Friday, March 20, 2015

On Biting My Tongue And Choosing Peace

"Create in me a clean heart, O God. And renew a steadfast spirit within me."

I can feel it welling up in me, stirring up like a storm. It strikes fast and the regret is near instant. I can go from zero to fully snapped in seconds, left only with pieces to pick back up and try to glue together. Humility seems to be my daily lesson as I ask and re-ask and ask just once more for forgiveness. Grace falls quickly and I'm soaking it up before the next time I fall.

Seven times on this gestational journey and I know it well by now - as do those closest to me. Toward the end, tolerance becomes my biggest struggle. Irritation a near constant companion. Things that would ordinarily never bother me much become nearly impossible to ignore.

It's a good thing to know these things about myself. To mentally talk myself down when biting my tongue seems out of reach. To remember that so much goes into my emotions in any given moment - not just what was said or done right now. My lack of sleep, anxiety, physical exhaustion and chemical cocktail of hormones all invisibly play their part in my building impatience with others. I may think I'm in a funk because of what so-and-so said, but really that's only a minuscule part of it. Maybe even the least important part.

All of this is to say, this seventh time around, I'm really working at keeping my mouth shut. My needs met, as much as possible. I'm giving myself grace, and asking for quite a lot of forgiveness. More of Him, less of me. More understanding, less arrogance. More listening, less talking. Remembering that love is the license to speak, to instruct, to discipline - and the absence of it renders everything else worthless. My opinion, my preferences and my way of doing things do not trump my charge to be kind and compassionate, gentle and self controlled.

This inward turn is probably of biological necessity. A need to step back, to circle the wagons, to shift my focus from the outside world into my own little bubble. Big changes on the horizon for my family require it, just for now.

I'll still have my moments, as we all do - and probably more than when I'm not pregnant and hopped up on hormones - but I know that this grows me. The chance to choose something different than what I want shapes me into something better. I know who I want to be. How I want to respond. I know that prickle of humanity may always be present, but I can still choose peace.

Redemption for my missteps. Hope for future victory.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this. I'm pregnant with my seventh as well, and struggling mightily with this very thing. I rage internally (and sometimes outwardly) every time someone asks something of me. The request for a bowl of cereal from one of my kids, or a friend asking me to watch her children can send me into a tailspin. I think, "How can you ask this of me, don't you know how hard it is just to be in this body right now?" I'm working very hard at hiding my unreasonable reactions and my husband has been really good at letting me vent these irritations to him, but it can be so discouraging. I keep wondering what it is God is trying to teach me, I just haven't quite figured it out yet. I love the idea of working to choose peace. I will pray for you!


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