Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On Testing

If you've heard more than 5 sermons in your life, you've probably heard the orange analogy.  When you squeeze and orange, of course orange juice comes out.  When you squeeze a Christian, Christ should come out.  There are many areas in my life that, when pressed, produce beautiful things like trust and faith and love.  But being a mother has put pressure on me in a different way, and and when I'm pressed I wish that patience and kindness and gentleness and self-control is what came out.  More often than not I see the exact opposite flow forth.

I am an emotional person, and I know that's how God made me.  The wonderful benefit is that I empathize without trying, love deeply, and have a unique understanding of my heavenly father's big soft heart.  The downside is that I tend to view everything through the lens of how I'm feeling at any given moment and lead with my emotions.  My head is full of drama.

So many times I've had to put Isabella down and walk out of the room feeling completely overcome with emotion, adrenaline pumping through my system.  That fight or flight thing is no joke.  Every parent has had this kind of moment, I just feel like I have an inordinate amount of them, and I just don't know how to step back and settle.  I have lots of good ideas now, but they all disappear when I'm caught in the moment, baby screaming uncontrollably in the back of the car while I'm stuck in traffic and can do nothing else but yell and cry and beat my dashboard.  Not that I've ever done that.

A dear friend was telling me today that sometimes God continues to give us circumstances that push us until we are able to overcome them.  We encounter the same challenge again and again precisely because it's such a issue for us.  For her, it's money and the ability to trust in God's provision.  For me, it's a hot temper and the ability to find my peace in Him.  Here's the thing- God is merciful to us.  He never gives us an "F" on a test... He simply allows us to retake it.  Again and again and again.  As many times as it takes to truly understand the material.

I feel like I've been taking the same test every day for the last 10 months.  How do I pass it?  Next time I feel the wave of adrenaline rushing towards me, how do I get on top of it instead of sucked under it?