Telephone "God has not called me to be successful; He has called me to be faithful." ~ Mother Teresa

I couldn't sleep.  I got up, ate some pretzels and rummaged for something under a 100 calories. I gave up. I took a frozen bagel out of the freezer and toasted it with some butter and jam. I always think better after loading up on carbs. But, my mind couldn't stop running in circles this time.

I didn't want to make the phone call.

My biggest fear isn't a spider, speaking in front of a crowd, or even eating a deep fried Twinkie.

I'm terrified of confrontation.

I can walk into a boardroom and present graphs trending south without flinching.  I can point my face downhill with boots clamped on a snowboard, teetering over an icy slope.  Lying in the dentist's chair with metal tools probing?  No problem.  I've made it my place of prayer.

Give me a ball of unresolved conflict, tied to a confrontational someone?

Ugh.  I curl up into the fetal position.  And rock back and forth.

A Hard Conversation

What do you do, when you have to have a hard conversation?

It's scary to have that dreaded conversation.  I should know.

I came home to find a message left on my phone recorder that left my heart pounding.  I logged onto my email to find a situation had developed.  I was required to step up to the plate, into the Big Leagues of Conflict Resolution.

I was feeling hurt and betrayed.  What made this conversation even more difficult was that it was with someone I loved and cared for.

My biggest fear was having to talk honestly about issues I had avoided to address in the past.

So, I thought of a hundred different ways to have the conversation, to skirt the issues and minimize the emotional complications.

But, I wasn't at peace. 

I wanted to have an honest talk, but I knew it wouldn't be well received.

Words, Words, Words

How can we say what needs to be said, so that everything works out right between us?

Sometimes we want to work our words out, so that everyone is happy and the conversation ends nicely like the last five minutes of a TV show.

But, sometimes we need to say the things that are hard.  We may say them, loving the person we're speaking to. But the truth, when confronted, may also bring hurt and painful responses.

Love doesn't always mean there are laughter and smiles.

Love can be a cross we must carry.  We may suffer.  We may be misunderstood.  We may feel alone.

Dial F for Faith

These are the times to call on Faith.

We dial F for  –

*  Faith that God is the one who will repair, reoncile, and connect the dots.

*  Faith that God can provide real, deep healing, not the surface efforts we overcompensate with.

*  Faith that God wants to move past our strengths, and work through our weaknesses.

As humans, relationships form our Achilles' heel.  We all long to be loved, accepted and approved.  It's unavoidable.  We find ourselves weak kneed and tongue tied traveling through relationships.  Our hearts are fragile and needy.

There are times what we say can't make it all better, but we still have to speak. 

We need to trust God enough to say what is on our hearts and minds — the best that we can — and then, we leave the results to God.

Shine Through Our Weaknesses

As I prayed for guidance, God's encouragement came to me through Moses' response to God, when he was asked to march into confronting the most unreceptive authority figure:  Pharaoh.

Moses was physically strong, but he was not good with his words.  In today's workplace, he might've worked in operations, not marketing or sales.  His confidence came as a man of action, wielding a staff, not his speech.

It turns out God didn't want to use Moses' strength, but his weakness.

I understood what God wanted me to do, the moment this spiritual truth registered.

He wants me to call up this person, and have the conversation… by faith. 

He's not expecting me to resolve everything by my ability to say all the right things, but by my faith to trust Him with the outcome.  Whatever it may be.

We like to speak and act out of our strengths, but God wants to move past them — so that He can shine through our weaknesses.  He wants to use whatever we feel is weak, so that He can become our strength.

If there's something you're dreading because you know it pinpoints your weakness, take heart.  You are right where God is calling you to trust Him.  We can do our part and let God's strength carry the rest.

… With my nerves shaking like a leaf and my heart beating in my throat, I picked up the phone. 

And dialed.

"'My strength comes into its own in your weakness.'

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen.
I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift.
It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness."

~ The Apostle Paul's response to God
after God explained why He left a "thorn" in Paul's life unresolved.

