Yesterday I was excited to have planned out what I am going to say for the first of the three sessions during our girls retreat in a couple weeks. The weekend is all about being “made new,” using Ephesians 4:22-24
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
I had been struggling figuring out a creative and effective way of talking about this. How could I present this focus in a way that hadn’t been over done to a group of girls who (on whole) are all decently grounded in their faith? But God revealed a perfect metaphor for me–our alter egos. I worked through it, hashed out some details, and was feeling confident in what I will be saying in a couple weeks.
Then I was reminded that, while I know this is something that we continue to fight each and every day, it is something I am fighting still. I won’t go into everything from when I was younger (and take away from what I’m saying at the retreat), but today my evil alter ego raised it’s ugly head in the image of a over-reacting mother and victim.
Today’s goal was to find one of the items I still need for the girls retreat (in quantity of 40). I had gone to 4 different stores, with my 16 month in tow, and was tired, hungry, and feeling the exhausting effects of being 15 weeks pregnant and doing probably more than I should be. I was going to try one more store (and pick up the desperately needed diapers at the same time) before heading home for some much needed rest (for both of us). Driving down one of the rows, looking ahead and trying to not get discouraged at my lack of success, bam! A lady backed her car into mine. She pulls back into the space and I instantly jump out of the car to check on my daughter who was on the same side that was hit.
The lady who hit me asked if the baby was ok and then asked why I didn’t stop when she was “most of the way out of the space.” *Insert some grotesque morphing sound effects* All a sudden, I was no longer rational. I was no longer calm. I was no longer a good example of how a believer should act. I was defensive (albeit of my child in the back seat and my unborn child in my womb), I was loud, and I was abrupt. In between the tears and self chastizing for the way I knew I was acting, I managed to call my husband who came down and worked through all of the details for me.
In the end, I did apologize for the way I acted and I believe we parted on a decent note (as long as her insurance pays for the damages to my car–kiddding…kind of), but I knew that I had not acted as someone who had been “made new” and made righteous and holy through Christ.
Satan knows our struggles. He knows our fears. He has seen me start crying at the very thought of someone running into my car with my daughter in the vehicle. He knows it and he knows how to take what God will use for good and put us in a situation where he can use it for evil. My protective motherly response is something that God has blessed me with to better take care of my daughter and I allowed my sinful nature to use it to lash out in anger and frustration at someone who was in fact apologetic for the accident.
Good Friday is good. It is because Jesus was willing to die an excruciating death that I can come to God, confess and repent of my mistakes, and know that if I truly lay them at the foot of the cross, God will take care of them. If it truly let go and allow God to continue his work in me, I will become a better representative of him.
Every encounter is an opportunity to be a light for others to see Jesus…what will you do with your encounters today?