I woke up this morning with conflict on my mind. I hate that! The thing was I had gone to sleep with the same worries plaguing me. Before I drifted to sleep, I read the Bible, desiring to fill my mind with truth, yet I still woke with it in my head. Ugh.
I hate conflict. I think my husband is the luckiest guy on the planet because he rarely has to face a fight with me. Arguments make me uncomfortable, and raised voices make me shake. When I come across a disagreement with someone, I am quick to back down, apologize, make amends, whatever needed to save the relationship. And I think that’s a good thing overall. It means I value people over always being right.
In my line of work as a nurse, there are a lot of times I’m right, but I will let it go. I try to place myself in the other person’s shoes, and I do this with everyone. My preference is to avoid conflict altogether, but eventually, it occurs despite my best intentions.
It was such an interaction that kept coming up in my mind as I stood in the shower. I don’t know why my brain does this, but I will replay a negative interaction over and over. I’ll think of things I didn’t say, things I should have said, and of course, question anything I did say or do. I will mentally beat myself up over something like this, and that’s what I found myself doing this morning.
As I stood before the mirror mentally trying to push the situation that was over and done with to the over-and-done with bin of my brain, I prayed, and at that moment I felt very strongly that I should speak to this matter out loud. It seemed kind of crazy to me, but I knew its merit also. After all, when anxiety or senseless worry continues to assault your mind, where do you suppose these thoughts come from? They certainly aren’t from God.
Conviction of where you might be wrong is one thing, but incessant agonizing is not. Fretting isn’t from a friend, and panic isn’t for our pleasure. One thing I knew; God did not want me feeling this way, making mountains out of molehills.
They say there’s power in the name of Jesus, and believing that to be, I spoke His name out loud.
“These thoughts that are harassing me aren’t welcome,” I said. “You have to leave in Jesus’s name.”
Y’all, if my mirror had turned into a burning bush, I wouldn’t have been surprised because divine intervention happened in that room. It wasn’t like it took a while either. It wasn’t later in the day or even thirty minutes after. Within moments, I felt better. The anxious thoughts had drifted away. They no longer banged persistently at my door. They left.
As I sat on my bed getting ready, I finally thought about other things, and as my mind wandered toward a parent’s class at my church, I thought of some good advice for moms and the unrealistic expectations we place on our parenting skills.
God doesn’t expect our perfection. So why do we?
It was like a lightning bolt word of wisdom that I suddenly realized could be used in my day-to-day life and interactions with others. A lot of my worry when conflict occurred was if I handled it properly or if I was a good example of Christ. On times like the most recent object of my obsession and personal conflict, I knew I had a tendency to beat myself up over how I could have handled things better. But God didn’t expect my perfection. So why did I?
I was reminded that I won’t be perfect in every single interaction I have with others. Let’s be honest; some people are really difficult to handle. But the point is I’m trying. I strive each day to be a better me than yesterday, but when I fall, I can be reminded of God’s bountiful grace. I can remember that, in my weaknesses, I find strength in Him. I guess that’s a reminder we all need from time to time.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on briegowen.com
Featured Image By Ben White