Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Growing Pains

I don't know who to credit for saying it, but I once heard a saying that went something like this:

"'Tis better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt".

I know I laughed the first time I heard that, and then I went "eww, that applies to me too". I don't like it when things like that apply to me too. I'd rather deny and deflect and pretend it doesn't apply because I'm somehow above or beyond such things. I know, it sounds arrogant and indeed it is. I don't mean to walk around with arrogance but the truth is not always pretty.

Over the last couple of weeks I've had some situations and circumstances that have been pretty hard to work through. I've started to write about them several times, but sometimes when things are so intense that for me, I just clam up rather than let loose. I'm not sure why I do that, maybe it's a self-protection thing I have going on. I remember doing it quite a lot when my first husband was very sick and times were so difficult to bear. I wanted to say so much but words just didn't (and still don't) exist to express what I was feeling and thinking, so I just clammed up. It was a very weird feeling, and it just sort of became a pattern for me. Being quiet really isn't that bad of thing, either. My gpa used to say that folks would learn a lot more if they'd spend more time with their mouths shut and their ears open, than the other way around. Gpa didn't do a lot of talking but when he did, you remembered what he said.

So on that note, over the past couple of weeks I've had the opportunity to "listen" quite intently to some things that a couple of folks have shared with me, by way of very helpful advice and insight. In one case, the advice wasn't even solicited, but the words shared stung so much that I knew I needed to pay closer attention to the why of the sting. In the other case the advice was solicited, and the insight was something I very much needed to hear.

I know that sanctification is an ongoing thing, and sometimes we don't even realize how we come across to others. We don't realize the implications of how we act or react until someone comes along and says hey, did you notice what happened there? When we see it that way, it may sting but it's the kind of sting we need. It's truly iron sharpening iron, and that doesn't always feel so good - but it's desperately needed.

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