we are back from the wedding weekend! hurray! and now time for some major rest!
the wedding/weekend were fun, but was also a lot of work for everyone involved.
but, i’m not wanting to talk about that…
matt and i recently had a really terrible experience. the kind of experience where you feel discouraged, beaten down, and frustrated. also, the kind that you can’t really get away from.
the thing is, the experience happened as a series of interpersonal communication between us (together & apart) and people we had just met. the kicker was that these people were professed believers. matt and i were totally thrown off by it, and our expectations ended in disappointments.
most of the time, we are surrounded by believers who encourage and support us, who build us up, pray for us, and speak to us using kind words in ways that aren’t demanding or demeaning. but, once in awhile the Lord shows us what it feels like to be outcast, discouraged, and completely unloved by others. it also forces us to practice love and dependence on Him as a source of strength to endure treatment such as this and to respond in love. it opened my eyes to what non-believers may experience in their own interpersonal communication with believers. if i were someone completely new to a church and was treated and spoken to as i was through this experience, i wouldn’t return. and i don’t blame people who have gone through such things for not.
however, it hurts (for me) to be thrown into the generalization of “all Christians” and claim that they are alike, especially when we encounter something like this. this leads me to question what all people experience when they come into contact with me. am i being loving? am i shutting down ideas? am i building others up? am i discouraging them and making them feel bad about themselves? am i humble? am i speaking in love? am i showing Jesus?
another side of this was, for me, it was harder to hear matt being torn down than it was for me to take it myself (he said the same thing, even pulling me out of a couple situations). the last thing i wanted was to hear someone being hurtful toward my husband.
yes, the experience was awful. it was hurtful to me personally to be beaten down over a period of days. it was disheartening because it was clear that Jesus wasn’t being shown regardless if it was to us or non-believers. but, it was also insightful. and in the end, to turn a terrible experience into an introspective one, it has cause us to look at ourselves and the way we show (or don’t show) Jesus in our everyday interactions.
reveal to us Lord, how to change and how to love.