This morning though, this headline on good ole' informative Yahoo News caught my eye...
Unusual Punishment for World Cup Squad. Ahhh, now they have my interest. So, I clicked and read this:
Nigeria lost its first two World Cup group stage matches but still came just one goal short of advancing with their draw against South Korea. As one of the more heavily favored African nations, the early elimination was certainly a disappointment. So how is Nigeria handling that disappointment?
From the BBC:
Nigeria's president has suspended his nation's football team from international competition for two years after a poor showing at the World Cup.Special presidential adviser Ima Niboro told reporters the decision by Goodluck Jonathan will "enable Nigeria to reorganize its football."He said: "This directive became necessary following Nigeria's poor performance in the ongoing World Cup."
Wow! Two whole years in time out for not representing your country in a positive way? That's a long time seems a little harsh over a soccer game.
Just looking at my own walk with Jesus, can you even imagine if this was God's mode of operation?
OH, my goodness, I'd be in time out all the time.
But we serve a God full of grace and mercy. When we mess up and we truly repent, He forgives.
Doesn't mean He never disciplines us, but He does forgive.
A few weeks ago, I put up a post called "Seasons End and Sometimes Friendships Do Too".
Don't go looking for it, if you missed it because I took it down last night. I wrote that post out of frustration and ever since, God has been working on my heart. But I kept ignoring and justifying why I wrote it. If you didn't see it, I had written about a friendship that I felt was no longer good for me,but this person kept appearing in my life and after feeling unheard by her, I decided to take it to the blog because I knew she used to read it.
Let me just tell you, that when you have committed something to be God's, like I have with this blog, and you use it for your own personal platform, watch out. I knew when I wrote it, my post would hurt her, but being the "godly" woman that I am, I started the post out with scripture and even backed up my feelings with a Bible story of a friendship gone awry. And you know what? Hand in hand with Pride, I accomplished exactly what I set out to do.
She's so ugly.
And I invited her and all her ugliness to come into my heart and invade it so that every time I spoke of the situation to my husband, I was left with drops of poison dripping off of my chin.
I was not a pretty sight.
Not to God, to my husband or admittedly to myself.
And then I got a letter about the blog post from my "ex-friend" as I referred to her as in the post.
And she asked for my forgiveness.
And for the first time in a year I felt my heart softening toward her.
So I thought I should take the post down that slammed her, but then Pride quickly stood up with her hands on her hips and said,"No Lelia, leave it up, stand your deserved ground girl."
And, so I did.
Until last night.
Yesterday afternoon, I had my 16 year old chauffeur, Aaron, drive me to Walgreen's and according to him and his friend, I left them in the heat for 30 minutes until I found a birthday card for her. I wrote in it, signed and sealed it, but didn't deliver it. Instead, I went to Bible Study and cried on this one part that Beth Moore shared.
Wouldn't you know, it was on pride?
She shared how she had been trying to work with this woman and the woman just kept lying so Beth had enough. She said she was speaking at a banquet and saw this woman out of the corner of her eye and Beth then made a statement from the stage that only the woman would get. A statement that sliced the lady apart. And immediately after, God dealt with Beth about it. I sat there last night in tears. For a year now I have avoided having a sit down with this lady and sharing our hearts. And like I said I let Pride rear up and hold her ugly head high in my heart because in my mind, I am right and she is so wrong.
After Bible study last night I prayed and asked God to help me and I made my way to the Birthday Girl's home. I let out a sigh of relief as I turned the corner because I was getting off easy; she wasn't home. I went up to the house and was going to put the card in the screen door when through the open door I saw her ninety-something year old father sitting alone watching television. I knocked and let myself in and talked with him for awhile. I hadn't seen him in a year and we used to see each other everyday. I gave him kisses and hugs and just as I was leaving, her sister walked in. I felt a little uncomfortable, knowing she probably knew what had happened, but we hugged and spent a few minutes talking. Again, I was making my way out the door, when my neighbor walked in from her birthday dinner.
Over the last year, I hadn't stepped foot in her home or talked with her and when she walked in and saw me, she opened her arms. We hugged and talked for a few minutes and then I left. And cried. It was her day, so I didn't say anything but Happy Birthday, but it was a start. A start of letting God fill my heart and making Pride get the heck out. A start of making Pride shut up and let me walk in obedience to God. A God who should have done what the Nigerian president did and put my butt in a 2 year time out for using the gift of writing He has trusted me with to rip apart my sister in Christ. For being a poor showing of grace and mercy.
I was wrong in how I wrote out my feelings on my blog and I'm so sorry to her and also to you for roping you into my journey of pride. Some things, we just need to get in the position as this Nigerian player is in and take our junk before God and God alone.
One thing Beth Moore said last night, was "We better deal with our stuff, our stuff will deal with us".
Let Him deal with you in whatever way He needs to, for He is the only One Who truly knows our needs.
If you want to join an on line blog study, starting Tuesday, July 6th, check it out here and see if it's for you.