Respond in peace
Lately, people and circumstances have whispered, “Respond in anger, fear, anxiety, and chaos.” Why is it that seemingly good intentional friends tell me their horror stories? When someone tells someone else they are going to have a particular surgery, the one who happened to have already had that type of surgery pipes in and says, “Let me tell you how horrible it was for me.” If someone is pregnant they hear, “Oh enjoy your sleep now because pretty soon, you’ll never sleep again.” When I had 2 children who were 3 and under, I had someone in my life who always told me, “Oh, just wait until they are teenagers, “It’s coming!” When I had been married for 9 years, people always used to say, “Oh just wait until you hit the 10 year mark; you’ll have that 10 year itch feeling.” A precious friend who is getting married next year is already hearing non-helpful wedding “tips.” And just for the record, I do have a teenager now. She’s amazingly kind, compassionate and well-behaved. I have been married well over 10 years now and I am more in love with my husband now than the day I married him.
To defend the nay-sayers, it seems to me that these people are just doing what the world does. It’s easy to say something negative. We all love “easy.” One of the office stores even has a commercial with an “easy button.” It’s easy to be negative. People hear and see negative, so they produce negativity. They probably don’t even realize it. Easy is comfortable; therefore, saying negative things is about maintaining a level of comfort within our everyday existence – even if it’s not in our best interest. It takes a conscious effort, however, to do the opposite of the norm. What I have challenged myself to do lately is to respond in peace. When I hear negative comments, I choose not to receive them. I change the subject. I try to give positive feedback, encouraging comments, and provide a sense of hope for the person in front of me. Ambassadors of hope are few and far between.
If you think about it, 2 snowflakes are uniquely designed. Sure, they may both be snowflakes, but the intricate pattern of their core design is different. Therefore, how one snowflake flutters to the ground will be different than how another snowflake flutters. How one looks under a magnifying glass will be unique to its own particular design. When I was taking my son to the Atlanta Speech School, his parent/infant teacher said to me, “Kristina, make sure you don’t compare Jacob to other children who are deaf; no two children are alike, whether they are deaf or not.” This was wise counsel because had she not told me that, I would have immediately started comparing my son’s abilities to another child – who just happens to be deaf as well. I have never compared my son to other deaf children. Had I done so, I would have measured his success by their success or failures. As a result, I desired for my son to reach HIS own potential. Frankly, he has far exceeded what I ever dreamt that he would achieve! I thank God for setting the sky as the limit for my son.
Let us not compare. Let us not hand out negativity to awaiting eyes and hearts that are hungry for a positive word of encouragement. We could start a revolution – weakening the anger, fear, anxiety and chaos of this world – simply by responding in peace. Simply because I write books and a Warrior Mom Weekly Wisdom does not mean that I don’t have to work at all the things I write about. It takes discipline to wake up and immerse oneself in scripture rather than the duties of the day. Truly, it only takes the first 15 minutes of one’s day. And that’s about as long as it takes for coffee to brew and to drink your first cup of coffee, water or tea. I definitely have 15 minutes for God in the morning. Mainly, however, it takes desperation. When people tell me that I am “super spiritual,” Or that I have “an amazing faith,” I simply say, “Thank you, but I’m simply DESPERATE for what God can do through me.
If you are desperate for the hope found only in Christ, you are on the right track to responding in peace too.
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her website, https://kristinaseymour.com/. God loves to share His story of love and grace through us all, and Kristina believes that everyone has a story to tell.