Yesterday, I had a meltdown in my kitchen.
Meltdown as in cupboard slamming – sink scrubbing – pot banging – 15 shades of purple mad – no, not mad but hurt – style meltdown.
And it felt familiar, even though I hadn’t actually thrown a full scale tantrum like this in a while.
I was angry because I had asked the people I live with to clean the kitchen after dinner. I made the meal, but went to bed instead of eating. I spent a few days traveling this week, and I was seriously sore (I have a connective tissue disorder that hands me chronic pain issues), plus I am fighting an infection. So yeah, I felt a little more than miffed when I was greeted by a messy kitchen the next morning.
But there was a difference this time… I didn’t say a word to anyone – except God.
I’m reading a book on healing prayer right now (A Guide for Listening and Inner-Healing Prayer: Meeting God in the Broken Places, by Rusty Rustenbach), and the emphasis is listening to God. I absolutely love it because this book confirms what I’ve experienced in my own walk with God, and what is also brought to life in The Respect Dare… the fact that the God of the Universe wants real relationship with me (and YOU),
and that He will actually communicate with us if we are open to that.
So back to the kitchen…
I asked Him why I was so angry.
He reminded me of a childhood memory, one where I had been misunderstood and devalued by people who should have known me well enough to understand. But they didn’t, and I felt alone. And then His spirit prompted me to wonder what was true. So I asked Him. He showed me that He was there during it all, and what I thought was about me, was really about someone else. I had no idea how this applied to my current situation, so I asked Him.
He brought Philippians 4:8 to mind, and I stopped at “whatever is true.”
My kitchen was a mess not because my family lack of care towards me (which is what the enemy would have me believe), but rather several other factors which happen to be true:
- My teens are lacking in frontal lobe development, that’s the part of the brain that facilitates common sense. So while they are good intentioned, they sometimes don’t manage their time well. It’s nothing personal, they just don’t, and they won’t until their brain is mature, somewhere between ages 25 and 27.
- My son who is usually pretty good about the hand wash was gone that night.
- My other son is male, which means he thinks he is done before he is really done. He doesn’t see (literally) the way a woman does, acutely aware of minute aspects of cleanliness. He’s learning, but he’s a teen, which means it is a little slow going – especially when the routine changes, which it did that night.
- My daughter did a pretty good job for being 12.
- My husband was exhausted from a week of getting up at 4am. And I left him to deal with kids and the evening when I went to bed. He probably wished he could do likewise.
- I know from past history, if I had simply managed the situation and followed up, everyone would have done what I asked them to do.
- I realized I could have been really clear about my expectations, and even told the kids they couldn’t leave the kitchen until it had the Scouting “leave no trace” appearance (not sure why, but that always works for us!).
That may sound like a laundry list of excuses that make me a doormat to some folks, but my God let me know that this is what was true at that moment, and that happened to be everyone needed something called “grace.”
But what’s really amazing is that when He showed me what was true, all of my anger and hurt left me.
As in Poof!! Gone completely.
And I had compassion on the people I live with once again, and decided to be a little more clear or do follow up or ask for follow up if I found myself in similar circumstances again.
I’ve had people tell me that God only speaks to us through the Bible and that what I’m describing isn’t possible.
I don’t believe it. I have experiences that say otherwise.
John 10:27-28 ESV My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Tell Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Samuel, Job, Moses, Mirium, Deborah, Huldah, Isaiah, David, John, Paul, and a whole plethora of others that He doesn’t speak to us. Tell that to the 11 that saw Jesus and spoke with Him after He was crucified. Well, okay, they’re dead, but you see my point. He’s been speaking all along – it’s more a matter of whether or not we are listening. And you’ll see by the way the Bible reads that He speaks to both genders – males and females have been prophets.
More on that here for those who disagree.
And don’t worry, I’m not suggesting that we walk away from submission or respect in marriage, or in our relationships at work where we are told in 1 Peter to submit to our authorities.
I don’t mean to sound harsh here, but I don’t care if you want to spend a bunch of energy arguing whether or not my experience is biblical or not. I know what I know – because I have relationship with God Himself (even though it is probably a fraction of what is possible with Him) and you can choose to not follow us here or argue if you like. I’m interested in your differing opinion if you want to share it, but it won’t bother me if you disagree. I realize I freak out a few people who don’t experience Him like this.
God has spoken to tons of people throughout history and I believe He’s still speaking today. Check Acts 2:17 ‘And in the last days it will be,’ God says, ‘that I will pour out my Spirit on all people, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. Yes, we need to be discerning, and yes, we need to verify with the Word that what He has said is from Himself, but since the Word is alive, this actually happens.
I also don’t care if you disagree on whether or not there are differences in how the genders have been created – there are attributes that generally speaking, are specific to most men, and attributes that generally speaking, are specific to women. They might show up differently in different people, as in “femininity” looks different on different women, as does being “masculine.” But for the most part, most women have aspects that are feminine, and most men have aspects that are masculine – and these show up in childhood. As much as some people would like to negate scientific research and the Bible, anyone who has given birth to children of both sexes knows there are differences.
Am I right on that last point? Can I hear an “amen?”
I do know as well that if I give in to the enemy, I’m going to spend a good chunk of my time complaining, debating, arguing, and defending – and none of those are things Jesus did.
It’s easy for people to criticize in their relationships. It’s easy to judge people we don’t know at all or well, and condemn others – whether we’re married to them or “they” are a branch of faith, an organization, or otherwise.
It’s much harder to do life in the trenches with a bunch of broken people who make mistakes leading and encouraging others… even if they’re in our own families or church body.
Dare you to take inventory today. How does all of this sit with you? Double dog dare you to ask Him to teach you how to hear His voice – then HOLD ON TIGHT!
Love that you’re on the journey!