Happy day to you and thanks so much for stopping by for what apparently is my longest series ever … The Seven Sacrifices to Joy. We are still on the Sacrifice of Communication, and we probably will be for a few more Coffee Hours, but hey, what’s the rush, right? We have so much to learn in this area of communication! Grab your coffee and your red Strand of Faith, and let’s get to it.
You know, I often wonder why I get so much practice in this conflict-resolving character-building gift of communication! Why do I have to have so much stock in Spandex … in the department of communication? Can I get an Amen … from anyone?
Oh, that’s right; I was going to tell you about something that happened to me that’s never, ever happened to me before and as it turns out, it was all about conflict!
Last week I was invited to the Loma Linda Seventh Day Adventist MOPS group to speak. It was my second invitation back and I was looking forward to seeing some familiar faces, especially my friend who had set it all up who happens to be on my LIT (Leaders in Training) group for the ministry.
I had spent a couple of hours preparing what I thought He wanted me to speak about, “Our brokenness from His Perspective,” and printed it all out, got my car all packed with my books, and my notes, and was about to head out the door when I got a phone call from someone who is like a mentor to me, someone that I respect very much. While I was surprised to hear from this person, I was in no way prepared for what was shared with me. The news rocked my emotional balance and the tears began to fall after I hung up. And while it served as confirmation and an answer to a decision I had been praying over, I was livid and saddened all at the same time!
I knew who I needed to call especially considering what this involved so I made the call as soon as I got in my car. We talked all the way to Loma Linda – rather I vented; she listened, offered some sound advice, and then prayed for/with me after I assured her I wouldn’t close my eyes since I was driving! What a mess that would have been!
Anyway, by the time I made it to the church, I was definitely calmer, and I tucked the unexpected news away for later. After all, it wasn’t going to go anywhere until I dealt with it and I was there that day for who knows who, but I knew I had to not let what I had just learned interfere with my assignment for that morning.
We set up my book table and I got myself situated, and then went around to offer a “hello” to a few of the familiar faces, and Jenn introduced me to the ones that weren’t familiar. As the meeting got started, and the leader introduced the ice breaker, I felt this sort of ice breaker go down my spine as I heard Him tell me “You won’t be talking about what you prepared!”
I looked around me almost hoping to see someone smiling at me and ready to say, “Just kidding.” But that didn’t happen. As the leader finished her instructions for the ice breaker, He confirmed once again that I would not be talking about what I had prepared.
That ice breaker feeling turned into a hot flash that slowly dripped down my back, drip, drop, drip, drop and I sat up nice and straight hoping it would just drop! I listened to each lady participate in the ice breaker, which was to share what she felt was her love language – aka, the way we receive love — and if she was married, the love language of her spouse. When it came my turn, I shared my love language, and I shared a funny story about how I learned my husband’s.
I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking okay; I’m supposed to talk about relationships. I can do this! He echoed, “We can do this.” I began to relax, just a little, trying to steer my mind away from when they would call me up there and I would have to go … WITHOUT MY NOTES!
Before I knew it, Jenn was getting up to introduce me and my insides began to feel like someone was in there twisting and turning them as if they were made of Gumby-like material while giant-sized moths were flying all around the twisted mess. A familiar voice, though not a constant familiar, let me know that what I was going to be talking about would prepare me for the conflict that was waiting for me when I was finished there that day; that the person that really needed to hear what I was about to say was ME!
Join me tomorrow for more of this story all about a sacrifice of communication!