Engaging the Filter

January 31, 2009 at 6:13 am 1 comment

It was bound to happen, sooner or later.

My conscience kicked in and I had to make use of the edit function on something I wrote. 

Here’s the story: On facebook, there’s this thing going around where you write 25 things about yourself, then tag a bunch of folks and they can write about themselves. I wasn’t going to do it. I blog, facebook is just for saying hello and keeping up with folks.

But I enjoyed reading everyone else’s so much, I made my list.

Apparently, I have been in a really grouchy frame of mind, because while I enjoyed making the list, I added some things that I NEVER talk about. Old hurts and situations I dealt with many, many years ago. I don’t know why I wrote about it, except that going through certain situations has made me who I am now. And I’m happy about that, so I have no hard feelings and I learned so much about who God made me to be, that I think it was worth it.

But 12 hours after I posted the list, I realized that facebook is hugely PUBLIC. And that most of the people I knew then are my “friends” in the social networking realm. It would not take a brain surgeon to figure out what I was talking about.  

So while I don’t regret sharing my experiences and things about myself, I regret using facebook to do it. I would never want anyone for one minute to think that I was being ugly and talking about somebody in such a blatant, public setting. That just is incredibly rude and thoughtless, two things I hope to never be. 

So I edited the post. Maybe the damage, if there’s any damage at all, is done. Maybe there won’t be repercussions. I hope not. But I know that I can’t live with myself knowing that I might have referenced someone in a negative manner and it get back to them. Especially since I’m over it, and forgiveness happened a long time ago. 

I have a horrible fear of being misunderstood or misinterpreted. I don’t mind saying what I think, but I want it to come from me. I don’t like people saying, “Anne said…”, because I may or may not have said exactly that. 

I was very convicted today about something along these lines. I have a tendency to vent when I’m frustrated. I can’t keep frustration and anger inside very long. My mind goes nuts. So I vent to my husband, my mama, my friends and then, as a last resort, I pray. 

Yeah, I know that’s backwards. 

I just wish I could pray in such a way that I got all my venting out to God and then could FEEL better. But sometimes, when I’m really fired up, I try to pray and the anger just keeps building up inside and I just need to go off. And I don’t feel right going off to God. I feel like I have to be all diplomatic and humble and say things like, “I know, Lord, that I’m not perfect. I’m angry at this person, God, but I realize that I have no right to be angry, because I’m sure that my sin is worse than theirs…” and so on and so forth. 

Do y’all do this? 

I feel like if I tell God what I’m really feeling, I’ll sound ungrateful, arrogant, and just so plain sinful that I have no right to talk to him about my situation. 

But here’s the thing: NEWSFLASH, Coonmama (I resort to college nicknames when I’m giving myself a talk)! God knows how rotten I am. He knows I have no right to complain about anything. He knows all the awful stuff about me. 

And he’s still listening. And he still cares. And he still loves me more than I could ever comprehend. 

So my new way of thinking is: I’m going to get mad. Probably in the next couple of days, I’ll get fired up about something. And I’m going to take it straight to the one who cares more than my husband, mama, friends, etc. 

I’m not going to apologize for all the things that are wrong with me. We will deal with that in another prayer time. But I’m going to tell him how mad I am, and just let loose all my feelings…because I can. 

And he will handle it in his time, in his perfect way. He will take care of me, even if it’s by gently reprimanding me about my own callous heart. 

Big lesson for today, huh? Yeah, I’m a bit overwhelmed by it. I actually regret some of my venting to my sweet friends this week. I hate regrets, but I’m going to ask for forgiveness for being quick to anger and even quicker to talk about it. 

This is one of those other sides of the Christian life that I referred to a couple of posts ago. I know it’s not all fun and games. I have so much joy, but being shaped to look more and more like Jesus is one of the hardest things to do. Giving up what I want to do (run my mouth about everything I think), to do what He wants me to (come straight to him, tell him my troubles and not everyone else), is so incredibly hard for me. 

Mom has quoted this to me for years now. She heard it in a sermon 30 years ago, and I cling to this little nugget of wisdom: “Do what’s right, because it’s right, until it FEELS right!” 

So true. I know that by doing what’s right, even when it feels difficult or uncomfortable for me, God will bless, and in time what was difficult to do will become natural, because of my increased dependence on God’s strength to do it. 

I’m thinking increased dependence on God’s strength for anything is a good goal.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

And the Birds Sang a Happy Tune in the Background… The Best Policy…and Other Stuff

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jeri Ann  |  February 2, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    so i’m working on a blog for the stegalls after seeing yours and several others last week. its taking me forever and i just added you to my blog thing. saw your post this weekend. love you for being so honest. i’m not handing out the address till i fix problems with it. plus i need help with some things.


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