I had an argument. I held tightly to the story I had created about why I was right and the other person was wrong. And in the middle of the break down I realized I had forgotten about mercy. I wanted to blame my misdeeds on a trauma response that comes up every time I hear the words that "you talk too much". Yep-such a big deal can be made from few words spoken in jest. Yet I have a trigger to certain words. Words spoken unkindly to me when I was a child. And so ensued my belief that I was wronged and needed an apology so I laid out my reasons for why I deserved one. Yet I was wrong. No grievance had occurred. I made an error. I forget that the other person loves me and was just teasing during a lively conversation at a restaurant.
I failed to realize that I had not been speaking too kindly to myself for weeks. So it was so easy for the trigger response to happen from words in the air. And I forgot who I was speaking to and reverted back to a childhood where I was told to speak only when spoken to.
I didn't even realize until things started to go south and my emotional childhood response was to stomp away fully knowing that something had really gone wrong. And what had gone so wrong was I had believed the wrong messages. And I forgot that mercy was missing.
Today in my devotional the author wrote these words that I wish I had be able to clearly see and understand a few days ago, maybe I would never have chosen to bring up the story (my version of an issue/problem that is usually not based on facts but the thoughts I was having at the moment) to begin with, maybe the story would have been more full of mercy.
"Mercy means I am so deeply grateful for the forgiveness I have received that I cannot help offering you the same."
"When you forget mercy and think you're deserving, you find it all to easy not to extend mercy to others. Proudly, you think that you're getting what you deserve and that they are, too. Your proud heart is not tender, so it is not easily moved by the sorry plight of others. You forget that you are more like than unlike your needy brother, failing to acknowledge that neither of you stands before God as deserving. Humility is the soil in which mercy for others grows. Gratitude for mercy given is what motivates mercy extended. Paul says, "be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you" Ephesians 4:32. David Tripp from the devotional New Morning Mercies
So I sit here writing this blog in hopes that if you find yourself falling into the temptation to misinterpret what is spoken to you, trigger a trauma response from your past and need to take a time out before you act unjustly towards another human being that you take a moment to pause and remember mercy. (For yourself and for others)
We humans are not perfect. We say things out of joking and we in no way can see if it will trigger someone else to feel deeply buried wounds from the past. So knowing this I believe that it is our responsibility to pause and seek God's mercy from our broken stories before we point fingers of blame and shame.
As I journaled I realized I had not been working on renewing my thoughts that I have about myself. That I had forgotten my true identity which is established in who God is and what He says about me.
When I spend time doing my own renewal coaching I discover those sneaky thoughts that lead to self doubt. When I spend time renewing my mind with truth I discover that most people, (specially the ones who love me the most) don't intentionally mean harm towards me. They just sometimes make a joke never knowing that under the surface it may trigger something from my past. My past is better kept in the past and the life I choose to live today can be so much brighter and lighter when I keep in mind that the gift of mercy reaches far beyond the wounds of yesterday.