like it or not. It's the process of being conformed to your image. Because you put me into a situation at work where I had to do it or face that I had not walked in integrity, I was forced to learn that with your help I COULD do it.
I was thinking this morning as I was driving in to work about the 23rd Psalm. I pray it at least once a day of late and this day was no exception.
Lord, you are my shepherd, so I will not want for anything - ever. I have no needs!
You make me lie down in green pastures - you feed me well from your word and from the experiences you provide for me in everyday life- and you lead me beside still waters where my soul is calmed and I am able to drink deeply of your Spirit. You restore my soul. Sigh! You lead me in paths of righteousness - you show me the right way to do things - you reveal your ways to me - for your name's sake.
Even though that path gets so dark that I feel like I am facing sure death, I will not fear that anything bad is happening. You are right there with me, leading me to a good place! Your rod and staff they comfort me (because I know you will discipline me, I am not afraid of my sin nature, but am comforted by the knowledge that you will only let me go so far and that you will let it hurt enough to train me to forsake my own ways in favour of yours..
You prepare a table before me in front of my enemies - you show them that your hand of blessing is on me and their plans against me have been foiled again. You work it all out in such a way that there is no doubt that it was you and you alone. You pour the oil of "belonging" over my head, my cup of blessing runs over because you are so good to me!
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and regardless of the situation, I will be where you are and you will be where I am - forever.