Well, I’m back.
It’s been an exhausting couple of weeks. But on the whole, it was a very worthwhile few weeks and I’ve come through them a little stronger, wiser and more prepared for life in general than I started. I won’t bore you with too many details, because honestly the details aren’t the interesting part. What’s interesting is the way that all the unrelated details, all the little situations, were so consistent in the story that they told as a whole.
A few things that I learned in the last two weeks:
- The biggest thing I learned related to how I deal with conflict. My natural way of dealing with conflict is to avoid it. Be a hard target, move fast, keep things light and funny. If you have kids and watch as much Nickelodeon as I do, you may be familiar with “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” The four different nations in the cartoon describe four different ways of dealing with conflict: avoid (air), redirect (water), initiate (fire) and absorb (earth). In Avatar terms, I’m an “airbender”–and the hardest thing for me is to stand my ground, refuse to back down, and refuse to retaliate, simply absorbing the conflict being thrown at me. This is in fact diametrically opposed to the way I usually deal with conflict. But it was extremely clear that the conflict I encountered this week, that was the ONLY right and appropriate response. It was HARD. I wanted to run. I wanted to fight back. I wanted to do anything but just stand there and take it. But that was what I knew I was being called to do. The upside being, now I know I can do that. I know that no one can force me to run, or to retaliate. I imagine this will be valuable information to move into the future with.
- I finally figured out last Sunday during worship, why I cried my eyes out the first time I watched 50 First Dates. Every day I forget that I love Him and He loves me. I forget. Every. day. And every day, He makes me fall in love with Him again. The pastor said “We need to hear the gospel. We need to hear it over and over again, because we’re forgetful. We forget what we know. We forget to live in the truth because we forget that truth. We need to hear it repeated daily.” And it clicked in my head, and I remembered weeping and thinking “How stupid is it to weep like this because of an Adam Sandler movie?” But now I get it. I’m Forgetful Lucy. We all are. But fortunately, every day the One who loves us remembers for us, and convinces us to fall in love with Him again.
- The last thing I learned was that you have to first learn to treasure your life, then learn to give it away. If you give it away before you understand what it’s worth, then you devalue it. You don’t really know what you’re throwing away. How many of us threw our lives away with stupid, self-destructive behaviors because we didn’t understand how much God values us? You have to get there first. To the point where you understand the value of your life. Then you have to get to the next place, which is understanding the value of His life, the one He offers in exchange for yours. Because trying to grab one while holding on to the other is an exercise in futility and frustration. You have to be really ready to make that leap of faith that says “I understand fully what my life is worth, but I also understand that in comparison to what I stand to gain by laying it down, there’s no question.”
So that was my past couple of weeks. Well, that and watching a couple of new movies. The Prestige and Casino Royale–both quite entertaining. Hope your last few weeks have been interesting as well. 😉 May we all live in interesting times.