Lately I have been facing down one of the weak injured areas in my life. My inability to enter into conflict, even when not saying anything means that I or someone else is being harmed. I believe in living peacefully with everyone, but in order for relationships to be healthy or situations to be healthy, you have to be willing to communicate that something is not Ok and be willing to have awkward, hard conversations so that the relationship or the situation can be healthier. This is not easy for me. And that is an understatement. I found myself in a situation this past week where I had to address several people about a situation and we had a group message going on. Every time my phone notified me of a new message I had a physical response. My adrenaline was going full blast, I felt like I needed to go for a run to shake off how shaky I felt. I was agitated, I couldn’t think straight and I just wanted to run and hide. And I was kind of asking God why on earth I was having to go through this. I could have just kept my mouth shut, let the whole messy thing slide by. But I really felt like this was something God wanted me to do. For my own sake.
This week, for my Bible reading, I have been reading through the book of Numbers. Not my favorite book. I’ve kind of just been plowing through. Lots of questions. Lots of things I don’t understand. Not really feeling like this was a book that was going to personally touch my life. So, I was sitting at my table, early in the morning, still feeling bowed down from the ongoing conflict. And I started reading about how God had spies from the Israelite camp go into Canaan and come back and give a report. And they came back saying the new land was amazing, wonderful…but full of giants and we can never take the land and we are all going to die.. And I suddenly felt overwhelmed with remorse. I am being just like them. God is trying to lead me into a new land, a place of health and wholeness, and all I can do is complain. I don’t like this. This is too hard. I don’t want to do this.
The Israelites were facing a big enemy and they had a big battle ahead of them. But they also had a big God who had already proved he could slay any enemy, part the red sea, provide water from the rock, bread from heaven. God had alread proved himself capable and faithful to help them with any challenge. And on the other side of the battle was their new home. The promised land. And the thing that was keeping them from moving forward was lack of faith.
And I found myself praying for forgiveness for my lack of faith. Increase my faith Lord! I believe you have goodness waiting for me on the other side and that you will help me as I grow in this area. I am not alone in my battles.
Now, several days later, the angsty part of the conflict is over. Everyone’s voices were heard. Grievances were aired. I don’t feel like we came to any amazing conclusion, but we are once again moving peacefully forward and some stronger boundaries have been set. And we now have a precedent to look back at when new troubles arrive and more hard conversations need to happen. Shaky steps of growth happening. And my faith feels a little bit stronger.