Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I Chose Peace

So I mentioned on my 5 on Friday post last week about Bill preaching an excellent sermon about New Year's resolutions  {If you're interested, click here to hear the message}. And I mentioned that my word for the year is PEACE.

I'm going to be honest.  I haven't been feeling very "peaceful" since our return from Alabama.

No, actually it started while I was in Alabama.

Oh, y'all!  There are so many tangents I could go off on right now, but that one word above in bold letters keeps staring back at me.

When we got home yesterday, there was a piece of mail waiting for me to open.  I just stared at the handwriting.  I didn't even have to look at the return address to know who it was from.

My blood began to boil.  Anger began to seethe.  My thoughts began to jumble and all of a sudden all I saw was red.

My first thoughts were to write on the envelope in huge red letters, RETURN TO SENDER!!  After all, I haven't talked to this particular person in over a year and I've told anyone that would listen that this person no longer exists to me.

However, I began to have second thoughts.  I honestly stopped and thought about PEACE. I realized that this one piece of lousy mail had the possibility of keeping me from enjoying the rest of the afternoon with my family that I loved.  I knew if I opened it, it would ruin my spirit as well as my day.  And even returning it to sender would create such drama and personal turmoil that I knew it would be a while before I was able to experience the kind of PEACE my soul longs for.

I threw the envelope in the trash.  Unopened.

That may seem mean to you and callous.  And maybe it is.  The fact is, I have anger issues. Old resentments and past hurts.  Present flare ups in certain circumstances as well as disapppointments.  The truth is, I come from a long line of angry people {And I probably even have issues with forgiveness as well, but that will have to wait until another year}.  The fact is, I know my weakness - I've known for a really long time - it's just that this year, I've decided to do something about it, hence my "word for 2014."  My anger isn't anything physical.  It is emotional.  It makes me confrontational.  It makes me cry and retreat.  I don't hold it in.  It can raise its ugly head pretty quickly.  And I knew that if I opened that envelope yesterday, all of "that" would come gushing at me and I simply chose PEACE instead.  By throwing that envelope away, I said NO to the past, I said NO to reliving something that doesn't matter to me anymore.  I was bound and determined that that piece of mail was NOT going to destroy my joy and PEACE yesterday.

And for the first time, it didn't.

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