I snapped at a dear friend yesterday.
This is how I know God has done a work in my life- Five years ago, I would have been smug and satisfied with my assault. Today I feel like a garbage truck. The lack of self control. The self importance behind making myself feel right and her feel wrong. The lack of grace. I felt misunderstood by someone who understands me very well and that made me defensive and reactive. It’s humbling to have the issues you thought you worked through glaring back at you.
It reminds me of the Zing conversation between Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly in You’ve Got Mail. Joe Fox: Someone upsets you and instead of smiling and moving on, you zing them. “Hello, it’s Mr Nasty”
I said exactly what I wanted to say in that moment and for what?
For so many years it was the Jen Fox show. I was mean spirited, sharp tongued, closed off and just down right ugly. I made others feel small to make myself feel important and clever and better. It’s so gross. What God has shown me is this- making your ego the center of your world is sad and lonely. Life is so much more fulfilling when it is lived for Christ. Because of this desire to live for Him, I now CRAVE connection. I want to invest, I want to know your story, I want to love on you, I WANT to talk to you about what I’m feeling..It’s so wild. And God coming in and cleaning up my heart is about the only way I can describe it. (2 Cor. 5:27 ) My heart was hard and icy and I LIKED it that way.. I thought being emotional and having a heart for others made me weak and vulnerable. I have found the opposite to be true. It takes strength to care for others. There is freedom in living authentically.
I don’t get this right every day. In moments of stress, fear, self doubt.. SassPants Jennie shows back up. It’s like a default setting. But I’m mindful of it now. And the most beautiful thing- I don’t have to beat myself up for my misstep. There is no guilt or shame in my stumble. I don’t have to pretend to have it all together. (2 Cor 12:9 ) I can bring my struggles to Him. (Matthew 11:28 ) What a weight lifted, am I right?