One of my pet peeves is when I talk to someone and share my heart with them, but they don't seem to listen. You know what I'm talking about. That person (or persons) who you go to expecting to get words of comfort, and you leave the conversation feeling worse than before. I am ashamed to say that tonight I was that girl.
I got a phone call from my mom tonight telling me that my older brother, Jeremy, had some tissue removed from his back last week. The results came back that it was pre-cancerous tissue. Jeremy's tissue was in the same spot as my dad's first major melanoma, and Jeremy is the same age, 27, as my dad was when he found out about his cancer. So mom is justifiably worried, who wouldn't be?
For some reason I was unable to fall asleep when I laid down in bed an hour ago, God just kept tugging at my heart to keep me awake and I feel like He did that so I would be coherent when Matt, my younger brother, called me about 20 minutes ago.
Matt called to see if I had heard about Jeremy. I told him that I had, but that I wasn't too worried about it. See here is where I became the sister who makes her brother feel like he was silly for being worried and that his feelings were invalid. All Matt wanted to do was to share his heart with me, share his concerns with me, share his struggles with me. All I did was tell him that life's not fair, and God's got a bigger plan.
I spoke when I should have been silent.
I realized almost instantly what I had done, but the damage was already there.
Proverbs 15:4 says "The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit."
I was a spirit crusher tonight, and I am not proud of that.
I love both of my brothers dearly and I am concerned that Jeremy is at a much higher risk for developing melanoma, but part of the way I cope with things is to be overly realistic, and to have a ridiculous amount of hope in God.
Knowing that I can't control cancer or my own life for that matter makes it easier to deal with for some reason. I don't know why it just does.
Knowing I have not learned to control my tongue, however, makes me sad. My chosen field is largely centered around the mouth, speech, and all that goes along with communication. How ironic that my biggest struggle is what God has called me to help others with?
For most of the year I had the following verse up on the whiteboard in my kitchen:
"Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless." James 1:26
Apparently it hasn't quite sunk in yet...or maybe it will be a continuous battle. I do know however, that my current lesson is to not be so quick to voice my opinion. One more anecdote and I'll leave you to the rest of your day. I love Brandon Heath, and I've had his new cd playing in my car for a few days now. After my experience tonight I'm reminded of the lyrics to one of his songs. So read them, meditate on them, and if you have any advice to give I'd be happy to hear it, and hopefully I won't give any unsolicited opinions for a while.
The song is called "Listen Up" and it's fantastic...so you should listen to it on itunes...or brandonheath.net (shameless plug I know)
Why are you crying?
Did I say something wrong?
Weren't we just talking?
Tell me whats going on.
Cause I’m pretty sure my intentions
Were nothing more than conversation
Maybe you just needed someone
To listen to your heart
Maybe I spoke too soon
Maybe I said too much
Now that my face is blue
Think it’s time I listen up
I’ve already said enough
Sometimes I do this
Thing is I’m so afraid
When it get’s quiet
What you might have to say
Cause I’m guilty of
I’m lost in my
I apologize, I know I
Should listen to your heart
There isn’t anything that I could say
Not a word to get in the way
Of you, Of You, I am listening