nothing to lose and everything to gain

There is a certain personality type I really struggle with. To be honest, although I consider myself a decent communicator and would like to think that I have a healthy grasp of my God-given identity and value, this particular type of person tends to intimidate me and I have not yet been able to find a way to effectively work with them.

God made me a peace maker. It’s who I am. Given any personality test (and I have taken several through high school, college and my adult life), the results will always indicate that part of me. I have a strong desire not to say anything that I will regret having said and hold firm to the belief that once something is spoken or communicated, it can never be retracted.

All that being said, it is a tremendous struggle to have people in my life who like conflict. Who rather thrive on it and take on a sort of “take it or leave it” attitude, or who confess to be either “your best friend or your worst enemy.” My core value is walking in peace and relationship, while theirs tends to have more of a bent towards being right. Even if it means limiting authentic dialogue.

To be clear, I am not saying they are bad, or wrong, but rather that I honestly have no idea how to be in relationship with them. When conflict arises, I do all I can to choose words carefully and not lose my temper, to extend grace while sharing my position. What I have yet to learn is what to do with my feelings of sadness, and often physical sickness, when my attempts at peace end at an impass, and there is no true resolution.

This morning I was wrestling a bit because I honestly don’t enjoy relationships that function this way. Feelings of fear and anxiety always accompany such dialogue, and I fight not to shut down completely. But today, I realized that God wants to grow me in this; to help me walk in fullness, and to be able to love everyone well, even if it’s hard or uncomfortable for me. With this knowledge, I know how to pray – for wisdom. God loves us all equally, and desires peace to reign in each of our hearts, therefore I can trust He will also provide a way for that to be our reality.

Sometimes our greatest struggles are God’s best, for without them, we would not be forced to move or change. If you feel as though you fight the same struggles over and over, it may just be your opportunity to grow in a way He needs you to in order to continue on the journey He has planned for you. As muscles are torn before they become stronger, so can our hearts be stretched as God prepares you for the coming season.

Go all out. Release your pride and expectations and let your heart be open to doing it just a little differently this time. I know I am ready for something new. I have nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain.


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