How Can I Be 50 and Still Bad at THIS?

I’ve been sent back to Kindergarten by God AGAIN. In the past, I’ve had to go back to relearn the basics like love and trust and belief.

It’s happening in a new area these days. These new lessons are painful, but I’m thankful that I’m finally learning to listen.

But I’m wondering… how can a woman like me who loves people–I mean really loves people (!)– get to the age of 50 and be such a poor listener?

Several months ago, Lisa Allen, my fabulous leader at Proverbs 31, approached me about being part of a new group at the ministry. It’s a group that’s going through a curriculum called What LIES Between Us by Lucrecia Berry that helps Jesus followers wrestle with issues of race, seeking to create a space where believers of different ethnicities move forward together in unity.

I was thrilled! Lisa’s invitation was an answer to a desire of my heart. “How can I be part of the solution?” I cried out over and over as I’ve watched the news the last few years. I believe racial reconciliation is a place where the church should be leading the way. Love between all believers is something the church needs to be known for when the world sees us as standing against so many things.

I believe it’s true, and yet I’ve been paralyzed, not knowing how to start and being afraid that any move I made would be the wrong one.

God has done a lot in both my mind and heart in the last few months through our group, and I’m excited to share here with  you as things unfold. But there’s one essential element that I’m having to go back and refine an element that I’ve been almost completely missing before I can really move forward. I’m learning to listen even when the conversations are hard. Even when the ideas clash with my preconceptions. Even when the differences seem insurmountable.

Watch the video below“How to Enjoy People Who Aren’t Just Like You” (or click here) for more of what I’m learning such as:

  • The difference between debate, discussion and discourse.
  • A couple of simple scripts to use when you get in a difficult conversation.

Did you catch it? I hope you’ll work on this with me. More to come on this topic as I learn. What is God teaching you about building bonds with people who might see things differently than you?

This is a baby step toward change in me and toward the change I believe I’m responsible to create, but it’s an essential step toward developing a crucial skill.

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Congratulations to the winners of the giveaway packages!

  • Julia LaRue (4/9/18 6:42 am)
  • Myrna (4/9/18 8:22 am)
  • Laura Aranda (4/9/18 9:28 am)
  • Stacy (4/9/18 10:00 am)
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Comments

  1. This was perfect! I am a planner to the max and don’t like my little world to get rocked! I see it as a good thing, but you are right about friendships-they are more important than MY plans. This is also true with my college kids who have moved back home for the summer. Your devotional made me remember the value in holding my tongue and praying about situations that rock my “perfect” albeit inflexible world. I love your story because God had something better in mind than what you had planned, and you took time to find out what it was. I am praying I have learned a valuable lesson and that I walk in obedience 🙂

  2. Wow I needed this!! Last week I went for my divorce and things didn’t go as expected. And my preacher looked at me and said, “God was in this and had His reasons.” I have to admit I couldn’t really see God in it. But when we left I started thinking and then I found the JOY!! As we waited to be called back we were able to tell a couple about God’s love and grace. So I found the JOY in my journey.

  3. Already today I’ve had to step back and let go, push away my selfishness…thank you for the reminder.

  4. There are so many times I can look back on where I wanted my way and just didn’t have any patience or tolerance of others interfering with my “plans!” There was this one time when I had wanted to quit the praise band I was in because my friend who at the time was the new worship leader had changed the course of how the music was to be done. Just like I always can be time is everything and I didn’t have time to sit and ho over notes after notes, I wanted to go home throw my feet up and put the kids to bed and vegetate out. So, I was frustrated at her and insisted that we set up another day to have another rehearsal etc. Well she insisted that we couldn’t just do that because we had to lead that upcoming Sunday Praise Service. So of course I still wanted it to go my way and started to say I was done,with I was going home. My sweet friend told me to take a break go get coffee etc. So I did. While was in one of the rooms near we were were rehearsing I could hear her playing the piano and something just made me stop. Let me rephrase that God made me stop and think about how I was acting towards her. Listening to the music just reminded me how sweet and talented she was and how lucky I was to even be apart of a Praise Service in the beginning with. I thought over how calm she was with me and very patient even when I’m sure she could sense I was irritated and whiny. To cut this story short I finished my coffee and went back in to rehearse with her. Which only lasted another fifteen minutes or so and I got to go home to put the kids to bed and vegetate to TV for the night. Had I exploded on my dear friend that day, I don’t think I would have built such a sisterhood that we both share in our faith. She knows exactly how to remind me to allow God to lead and for me to listen and trust in his “plans!”. Visa versa. We have a strong bond and as we say sisters for life.