2 Corinthians 12:9, The Message

When it's difficult to address an issue, how does God encourage you to face into it?

by Bonnie Gray, Faith Barista


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  • Bernice

    Such an good post!

  • Amanda

    We all have those moments of dread and doubt when faced with difficult conversations.
    However. . . .those mugs ARE beautiful! :)

  • Meg

    What a powerful post. I too hate confrontation. It’s only the grace of God that gets me through those situations!

  • *~Michelle~*

    What a great post…..def. something I needed to read as I also struggle with this same thing.
    Great job, Bonnie! :)

  • Lucinda

    Fath! How I needed that reminder this morning. “God wants to shine through our weakness.” Wow! Love the mugs.

  • Mary Joy @Seeds of Encouragement Sewn with Grace

    Thank you so much for the wonderful post this morning…you are setting the stage for my quiet time and I am so happy I stopped in for a “spiritual drink”. I too hate confrontation. It is so hard sometimes…I am struggling at this time in my life because my family of origin doesn’t understand or agree with the path I have taken in my life…they are sure that I am making a big mistake by no longer “pursuing success” in the way that they think I should…stay at home homemaker/mother/blogger…isn’t success to them….I have tried to explain so many times but they don’t understand it…so now I just pray…live my life…and when I have to take a deep breath and try to accept the fact that it is only God that can change things in our relationship…He is the only one to give me the words I need to be honest about who I am and why I am doing what I am doing…without sounding defensive.
    Faith is all I have in these…and it isn’t easy but He gives me the strength to get through those difficult conversations. And then I rest in knowing that I am following God’s path for my life…even if they don’t accept or understand it. Thank you for the wonderful reminder today. I needed it!

  • Chere

    My problem with confrontations is that I often let my emotions govern my speech instead of leaving my words to God. I don’t know why I don’t see it coming because it often happens that way! Luckily, God also gave me a talent for speaking honestly from the heart, so my confrontations are usually ok in the end.

  • Fiona

    Confrontation sucks … but sometimes we really do need to “air out” the laundry, so to speak. And honestly, we always feel better afterwards, knowing things are sorted out – we just need big loads of grace poured into the washing machine to get that laundry done!!!

  • Debi Lohr

    This is something we must all face sometime in this life…conflict. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! A cup full of coffee makes everything better!

  • Debbie

    In the book “Abba’s Child” by Brennan Manning, he quotes a story about a reporter who interviewed the author G.K. Chesterton, asking him “What would you do if Jesus was standing behind you right now?” And G.K. Chesterton answered, “He is.” That’s how I face difficult situations like confrontations, remembering that story and then remembering that Jesus is behind me too.

  • Elizabeth

    This post is def what I needed to hear today, I am currently struggling with what the right thing to do is and this post about dialing F for faith is touching my heart because at the end of the day that is all I have. I have faith, Gods unconditional love and the reassurance that whatever decision I decide to choice I know that God will protect me and keep me close in his arms. So thank you for this post, it touches my heart.

  • Bev McDougal

    Confronting doesn’t always include another person, many times it means confronting ourselves. Either way it is difficult, and either way without God, it usually is more damaging. thanks for the post, and the faith “jolt.”

  • Kristi

    Ugh..confrontation. Thanks for walking us through your experience. Without FAITH, it’s impossible.

  • Diana

    Confrontations, big or small, probably make up the biggest challenges in my life. I always feel that everything is my fault. Low (or no) self-esteem issues here! :)

  • Debbie

    Bonnie, I am a peaceful person and I hate confrontation. However, there are times when the truth needs to be said. My natural inclination is to try to make everything OK. But there have been moments when I spoke the words that needed to be said and I was even surprised when they came out of my mouth. I pray for the right words.
    Blessings and love,

  • Leanna

    Loved this! Thank you so much for sharing!
    I had to post the link of FB!

