Saturday, April 29, 2006

Living Beyond Yourself -- Week 5

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!!!

"They dress the wound of my people as though it were not
serious. "Peace, peace," they say, when there is no peace."
Jeremiah 8:11

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) --

"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

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.

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!


janna said...

I loved reading your post this morning. I too, was struck by the "Peace, Peace" of Jer 8:11 regarding keeping a fake peace. Quite interesting!

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

"The peace I was trying to create was not like the Peace that Christ gives us. I was troubled. I was afraid." this is a new insight for me...thanks for putting it in these words.

as usual - a wonderful post - honest and full of insight!! I just love dropping by Gibee's place!

-peace like a river - ya that is the good stuff!

Heth said...

Good stuff Gibee, good stuff.

Faith said...

Lovely post, as always!

Addie said...

I loved Jer. 8:11 also, I had never really noticed it until she put it together with this. Great post Gibee, and great insight.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this today!

Kristen said...

Let me just say, I love the new look! It's super.

Let me also say, the verse at the top is just what I need today. And so is your post. I never log on to blogs on the weekend, but here I am today, and I needed this.

Thank you much, GiBee!

Heather said...

Thank you for sharing!

I love the new digs by the way!

Nancy said...

Great looking new "face!" Very refreshing.

Terrific insight you share this week.

Sandra said...

"The peace I was trying to create was not like the Peace that Christ gives us. I was troubled. I was afraid." LOVED that.

For me I have always felt that the peace I was trying to create was just a temporary solution to an ongoing problem.
There is NOTHING like the peace you feel when you know that you have God with you.

Thank you for such an inspiring post Gibee, I always love dropping by your blog :)

~Patricia said...

Your blog looks beautiful! I just love how the Holy Spirit is using these lessons to teach each of us in such powerful ways. Blessings!

Life with Pzazz!!! said...

Good stuff, Gibee!

aggiejenn said...

Love your post! So glad you are being blessed by Beth's lessons. I'm working through "Jesus, The One and Only." It's awesome as well. (And because I live in the same city as she does, I get to see her in person a lot. I know, I'm spoiled rotten!)

BooMama said...

Love your new look! And great insight in this post, as always.

Peach said...

Just love that Beth Moore! Great insight, as usual. So lovin' the new "dress" . . . just cheers me to see it when I come here!

Susanne said...

Gibee: You always speak to me when you post about the study you ladies are doing! And your so right, sometimes the peace we try to create around is not the peace of Christ He wants in us. Thank you for your insight and sharing with us.

kpjara said...

GiBee, I had to do it...cause frankly you've gotten me so many times. I know you're about "tagged out" but I'm sending one your way that you simply MUST do!

Love ya...

Shalee said...

When I read this post, the first thing that came to mind was this verse:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. ~ Phil 4:4-9

You see it all works together. You start by rejoicing in everything and being the gentle, loving tool of God. That will give you peace that will envelope you and protect you, a peace that goes far beyond anything that we can comprehend. As we focus on Jesus and put into practice his ways and his mindset, we are given God's perfect peace to be with us always.

Thanks for opening up again and sharing you words of wisdom. I always feel encouraged when I come and sit with you.

Heather Smith said...

Great post, GiBee. I'm really starting to hate the fact that I didn't get in on this study!! But I'm learning so much from the other ladies that are doing it! Wonderful insights as always. Who knows, you may be the next Beth Moore!!