I don't even know how to share what I want to without making this a mile-long post... but, here it goes...
This week, our lesson concentrated on Peace. And during the video series, Beth pointed out the difference between a Peacemaker and a Peacekeeper ... and let me just say ... that really struck a chord with me.
As I've mentioned before, I am a people pleaser. I hate controversy and conlfict. HATE it. And I now realize that for the majority of my life, I was acting as a peacekeeper, and not a peacemaker. For three years, I worked with a man that loved contention. He was my supervisor. He would constantly tear me down in front of my co-workers, argue with me, yell at me, and try to start fights with me. My co-workers just couldn't understand why he became so abusive with me... I have always said it's because I refused to give in to his desire to argue with him. I kept quiet, tried to patch things up, moved on ... despite the fact that my husband and coworkers all advised me to report this man to Human Resources.
I just couldn't. I was paralyzed with the fear of loosing my job, or of tarnishing my own good reputation at work. I was afraid of being labeled the "trouble maker" -- even though his behavior was unethical and abusive.
Beth pointed out in her video that the some of the motivations behind a "lover of contention" are misery, and power -- a desire to be in control, which is very strong and manipulative. He was all of this. He caused so much stress in my life. And fear. In fact, while working under him, I had three miscarriages. Not a good thing.
Finally, when I was 7 months pregnant with Hunter, I had reached my limit. I went to Human Resources and reported him, taking with me all my documentation. They began an investigation. When I was 8 months pregnant, I was put on bed rest. And the day I went on bed rest, he advertised my position. That created a whole different upheaval, but while I was sad to leave my coworkers and a job I absolutely loved, my HR rep and I decided it was for the best... And my husband pointed out that it may very well be God's hand in all of this. Needless to say, he has burned many bridges, insulted many other people higher up than me, and has left a bad reputation for himself.
I can look back and see all the times I tried to keep peace. But I really felt like I was in the middle of a spiritual warfare. You see, he was of a different ... How can I say this gently ... belief system. One that acknowledges Christ as a good man and an important profit, but not his god. Many think that his god and my God are one in the same. They are not. And each time I stepped foot into my office, I could feel evilness hanging like a thick cloud in our area. It cause a lot of anxiety in me. Not peace.
Beth shared a scripture in her video that was ME ... ME ME ME, I tell you!!!
serious. "Peace, peace," they say, when there is no peace."
They dress the deep, ugly, baaaad wound with a bandaid and say... it's going to be just fine, really ... it is. But IT'S NOT. And that's exactly what I was trying to do. For three years. Folks, I was NOT in a healthy state (as Beth said)!
Another scripture that Beth laid out for us (in Day 3 of our homework) --
The peace I was trying to create was not like the Peace that Christ gives us. I was troubled. I was afraid. And that was no way to live. Now, I have a new job (one that I don't like very much) but, I'm not at work until midnight, or even 3:00 in the morning any more. And, I have a great boss.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27
I'll tell you what ... I want "peace like a river ... not a pond" -- yeah, Beth said that, too! But this little Texan lady is smart ... and carries a walloping spiritual punch!