Should I stay or should I go?

Have you ever had to face something head on that you actually didn’t want to face? Not at all. No way. No. But you knew you had to? There was no way around it? Well, that was me this week. And not just once, no – twice!

First there was the dental surgery on Monday. Since I have had 3 of those before, I really, really did not want to face one of those, again. I knew exactly what was coming. And just to think about the cutting, all the drilling, scraping, not to mention the sound of that suction tube… I think you get the picture; it just made me cringe just to think about it. And the closer Monday came, the more I thought about it, the more anxious I got.

It’s funny how hard it is to control our thoughts sometimes. To get our thoughts to turn into a different direction. Mine just wouldn’t stay in that “different direction”, they just wanted to come back, and come back they did. And as if this wasn’t enough of a lesson to learn, I had to repeat it again later this week.

I had to meet someone I didn’t want to meet at all. I knew what was coming, and this kind of meeting always stirrs up bad memories, it stirrs up anger, and a lot of other negative emotions. But I was “summoned”, and so I went. And again, the closer this time of the meeting came, the more anxious I got.

What’s wrong with me? Can’t I just stay calm?

And since it had been already a kind of difficult week so far, I just didn’t know whether I would have the discipline to stay calm and rational. I had prayed a lot before this meeting. And when it got to some points of discussion where it got a bit heated, I just had to make a decision: Do I stay or do I go? Do I stay and fight this out, and in the process, I am sure, hurt this person across the table with words that often escape my mouth way too easily when it comes to dealing with this person. Or: do I just get up and leave?

Well, I did get up and leave. It was not the most graceful exit, but today I’m very grateful to God for giving me the strength to leave. I’m grateful to God for answering my prayers. In years past, I would have stayed and would have argued with this person until I was blue in my face. It would have gotten really ugly. But not this week. Oh, I am so grateful, soooo grateful for God’s help.

When I got home from this meeting I didn’t even know what to think. At first I was angry with myself for chickening out… I thought and thought about it, and when I could not think anymore and went to bed, these angry thoughts followed me in my dreams…

This morning though, when I was doing my Bible study, the lesson was about David’s praise for God, David’s awe of God. And it was about God’s promise to David about what God would do for him and his family. I felt very humbled by David’s words in 2 Samuel 7:18b:

“Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?”

I had to change direction in my head and had to think of all the things the Lord has done for me and my family, and how He has brought us this far. The only consequence to these thoughts were praise and worship and adoration for my God who has brought me this far!

So the biggest lesson I’ve learned this week is: the best way to get my thoughts going in a different direction is praise and gratefulness! I’ve got to park my mind on God’s Word, on God’s promises, and on what He’s done for me this far!

“Let all that I am praise the LORD;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the LORD;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death and
crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things…”
Psalm 103:1-5a (New Living Translation)

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