  • Jennifer

    Wow is all I can say. This blog is a God wink for me. I needed all these words today. The part about saying the words that need to be said and the truth bringing out not always happy responses is just so true. Words are hard to say sometimes but so necessary that they be said. Thank you for sharing this! It’s blessed my day already!!!!!!

  • Ann Voskamp@Holy Experience

    You’ll never know how God used this post at precisely this moment in time to say, “Go. Though you dread the confrontation — go with grace and humility and let me use your weaknesses.”
    Thank you, Bonnie… I will dial F and be faithful…
    You are a grace!

  • desiree

    This is a great post, beautifully written.

  • Ashley

    I’ve been there recently… having to confront somebody w/ the Word of God. I struggle with confrontation. But when you know it’s God telling you to confront the person, you have to obey. Thankfully He’s there to hold your hand through it – He is faithful and will guide your words and protect the relationship.

  • Kathy

    Yes…so much confrontation. Actually though, I have been too afraid to make those “real” calls myself so it was about 2 years ago…after a good cry and realizing I needed more help than what I thought I could do myself…I turned to my church and a women’s bible study. My FIRST bible study!! It was wonderful, powerful, inspiring, and confirming…that I WAS and AM not alone in my struggle/feelings and that HE will help me through it.
    Your blog has been great too. ;-)

  • Beth

    Thank you for working through this issue – so you can share it with us. We all need to remember that God works through our weakness, not our strength!!!

  • Brittany

    This is definitely a struggle I’ve had as well. And man, how many times do I feel too weak to do so many things?!
    Thank you for reminding us to depend on his strength and not our own!

  • shana

    I’m not at all a fan of confrontation either. Thanks for sharing!

  • Mandie

    My devotion today focused on “Not my will, but Yours be done.” It speaks so deeply to all that is going on in my life right now.

  • Jenni Saake InfertilityMom

    Thank you for letting God lead you into the un-comfort zone and taking us all along for the journey. Great example and I love the passage you tied it all to! :)

  • Betsy

    Thank you so much for this post – it truly resonates with my heart.

  • wanda

    Confrontation even sounds like a bad word! As a ministry wife….we’ve been on the receiving and giving end of it so many times. What I’ve found is that no one (even someone bathed in prayer and close to Christ) takes tough conversations well.
    Only God can heal, work and make it right.
    We must rely on Him….and speak in love!

  • Hannah

    This article speaks perfectly to a current situation in my life. I took that step of faith 3 months ago and things didn’t turn out cheery like I had hoped. So everyday I have to make a choice to let God have the reigns, it’s been hard, but still it was worth the confrontation. Great post, bonnie!

  • Melinda Lancaster

    Excellent post.
    God allowed me to see, through what you shared, that my “phone phobia” is nothing more than fear of confrontation.
    I’m definitely in need of work in this area of my life.
    Thanks, Bonnie for another great post.

  • Cindy W.

    thanks for the post! Its an encouraging reminder that we can trust God to fill in the gaps when we have to do something difficult and trust him for the outcome!

  • Melanie

    Dial F for faith – love the analogy! Your 3 points:
    * Faith that God is the one who will repair, reoncile, and connect the dots.
    * Faith that God can provide real, deep healing, not the surface efforts we overcompensate with.
    * Faith that God wants to move past our strengths, and work through our weaknesses
    are so perfect and well worded – things we often forget to rely on! Thanks for sharing.

  • angie

    I need to dail F a lot!

  • Carol

    Thank you for this, sometimes we just need to hear & read it for it to sink in.

  • Rachel @ the science of music

    I hate confrontation with a passion. But when I need to confront someone, I usually find strength by reading Jeremiah. He wasn’t afraid to speak the truth in front of people that hated him, and he not only survived those confrontations, he thrived under God’s protection. I tell myself that if Jeremiah could do it, then so can I.

  • RJB

    Great perspective — I don’t think I had thought through it to that extent. Thank you!

  • Renee

    Good stuff to think about! Thanks for sharing!

