The most important part of a painful conversation is the conclusion that comes from it.
Allow me to briefly explain.
Recently I was told that I was no longer jovial, or fun; that I was different than I was before.
How that exchange came up, or the pain it caused me is not important. At least not here.
The most important parts of any conversation, are both perception, and and process.
Who said it?
Why did they said it?
What did they really mean?
True motivation of the speaker. Period.
Is what they said true?
Do I need to take it literally?
If it’s false; how do I handle it?
If it’s true; how do I handle that?
Through childhood trauma, and the passing of my mother in 2001, I spent much of my time recovering from a form of PTSD/depression.
God’s Word, the Holy Bible was instrumental as a foundation for my healing.
It taught me to seek out solitude, and gave me steps to begin changing my thought patterns , and learn to avoid the pitfalls of a too painful life.
Reading Susan Cain’s book, Quiet; The Power of Introverts in a World ThatCan’t Stop Talking, (https://amzn.to/33esZWt) gave me an inside look on the real me.
I found that enjoying being alone, was actually quite normal for some folks; and that for me it can actually be revitalizing.
Through reading her material, I was free of the guilt brought on by withdrawing, and began to embrace the quietness, and thus thrust my healing light years ahead of where I was.
Then about two years ago, we had to put our little Cairn Terrier to sleep.
He was to be our forever dog, and at age four, became to ill to be fixed.
I swore off ever having another dog.
The pain of his passing, brought back memories of the pain from my mom’s passing, and without my really noticing it – I was again enveloped in depression.
Withdrawing further and further into my own bubble, using my new knowledge of “Quietude” as an excuse.
Well, a mentor of mine says that even a GOOD thing carried to excess, can become a BAD thing; a burden.
So it was with solitude.
So back to present day, and that PERCEPTION thing;
Was what I was being told true? Probably yes.
Why did they say it? Most likely because now MY pain, was causing THEM pain.
What did they really mean? PLEASE figure this thing out so you can stop being so miserable.
True motivation? No matter how rough their comments came out, they really only have my best interest at heart.
So how about that PROCESS part?
The evening of that fight was difficult; my heart was dark with pain.
But the following morning, I got up and in solitude, prayed my favorite prayer of all; “God, please tell me the truth.”
Was what they said true? Unfortunately, yes. I had been increasingly sullen over the past several months.
Should I take their pleas literally? Yes of course. Even though I was not seeing any issues, they were; and it was causing them much inner turmoil.
Was it false? No. Since it was not false, it could not be ignored, unless of course change was not something I wanted. (To be clear – I NEVER want to cause someone pain!)
So is it true? Yes. Oh God. Tell me what to do. Tell me the truth, and help me to hear it.
Almost immediately, a random thought, of a random conversation with a random friend came to mind.
A conversation about her dog.
She lives alone, and has a large dog that not only keeps her company, but keeps her safe in her ever changing neighborhood.
I of course balked at this random idea, but as I considered her story (boy did she have some stories!) it became clear that perhaps a new dog may be helpful.
It would REQUIRE me to get out of my bubble a bit, and also keep me company.
Always a fan of the “bully breeds”, I began a search for Pit Bulls.
The day we went to see, and maybe pick up the one I wanted at a shelter a couple of towns away, he was sent away to a different home.
Sad, but no harm, no foul.
That night, a friend I’ve known for forty years, placed a video of a dog she knew of who needed to be re-homed – his owner was just too busy to care for him, and he was tied in the yard to a tree most of the time.
His owner was agreeable to us taking him off her hands.
We picked him up the very next day.
All of the problems we could have had with another dog or puppy, are non existent.
He is however making me get up, move about, and TALK.
I don’t know how it will all end, but I’m feeling a bit happier, a little lighter, and glad to have been able to help out a pup in need in the process.
So. All that to say this; Ask God to tell you the truth.
Listen even when it seems random.
He’s here to help.
Oh, and just a note, the pit bull I wanted? Through no fault of his own brought back to the shelter this a.m. Imagine that.
The logistics of ten very full buses seeing the same things, all at different times on the same day, is mind boggling!
Watchmen on the Wall are taught about Israel’s history in depth, and are trained to pray for all things Jerusalem.
Our flight from Tel Aviv was perfect.
We flew to Barcelona.
Waiting for our flight to Chicago (With airplane mode on to avoid roaming fees) and unaware of the fact that we were being rerouted through somewhere else, we totally missed our gate.
Here we were in Barcelona, we only speak English. Zero Spanish, trying to figure out our next move.
With exhaustion and frustration, we did our best not to argue. It was tough.
Then a ladies voice comes from behind us.
“I speak some Spanish. Can I help you? Where are you going?”
Believe it or not, she was going to Chicago as well!
Same gate. Different time. Thank you God!
She went to speak to someone, came back, and told us how we could book another flight.
Needless to say, we were in the wrong, wrong, place, at the wrong, wrong time, (we thought) and somehow, like He is known to do, God turned things around for us.
The flight from Barcelona to Chicago of course was long (ten hours) and we did not get to sit together on the plane, but we were both grateful to have a seat on that plane, and be homeward bound.
Of course when we landed in Chicago, it was far too late for the scheduled flight for the last leg of our journey.
So the airline provided us with a hotel voucher, so that we could sleep, food vouchers, so we would not starve, and transportation vouchers so we could get back and forth from the hotel to the airport.
We used our first transportation voucher to get to our provided hotel, WHICH HAD NO ROOMS, there was literally no room at the inn.
Voucher number two took us right back to the airport, and to the customer service desk, to find out just what were were going to need to do.
The gal was so sweet and helpful.
After regaling her with our story, she looked at her screen, and said “Oh look what just popped up!”
A room had JUST opened up at the O’Hare Hilton. (At 10:30 at night?)
A simple ten minute walk from where we stood.
The photo above is the view from our forth floor window.
We even had some extra time to get to our flight home in the morning.
There is a moral to this story, a punch line, a promise.
God never once tells us in His word that things will be easy.
In fact sometimes, things can be down right frustrating.
But His promise, is that if we trust Him, He will always care for us.
Scripture says clearly;
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper. Isaiah 54:17 (ASV)
Note; It does not say that there won’t be weapons, it says they will not prosper.
So we ended up home, safe, exhausted, and forever changed.
Even though it was the hottest day on our tour – we enjoyed it very much. (Thank God for well air conditioned buses on our return!)
But first …………….
We saw these buildings from all angles in our travels – now here on the ground we could see their size!
We all really wondered about that twisty one!
Jaffa, City in Israel – Description -Jaffa, in Hebrew Yafo and in Arabic Yaffa and also called Japho or Joppa, the southern and oldest part of Tel Aviv-Yafo, is an ancient port city in Israel. Wikipedia
This explains the discrepancy in spellings and pronunciations.
Tower in South City Centre (Tel Aviv)
This huge tower, the first skyscraper in Israel opened in 1965, is one of Tel Aviv’s major landmarks and a notable part of its skyline. It has permanent exhibits on the history of Tel Aviv in the foyer and on the 1st floor.
We listened to a guide that knew so many facts, had so much knowledge, and was funny to boot – It was hard to keep up.
We also got to see about twenty minute long documentary about Israeli/Tel Aviv history.