Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dancing Trees

The routine would be different. At lunch time I'd be heading over to a staff meeting instead of taking my much anticipated jog through historic downtown Punta Gorda. Its always hot, but Gilchrist Park greets me with a cool breeze from the Peace River. I could sit and just stare at it, for hours - if I didn't have to get back to work. Along my precious route there is an amazing tree that sits along the corner of Trabue Avenue and McGregor Street. It is a gorgeous oak tree whose canopy literally swallows the entire street corner. I pause there and stare up; I see nothing but green. Its so thick, I know I could climb up there with the kids and hang out; read a book to them. When I discovered this place I asked the Lord for a tree just like that, gracing the lawn of my new home. I think we would spend most of our time there!

I usually am excited about seeing everyone from work. Yesterday I awoke melancholy and disinterested in the staff meeting. I fought this attack from its onset. I know my history and If I give into feeling woebegone it just takes on a life of its own.

Satan was using an offense, (that I felt was passively done), to steal the joy and peace that lives in me. I kept replaying this person over and over in my head. I wanted to confront her at one time, ignore her the next. I replayed those imaginary encounters in my head only to be interrupted by my third option - love her anyway. Fighting that one. My feelings just weren't making it there. I needed to take the example of David who encouraged himself in the Lord. The jogging and walking helps tremendously. Ten minutes of moving stimulates those feel good hormones. Ipod blasting praise tunes, (and an occasional slip of some Stevie Wonder; it's icing on the cake! I knew there wouldn't be time to do that. I pulled out scriptures. I prayed. I want so much to turn this hurt into a harvest! With every offense that we take, Satan wants to use it to steal from us. I remembered that I could laugh at the enemy and what he was doing. I laughed because I knew that when I came through this trial I wouldn't even smell like smoke. I'd come out on top. God's will is that we always come out on top through every storm. We are winners, and not losers, in Jesus' Name.

I knew that I was not to take this offense, or allow it take root in me. My dear friend Miriam shared that there will be people that will hurt you the most, coming from within your own safe circle of friends; from Christians. Those that you may have never suspected; the one you were most vulnerable enough to trust. That hurts. Its hard, but its true. So, what do ya do with that? Let it go. Don't dwell on it. Give it to the Lord. Don't be bitter. Let it go. Don't conjure up ways to "give it back to em" in your mind. You know it feels good though, imagining yourself hurting them back. Reject that false sense of satisfaction. Stop entertaining it, and let it go. Friends will remain forever, and there are many that will only be with you for a season. Cherish it and preserve the good memories and fruit produced in it. Find ways to bless that person, if the opportunities arise. Bless and do not curse; you know - it only leads to evil. (Psalm 37).

As the day progressed, I made it through the meeting just fine and had fun. I had my 3rd guitar lesson, and settled at home - just me and Matthew. He looked a little frustrated since Alex was sleeping over at a friend's house and BJ was at the movies. One of Hillsongs Australia's' albums was playing. The fast tunes were right on time. Instead of talking to him, I just started dancing silly in front of him, animated and in time with the music. This beautiful grin came over him - it lit up his entire face. He threw his head back and laughed. It was 10:30 pm. Perhaps he should have been in bed, but its summer, our schedule is out of whack. I grabbed both of his hands. We started to shimmy. We did the swim, the twist. We did some amateur ball room dancing. He was a bit heavy, but I managed to use him for the lift and twirl sequence. He loved that. Okay. We're hot and sweaty now. I'm thinking about the whirlwind of a day: "From mourning to dancing, my sorrow was lifted; His joy came, just as He promised. I got my exercise tonight and, it was worth missing that tree!"

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