  • Loni

    Ohhhh . . . I so know the struggle and the nagging on my heart and that whisper to “go talk”. Some have gone well . . . others not . . . but God knows. Thank you for sharing today. Blessings ~

  • Terry

    My spiritual director told me recently that there is charity in truth. He reminded of this when I too had a difficult conversation to initiate. When I am called upon to address issues I would rather avoid, I have to remember that it is God’s truth I must pray for and God’s truth I must convey.

  • Sandi

    Thank you for making the process of confrontation Spirit filled. Without a focus on the Lord and His love living vibrantly through our lives we are surely in fear. Many have gone before us knees knocking and done the will of God anyway- in Christ we can too! AMEN

  • Sarah

    That’s tough. Confrontation could very well be my greatest fear as well. One of my biggest dreams is to work with Junior high kids, but the confrontation that is sometimes required scared the living daylights out of me. I love the story of Moses, it reminds me of all the unqualified people God has used to show his glory.

  • Donna

    It’s very difficult sometimes to find the right words to describe what’s in your heart when you fear that it will be hurtful to somebody you love. There is always that little voice in the back of your mind saying “I can live with this…I can’t resolve this at the risk of damaging this relationship.” And that other voice that says..”This isn’t just about me…it’s not just my feelings at risk here.”

  • AR

    tough place to be in – thanks for sharing

  • Laurie Wallin

    I see this hit a chord with many! Gotta love our fallen world, where we have so much confrontation imminent…. For me, it’s that the confrontation is every day, over and over, with my two daughters with mental illness issues. It’s like living in confrontational Ground Hog’s day. And every day, I do it a little different. Sometimes in God’s strength, sometimes trying in my own. It’s like roulette. I’m glad to be assured of His presence in every time it comes up. Thanks for sharing this.
    And I hope the confrontation you spoke about was blessed in the end.

  • Becky

    This is something I needed to read today!

  • Jay Cookingham

    Confrontation is hard but when God is in it…the reward can be a restored relationship. Thanks for sharing your heart and encouraging us to have faith!

  • Rebecca Mixon

    It is hard to face anything uncomfortable.Always remeber that “You have not because you ask not.” I ask Lord please allow Your words to come out of my mouth if you want me to speak at all.Sometimes grace is required and silence says it all.In our weekness he is strong.:)

  • Debbie

    I totally related to the fear of confrontation. What a blessing it is to think of this as a matter of trust and faith in God!

  • Debbie G.

    Today I needed this post. I too hate confrontation. I too needed to make a phone call. Nothing tragic or terrible, but I did need to speak the truth in love and perhaps disapoint my friend. So God used this post to help give me courage to make that phone call. He gave me the words to say. I will follow up with a card and hopefully after the disapointment fades our friendship will go on.

  • josephine

    I so needed to read this post. I have a conversation that I must have with my best friend. It involves her kids. I don’t want to have it but things can’t continue the way they are right now. I feel the situation is mostly my fault, my short comings. But I fear it will change our relationship. Thanks again for reminding me to lean on God to help he through this conversation. Sometimes I forget that I can ask God for help for something little.

  • cathleen johnson

    I just went through this last nite! I immediately talked to FatherGod and discussed the conversation with Him. I asked Him to help me speak the words which needed saying and to shut my mouth when I needed to be quiet. I then chose to trust Him with the whole thing. The outcome of the conversation I found out today, is good. We both understood each other and accepted the different points of view. What a relief! I’ve had other confrontations in the past and have done the talking to FatherGod about the up-and-coming-conversation followed by trusting Him. Sometimes talking to Him about it took many days and even months. Each time the conversation took place, He was right there answering my prayers. What has been amazing is the final outcome of the conversation had ceased to be what I was anxious about by the time the conversation actually took place. My concern came to be–was I responding, listening, and speaking what He wanted to say? I wanted to please Him.
    There has also been the times when my conversation was a letter or an email. I would write how I felt and be checked by the Holy Spirit which caused me to delete what I’d written. Sometimes this process would go on for a while. He would have me respond out of love, patience, compassion and not out of myself and whatever I was feeling. My feelings have not always been satisfied, but I know I have pleased by Father and that is all that truly matters. The rest I leave in His capable hands.

