We’ve all had those experiences where we’ve been in the center of the target. At the time I first read this chapter I had just come out of a pretty difficult situation where I felt thrown away. I was hurt, felt betrayed and trusted no one. So imagine my comfort when in the first page of this book, Susie begins to tell her story that sounded a whole lot like mine. The same feelings, but with a different set of names.
Immediately I thought “You go sister! I know just what you’re talking about….I want to hear all the details!” Hang on, I’m about to get real “common.” I was even thinking “…let me tell you what happened to me and let’s get our pity party going!!!” I could identify. This is going to be the best book ever…she’s speaking my language.
But then my perfect little world came to a screeching halt when she writes “… pray for those who were against me…” Oh no you don’t. I felt like I got the whole bait and switch. I really wanted to give this book a great big toss! Just being honest. That’s why it sat on my shelf and under a big stack of papers for such a long time. I thought if I could just hide it, that ugly truth would go away. Pray for those people…You’ve really got to be kidding me. Where you not watching the series of events that took place. In those moments I was ever bit of the the “common” woman the world has become to know – insecure, petty, building cases, forming allegiances.
I felt it was impossible for me to shake off the pain. So what do you do?
Take a look with me on page 19 with the story of the Last Supper where Jesus washed the Disciples feet. I’ve always associated this story with how Jesus was a servant. And certainly it is about that. But today it took on another meaning. Jesus knowingly washed the feet of the very person (Judas) who would start the cycle of His betrayal.
“Would I be able to do that? I don’t even know if I can pray for them, much less engage in such a personal act.”
Then on page 20….“Pondering this exchange between Jesus and the disciples compelled me to face my own dirty feet.” Aughhhhh…. My feet were black I’m sure. “Who had I hurt? Where had I been? I didn’t have to look too far inside to be completely humbled by my own need for more of Jesus and less of me. But to pray for people who had stones in their hands and their eyes on me seemed an impossible feat. That hit me right in the center. That was me to the core.
How many of you have felt the same way when you’ve been faced with a circumstance like this?
So, how do we become more of Jesus? (I’ll quote from Susie on page 21. If you are in my class I’ll ask each of us to read out loud these steps and talk about our thoughts toward each.)
1. Regularly remind yourself of who you are and whose you are in Christ.
2. Pray for your accusers.
3. Forgive your accusers. (For some reason this step seems a lot easier than step #2 for me.)
4. Thank God for everything good in your life.
5. Pray for someone who has it tougher than you do.
6. Get some exercise. (During the most stressful moments of my story I did a lot of exercising. God and I had a lot of talks during that time. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get up a good cry when you’re running! I’ll tell my group a longer version of this story…join me live if you want to hear it.)
7. Get proper rest and then wake up tomorrow morning and begin again with Step 1. (That’s a reassuring thought…that we get to repeat the cycle every day…but that my friends is the way it is.)
“Life gets messy. We make it that way. And yet in the middle of the dirt that’s been thrown at us, the grime on our own feet and the stones in our hands, we are to believe that we are His treasure.”
One of the biggest things that I have to remember about myself is that my identity is not delivered in what others think of me. And, believe me, my co-dependent self is inclined to go to that place every time.
When you’re ready, carry on to Part 2 of this weeks study at this link http://wp.me/pCteI-s
If you’d like to join this study in real time…I’m teaching it at HopePark Wednesday Mornings & Thursday Nights. If you’re a Nashville local, the door is always open. We’re at 8001 Hwy. 70 South, just off I-40. Online at http://hopepark.com and on twitter @hopepark.
Me…well you can find me twittering @jodytodd.
Have a great week!
Questions and assigned quotes from the study by Susie Larson entitled The Uncommon Woman.