Yesterday, I had a moment where I had to consider taking off my heels and using one of them as a weapon… Yesterday after waiting patiently in line to get gas (here on the East Coast with a shortage, ugh), a lady who I thought was trying to go in front of me to get to a parking spot decided to almost hit my car and pull in front of me at the gas pump I had waited over 30 minutes in line, not to mention the 10 people waiting behind me who were also there before her. As I moved on to the next open spot, I decided to ask the lady kindly to be more considerate of others in the future. I did not curse her and I stayed calm. However, she not so politely told me she was almost of “E” and for me to shut the bleep up. I then quoted scripture to her 🙂 and said, “You reap what you sow”. Trust me, I realized I should have addressed her once and left it alone, b/c I guess the “reap what you sow” which I also said kindly (I’m kind of amazed by this myself…) sent her over the edge.
This girl (not a lady, sorry I just can’t go there right now), asked me if I wanted her to beat my mother bleeping bleep. I didn’t respond at that point and went on about my business. Of course, my fight or flight response kicked in and I was reviewing my options for weapons if she came at me. Option 1: I could go for her weave and run. Option 2: I could take off my high heel and use it to defend my self. I chose Option 3, get in my car and go on my way. However, she then proceeded to follow me out of the gas station, down some side streets, into a bank parking lot, etc.
When it was clear the girl was following me, I started praying that God would protect me and that she would leave me alone. As I was turning my car around to go to the police station, she pulled in behind me at a church. As I pulled into the church, there set a very nice police officer. I’m still puzzled as to why the “girl” pulled in and waited as I talked to the police officer and didn’t simply leave, but she didn’t. So after I told the nice lady police officer what happened and that this crazy person was following me, the police officer drove over to her car and talked to the “girl”. I’m not sure what was said, but I was no longer followed, thankfully. I am so thankful for God’s protection for me.
As I was praying this morning, I asked God if I should have kept my mouth shut and just let her go on disrespecting others. I am so in owe at what God spoke to me… He said, Natalie, I want to you to speak truth in love, but maybe it would have gone over better if you had gone to the girl, offered to pay her gas and then asked her to be more considerate of others in the future… God is such a loving father to me and I’m so thankful for his loving, healthy correction. I hope and pray in the future I will respond more like Jesus which is so demonstrate love for others by speaking truth in love and also showing others how to do so.
Be encouraged today,
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
PS. My husband did give me a lesson on how to throat punch someone just in case when I got home…Next time, I”ll try God’s way first.
Over the past several years, we’ve watched people become divided about so many issues. Colin Kaepernick and his stance on kneeling during the national anthem, the Black Lives Matter movement, vaccines, education, masks, in-person church vs. online, politics, conspiracy theories, etc. People love to post or repost stances/stories on things. Celebrities weigh in on social issues. Pastors weigh in on political issues. Kids post tik tok videos on issues.
Most people do not even know they are victims of something called confirmation bias. This is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values (wikipedia actually had a great definition in this case…) It is why you feel your phone is listening to you-it is. Social media has used the “like” “subscribe” “recommended for you”, or even how long you look at certain pictures/posts to then send you more of what you were looking at or show interest in. Therefore, if all you ever see if information based off of one opinion or view, people tend to get very critical of those who don’t follow what they follow!
The tensions that result from all of these issues come up in counseling daily. Families members struggle to speak to one another over political differences. Teammates struggle to get along over social issues. Kids are fearful that their friends of a different race will no longer like them. Sadly, the answer is not to stay quiet. Nor is the answer to just scream, yell at others, or post your point of view. I truly believe the answer is to listen, love one another, and to be considerate.
If we want to our world to be more united, we must consider doing the following:
1-Listen to and learn from the views of others.
2-If you are online or on social media, follow people of different viewpoints not just the same as you believe to prevent confirmation bias.
3-Don’t let differing viewpoints stand in the way of relationships! Jesus was in relationship with many people who didn’t believe the way he believed…
4-Don’t be afraid to talk to your kids about different viewpoints. Share why you believe what you do, but teach them to use critical thinking skills and how to think for themselves. If you don’t, you may wonder why they went to college one day and come home believing something completely opposite of what you taught them the next. Give them a heads up…talk about it all beforehand not in a fearful way.
5-Remember, the only TRUTH is scripture (the Bible) period. The internet, FB, news, and opinions of others are valid outside of scripture. Spend more time in the word that on any other platform, etc.
6-Consider what the word would be like is Christ followers would try to go love the creator of the “Satan shoes” instead of just posting terrible things about him. Consider would our nation look like if Christ followers went and truly acted like they cared to know why Colin K was kneeling even if they disagree? What is Christ followers sought out the leaders of the BLM movement and got to know the creators and tried to love them?
When is the last time you spoke to someone who believes differently from you and tried to lovingly listen?
We cannot become a people who stop loving those who disagree or we will not be like Jesus, period. Relationship changes people, negativity and division do not.
Ephesians 4:2: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
Listen, learn, and share this episode with everyone you know! There is a message in it for everyone regarding human trafficking. It is not scary, but encourages us all to make positive steps to make a difference in our communities.
Season 2, Episode 1 is here! Check out this amazing message on how to overcome along with an interview from a friend who survived a shark attack…