As I sit here, my heart aches, knowing that I must have a really tough, candid conversation. I’ve tried very hard to handle the situation with gentle words, subtle requests, and patience repetition. But despite all my coaxing and agonizing, it’s just not bringing about the kind of response that is necessary.
So I know what I must do, and yet I dread it. I despise conflict. Healthy or not, I typically avoid it at all costs. Seriously. I just don’t like how conflict leaves everyone feeling a little too raw, too wounded.
As I sought solid wisdom and guidance earlier today, I said that it was probably good that I didn’t get the opportunity to have the conversation last week, because I was at my boiling point. But really, who am I kidding? I cannot remember a time in the last 20 years (if not more) when I have exploded on someone. That’s just not me.
I know this is different – but it’s still going to be contentious and a difficult conversation to have. And, truth be told, I don’t know how it will be received. Though I don’t want them to, I know that some of my words will cause hurt.
But it’s time. I’ve tried it every other way that I know, and nothing else has worked. Like it or not, I have to face the conversation. I owe it to myself, I owe it to others, and honestly, I even owe it to this person. Otherwise I am inadvertently nurturing the very situations that must be resolved.
Thus, I will have the conversation, certain it is necessary and hopeful that I can do it firmly, but kindly. I don’t know how it will be received nor what the response will be, but despite my frustration with the situation, it is the cry of my heart that it result in a positive change.
I wonder if God feels the same way with us.
He commands. We ignore.
He speaks. We tune Him out.
He guides. We choose a different way.
He directs. We don’t do as He asks.
Though I’d like to say otherwise, I know it can be true for me far too often. So God gently nudges, kindly whispers, and patiently tries to steer us another way, hoping all the while that we will listen and respond.
Yet sometimes we don’t.
It might be deliberate – we don’t like what He’s telling us, so we choose to do it our own way. Other times, we just aren’t tuned into His leadership in our lives and so we can’t hear His voice or His direction. Whatever the case may be, we are not doing what God wants us to do.
Sometimes God says, “Enough.”
Though it grieves His heart, sometimes God knows that the only way to get through to us is to have that tough conversation. Without it, we’ll continue on in our headstrong unhealthy ways, and we will miss the blessings God has for us along the path He has chosen.
So He speaks.
God’s voice comes in these moments in many different forms. Make no mistake – God loves us so much that He will do whatever it takes to reach us, to speak to our hearts the message that we need to hear. Sometimes His message isn’t easy to hear because it bruises our egos and batters our hearts. Yet often we have to embrace the pain in order to accept the necessary change. It’s all for our good, if we’ll only listen and respond.
God, may I take the awareness of the many times you have to have those tough conversations with me into the next few days. Please guide my words and prepare my heart to speak with grace that provokes change.