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.
"'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."
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?
Faith Barista is celebrating her blog anniversary and giving away two gifts:
(1) DaySpring's Christian Coffee Mug (your pick!)
(1) Cuisinart Programmable Coffee Maker