Lent?

I was thinking about giving up something for Lent.

What if I gave up my right to get irritated at Jake? 

Is that even possible?

 

Saturday was a good day, a J-and-S, we call them, a day when Jake and I do nothing but something together all day long.

We drove to a new-to-us state park in the South Mountains and hiked upupupupUP to see a waterfall, then more UP and around and back downdowndown.

It was strenuous and I was totally ka-put by the time we got to the parking lot.

I love doing adventures with Jake.

But I don’t love that we had two tiffs while driving there.

You know how it goes.

“Well, it’s because YOU said . . .”

“No, I didn’t.  I didn’t say that. YOU didn’t hear me.”

“But you DID say….”

“But I didn’t mean ….”

Voices raise. Blame and defensiveness, Back and forth. Never ends well.

Why does this happen the most often with the people you love the most?

I really hate that.

So there I was, sitting in the front passenger seat of the van in a small and stupid argument with my husband, when I had an epiphany.

And the van became a holy place.

 

Tit-for-tat bickering with Jake is anathema to me.  I have good reason to hate it (that I won’t describe here) and I have had repeated resolve to not allow it between Jake and I.

But I fail.

It seems as I get older, I squabble at him more. I get defensive and I want to prove my position and correct his wrong thinking and make sure he knows I am right and it never works out and we both get hurt and anyone around gets hurt, too, and it is disgusting.

So sitting there in the van going down the road, after the second spat with my dear husband, I realized:

This is insanity.

I am trying to do the impossible. We are incapable of figuring out what went wrong, of uncovering faulty assumptions, and even if we could, we would not be able to fix or change anything.

We will NOT get better at communicating, and because we are aging, our physical hearing and mental attentiveness are diminishing, so we are going to have MORE misunderstandings, so — deep breath — we have to get better at forgiving.

 

I remember a dear friend telling me with a twinkle in her eye, “Sarah, they say you mellow as you age, but we know differently, don’t we?”

Yes, I do know differently.

I know I need God.

God can help me know: We do and will miscommunicate, but it’s okay.

God can help me forgive: Jake doesn’t get it, and I must stop keeping score.

God can help me repent: I am lame at on-going forbearance.

God can change me.

 

During those moments in the van, I felt shushed.

Most of the time hiking I did not talk, climbing slowly beside that loud, ‘shushing’ waterfall.

 

Three days later: I was in the hospital getting an infected appendix cut out.

There is no use asking the doctor what should I stop or start doing to avoid this problem in the future.

The thing is cut out.

Gone.

 

So, I have had a lot of time this week to think. I have decided, yes, it is a good idea to give up the right to get irritable at Jake.

But not just for Lent.

For God.  And I hope He shushes it out of me.

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13 thoughts on “Lent?

  1. This is sooo true for all of us!
    Satan lives to keep us bickering over little things..destroying our peace..charming us into thinking about “our rights”. It’s all pitiful!
    Praise God for His mercy upon us, and for His Holy Spirit who shushes us!
    Love you Sarah.
    Jenni

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  2. I’ve noticed this problem myself and wondered about it a lot! Seems we live in a fallen world, are fallen ourselves, and all creation groans…
    Good thing we’re so dearly loved!

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  3. So sorry to here of your hospital visit, although it gave you time to think 😊.
    I really enjoy your blog and your honesty Sarah. I enjoy reading that quite often, in fact probably every blog you end up being blessed in some way or another. Xx

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  4. Dear Sarah, I hope you keep recovering well and enjoy this time of rest! Thanks again for your blog. As I was reading this today, it made me think so much of some of Steve’s work (particularly the spouse communication). Steve just started posting a blog yesterday! I bet you would like it, so I am sending you the link while I think about it. Love, Nan

    The Story That Changes Everything — Steve Beck

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not fun but has seemed inevitable at times, hasn’t it?
      Would be interested in reading your friend, Nan and Steve Beck’s blog. You must be doing something the enemy does not like. I am certain they always occur just before or after a ministry event in which you might grow
      stronger as a couple.
      Appreciate your vulnerability with your bloggers. We too are struggling at times and wonder where the attack began. Joyce Meyer says on u tube it begins in the mind. Hmm. What happened to our Christ-centered minds? Have the mind of Christ. Be holy as I am holy. We fail again and again regardless of forgiveness and reconnection attempts. Long for Peace like a River— daily with Jesus one day in Heaven!

      Liked by 1 person

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