  • Tracy

    Good Word. Like you, I hate confrontations. Like you, I’ve learned that they are times when I must depend wholly on HIS-ability, not mine. But it’s sure good to be reminded….

  • Stephanie

    Hi Bonnie
    I sooo not like having to deal with confrontation on any level. Its true that God does help us when we are weak.Everything we do should be for His glory… so whatever we need to confront (as long as it is done correctly)He will guide us.

  • Stephanie

    These posts always come in a timely manner when I need them most. Thank you.

  • Wanda

    Bonnie, you’ve made some excellent points. I hate confrontation and it’s so much easier to operate out of our strengths. But when I have to move in my weakness, I cling to move so much more.

  • Michelle Found

    This post makes me think of Rex from the movie “Toy Story”. He always says, “I HATE CONFRONTATION!”. Well, I believe we all can agree with him.
    However, I do believe we need to confront a difficult situation so it doesn’t continue to “eat away” at us, and I believe we grow closer to the Lord from it. Thankfully we have the Lord with us and guiding us through the whole process.
    Thanks for this post.

  • Belinda Burston

    It’s never easy. Sometimes we get so tied up in knots because we anticipate the conversation in advance. I’ve learned not to do that. People are more resilient than they seem–I believe in getting it out there and being real, with a kind heart. So often a person has said thank you after an honest (and humble) conversation.
    And my dearest friends are those with whom I’ve gone through the “tunnel of chaos” (Bill Hybels– from Honest to God.)I am a changed and better person because of the honesty of my friends.

  • Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista

    @Ann: Your open and listening heart is such a breathing example of responsive grace. You bless me by sharing such a moment, as you visited with me this morning. Thank you, Ann. As you say, all is grace.

  • Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista

    @Bernice: Thanks!

  • Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista

    @Amanda: Thanks for visiting!
    @Meg: You said it, only by the grace of God…
    @Michelle: Thanks, Michelle!
    @Lucinda: Thanks!
    @Mary Joy: God sees the value of your words and work, as homemaker/mother/blogger. May He continue to encourage you to experience His encouragement!
    @Chere: That is why confrontation is hard– it touches the heart, which is vulnerable. Good thing you have that talent. He’s filling in the blank for me. ;)
    @Fiona: “we just need big loads of grace poured into the washing machine to get that laundry done!!!” I LOVE this metaphor, Fiona! Made me smile. So true!
    @Debi Lohr: Yes, coffee does that!
    @Debbie: What a great quote by Chesterton. Thanks for adding it to the post!
    @Elizabeth: God’s unconditional love no matter how the decision turns out. It touches my heart to hear your current struggle, because God is in it with you!

  • Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista

    @Bev McDougal: You’re welcome!
    @Kristi: Amen.
    @Diana: Confrontation pinpoints our weaknesses, that’s for sure. God can carry us through.
    @Debbie: Sounds like we are alike. I am learning to practice not responding by that natural inclination, but stopping to go in a different direction, if that is what God wants. thanks for sharing!
    @Leanna: Thanks, Leanna!
    @Jennifer: “this blog is a god wink for me.” That is so AWESOME. And so cute. You’ve blessed me, too! Thanks for sharing it!
    @Kathy: Now, you’ve got a testimony to share! I love it. Fear, Faith, Friends… !! Thank you for adding this to the post, Kathy!
    @Beth: Thanks, Beth!
    @Brittany: God understands and will keep being there for us,when we attempt our steps. Thnx for sharing.
    @Shaana: Blessings, too!
    @Mandie: Perfect pairing with today’s post!
    @Jenni Saake: It’s a great passage – love The Message Translation, don’t you think?

  • Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista

    Thank you for everyone’s comments! They have been blessing me, as they’ve arrived in my Inbox throughout the day.
    I’ll be continuing to reply… Thank you for adding to the post by sharing your thoughts.

  • LaTanya

    I really like how you said this:
    “He’s not expecting me to resolve everything by my ability to say all the right things, but by my faith to trust Him with the outcome. Whatever it may be.”
    There are so many times we have to step out on faith and allow God to work through the situation. I am really enjoying reading your journey .

  • Sharon Page

    Very good topic, having hard coversations can be difficult, perception is everything. However, one can only be accountable for their part and as long as we check our motives and know were speaking from the right place for the right reasons the outcome is not in our control. I try to model the behavior I want to see without waiver and if nothing else it commands respect from others. Everyone is not always going to like you or what you have to say but if your honest they’ll respect you.

  • Nancy

    What a great post! The bigger theme of this blog, about allowing God to use our weaknesses, totally convicted me. I too am far too quick to speak and do out of my strengths. This summer has been a summer where God has humbled me by letting me live in my weaknesses, even as I took steps of obedience. I so struggled to let him validate me; to accept the weakness without giving in to shame; to let his strength be made perfect in my weakness; to let him make me secure in him.
    Thank you so much for putting it so clearly Bonnie; that God wants to move past out strengths, so that he can shine through our weaknesses (just like he did for Moses). Today, I choose to have faith that
    that God wants to move past our strengths to provide deeper healing.

  • Jenn Calling H0me

    I approach those awkward conversations with lots of prayer beforehand, asking for wisdom and direction on how to say what I need to say.

  • bonnie fuhrman

    thanks, I am “incouraged” to be faithful when conflicts come…

  • Mary Cathrine

    “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
    Psalms 19:14
    How often I pray this prayer! I ask God daily to place a guard at the door of my mouth so that I may bring glory to him. Otherwise, I shudder to think what might spew out and how the day might end up. God is good!

  • Chrisgelica

    Confrontation has always been a weak spot for me. I just went through something yesterday, but God was so good to get me through it!

  • Candy

    I’m fairly certain that confrontation is a four-letter word or at least it should be. But so is love! Thank you for your (in)couraging words that breathe life!

  • Deb Sehorn

    you inspire me :)

  • Jenn

    Bonnie, I really enjoyed this post, and lately I am restless also trying to find my voice over some things but at the same time I don’t know if it is having courage to “say something alone” or to confront someone. I guess I am still leaning into the process messily to discover as I go what really wants to come out and to trust my inner process to rise up and come to voice. Thank you for sharing, I certainly can relate to what you shared here today! hugs, Jenn

  • Donna Dippel

    I myself and currently my daughter have been dealing with just this same issue as your post. It has been hard to listen to hear talk about the issue with her and one of her church family friends as they struggle with their friendship which was young and growing and then one day someone said something that hurt the other and it hasn’t been the same…I sent this email to both of them in hopes that they can both pickup that phone and dial F for Faith!

  • CeCe


  • Joy

    I have found myself on the receiving end of confrontation a few times lately. It was very difficult to hear, but I’m thankful that the people who spoke to me did so prayerfully and lovingly. I am very scared of confrontation myself, but experiencing it has given me some examples to follow when the time comes.
    And for some reason, most of the difficult conversations I’m having lately are me confessing wrongs and asking forgiveness… very difficult conversations to have as well. Very humbling, embarrassing, putting oneself in a vulnerable position. If they don’t forgive me, if they lash out in anger and hurt… What then?
    I think that vulnerability is a huge part of what makes these situations difficult — you’re putting yourself out there in a place where you could so easily be hurt. And that’s where faith comes in — taking that risk because you believe it’s what God wants you to do.
    I am fighting it tooth and nail, but I’m beginning to suspect that I have more confessing to do. I don’t want to. It will cause hurt. I want to ignore it and make it go away and pretend it never happened. But it isn’t. Please pray for me to have wisdom, and to have faith if I do indeed need to step forward and say this out loud.