|Joslyn Halloween 2011|
I have been a codependent person for most of my life. Before Celebrate Recovery, If you made me mad; I would cry, stew about it, blow up or hold it in, and forgive you, because losing a friend was devastating to my ego. It was worse to lose a friend in my mind then to be misused or walked on by one. Once I worked the 12 steps I became aware of these problems. I learned that instead of having feelings of my own, I either ignored my feelings or picked up feelings from those around me. Now, I have feelings, lots of them and I don't like them all. I get mad, really mad sometimes. This is hard to admit, because I liked not feeling anything. I liked not responding. But not responding, hurts me. It hurts more than standing up for myself. Because I realize who I am. I am a child of God! I am made in His image. So when I let others destroy me I am personally hurting God. His child, whom He loves and sent His Son to die for.
So I respond! But responding with anger? That wasn't part of my plan? I don't like to get angry. And I am afraid of getting angry. What if I get angry with Joslyn and hurt her feelings? What if I screw her up? These are some of the things that this screwed up momma thinks about. So many more what if's and what to do's. But God is working on me about responding with grace. There are many times and instances I do respond with grace. In traffic for instance...
I was riding with a friend a couple of weeks ago. She is a great friend and we always have lots to talk about and we have lots of fun. But, I learned something about her that day. She has road rage. I have heard about this but have never known anyone to have it. I was shocked at some of the things she said while driving and how her whole world was altered by the other drivers. It made me think, at how my responses are still based on others. When Joslyn runs away from me the hundredth time, or takes of her diaper again, or rips up another book, I respond to her actions. But if I am living a life that reflects God then I would respond like Jesus did. And Jesus and God respond with grace.
I wonder if God responded to me the millions of time I ran away the way I do with Joslyn, how I would be? I also wonder how awful my life would be if God never responded to me? Both reactions make me sad and embarassed. I don't want to live a life that deflects God but reflects Him!!! And I have learned that responding with grace is something that I learn over and over. Because God responds to me with grace over and over. Only because of what He did for me, I can do for others. I also learn that God puts people in my life that can help me stay accountable with that. When I respond with grace to something that you are struggling with, you are able to respond with grace for something else. This is how we share God's grace and love, is by helping others. Thank you for responding with grace to me and keeping me accountable. Now I need to go clean up another mess and use wisely this opportunity to respond with grace.