I decided to take a little time for self-care on Saturday. I thought to myself, I’ll go shopping. Even if I don’t end up buying something it’s relaxing and enjoyable to peruse the isles. A piping hot vanilla latte in hand is always an added bonus. That’s been my usual experience anyway. Until.
I won’t go into the details but suffice it to say a woman decided she owned a particular area of the store and began spewing an array of uncalled for words directed at me when I squeezed my way in to look at the new springtime dresses. It wasn’t just a word or two either, she went on and on with a gross monologue of pure wrath.
Have you ever been in a situation when what was being said or done to you was extremely out of line for the situation at hand?
An overreaction on the part of another can very well cause a backlash of your own. To be honest, I surprised myself when I chose to remain calm and say—absolutely nothing. In a split second, I had a choice to make, and by the grace of God, I had an Auntie Em’ moment.
It was time to remember who and Whose I was.
Dorothy Gale’s Aunt from the Wizard of Oz displays that truth best by saying, “For twenty-three years I've been dying to tell you what I thought of you! And now... well, being a Christian woman, I can't say it!”
As I made my way throughout the rest of the store I decided to put the incident out of my mind, refusing to allow her actions to ruin my day. I sought the Lord’s peace and comfort as I prayed to release myself from any offense. Through gritted teeth, I even prayed a blessing over her. As I did, I received the greatest blessing there is in return—I heard God speak.
A scripture rose up from within, “God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all” (1 John 1:5 ESV). I felt the Lord encourage me that since He is light and without darkness, I too, possess the same. Being one with the Father means that I’m intertwined with Him. That reality and mindset keep me from the temptation to behave in a way that engages with the darkness around me. The following verse says this, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:6 ESV).
Years ago, my reaction may have been very different. I might have returned like for like. On this day, I chose to keep my power and walk in the identity my Savior painstaking died to give me. True authority is choosing light because it’s no longer who I am to do otherwise. Jesus says in John 14:20, “In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” Saturday was my day.
“Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21 NIV).