Have any of you ever had those weeks/months where you are just like “What more could God POSSIBLY throw at me?” and right as you say that He throws another obstacle at you head on? And you just kind of laugh because you have nothing left to give?
I’ve had that month. There were nights i’d come home and just cry because I literally just had no idea what I was going to do next. You name it, it happened to me. Bills upon bills, hoping from job to job just make ends meet, conflict with my relationships, on top of it I’m training for another big photoshoot so the ‘body image monster’ has attacked my mind a few more times than usual. I know some of you (most of you) are all nodding your head as you read this saying, “Yassss. Girl! I know EXACTLY how that feels.”
Our twenties are a time of trial and error. Mostly error, but that’s what make our twenties, our twenties amiright? Financial issues are a pain in the butt however the good thing about them, you can always make more money if you strategize accordingly. Thankfully by the grace of God I am back on my feet and doing just fine. Clients are pouring in and I got an incredible part time job to help. Body image issues are also a pain, and we all know I could go on and on about that topic. But the obstacle I want to touch on today is what to do when you have conflict in relationships.
This last week I have dealt with more conflict in my relationships than I have in a very long time. I am not a confrontational person by any means but I do believe it is important to have open communication with everybody. Nobody can read your mind except for you. SO SPEAK UP or you’ll never be heard. Here are 4 situations of conflict I think that we all have dealt with and my view on how to deal with them in a Christ honoring, peaceful, and appropriate way.
#1. The breakup:
We ALL have experienced breakups. And I’m not even talking about boyfriend/girlfriend breakups. Sometimes you have to breakup with a friend. My advice to anybody who has to breakup with somebody is PUT YOUR HEART FIRST. (Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”) You are the only person who can truly look out for your own heart. People treat you the way they feel about you. So girls: That guy you are talking to who isn’t responding to your text, and he continually bails on your dates. What does that say about how he truly feels about YOU as a person? Does he value you or your time? No, probably not the way you should be valued. And this isn’t bashing the poor guy, maybe he thinks you’re super cool but he just honestly isn’t as into it as you are. So tell the guy: “I feel like I am investing a lot of energy and effort into this and not receiving it in return. So I’m going to put myself first here and say this just isn’t working out.” Then…here comes the hard part…. DO NOT CONTACT HIM. Let the dust settle, figure your heart out and pray that God puts someone in your life that does value you and your time. Trust in His plan. Maybe you’ll end up with that guy down the road, who knows. But for now YOU DO YOU BOO BOO! Be the boss of your own life. Make your business all it can be, work out harder in the gym, eat more veggies, have a glass of wine, and improve your life with good books. Make yourself your #1 priority so that in return somebody else can make you one of his priorities. Self-love is attractive. This same thing goes for friends. In church last week the pastor talked about “pruning your relationships.” You need to cut out the bad ones so that the good ones can grow.
1 Corinthians 15:33
“do not be mislead: Bad company corrupts good character.”
#2. The Apology.
This one is plain and simple. When somebody apologizes to you. FORGIVE THEM AND DO NOT TURN IT INTO MORE DRAMA THAN IT HAS TO BE. It is easy when somebody says sorry to you after really hurting you to be like, “Yeah well you shouldn’t have done that!” or ramble on about more reasons why it hurt. Forgive them, and move on. You can say something along the lines of, “Well yes what you did really did hurt me, but I appreciate you taking the time and thought to apologize to me. I know that isn’t easy and I forgive you.” You aren’t being a pushover by forgiving somebody. You are being an example. Christ literally got beat and nailed to a cross for you and you can’t forgive Becky for stealing you man? Common….
Ephesians 4: 31-32
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
#3. The hurt friend.
Oh man. This one is the hardest. Has a friend ever confronted you because you hurt them? Maybe you didn’t even know you hurt them, but you most definitely did. This one is hard because YOUR flaws get brought into the light. When somebody confronts you because you did something to hurt him or her, LISTEN.
LISTEN. LISTEN. LISTEN.
Everybody is entitled to his or her own feelings. Maybe you don’t think what you did was wrong or bad but if you were in their shoes you would want the other person to listen. Listen to this person, defend the parts you need to kindly, and then ask for forgiveness. This may be hard for you, but nothing is worth losing a great friend over.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;”
#4. The Drama Llama.
I swear sometimes people just like to start drama because they’re bored with their own lives. Recently I had somebody accusing me of something I did not do. It upset me because A. It wasn’t true and B. They didn’t even bother to ask me, they just assumed I did it. It hurt especially because this person was at one point a very good friend of mine and I would hope they knew my heart better than that. People do this though. It could be because of his or her own insecurities. It could be because somebody told them things that aren’t true. It could be that they are just bored and want to start problems. For whatever reason there is a way to handle this appropriately. It would be so easy to blow up and get defensive and scream. Especially when someone is making up lies about you. Instead, approach it with truth, honesty, and dignity. “There must’ve been a misunderstanding, because that information is not true. It’s not true because (fill in the blank with proven evidence if necessary). Sorry for the confusion have a great day.” And leave it at that. If they choose not to believe you then there is nothing more you can do. Truth has this amazing way of always coming to the surface. No matter what. If you truly are innocent of what you were accused of then you have nothing to fear because those that matter don’t mind and those that mind don’t matter. The people who are real friends to you will believe you and they will also defend you when gossip gets spread. Continue being the graceful, hardworking, happy, God honoring woman that you are and NOTHING can get in your way.
“For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.”
(That’s a scary verse huh? Lol)
Today I chose to find Joy in….
#1. Forgiveness. That sometimes I have to give forgiveness and sometimes I have to ask for forgiveness. Neither is easy but both are necessary.
#2. Communication: Without openly communicating how I am feeling nobody would understand. Having good communication leads to healthy relationships.
#3. Truth: I trust in God that truth will always be set free. It isn’t my job to reveal it only God can do that.
(Photography for this post done by the very talented: Tj Perez @tjperezphotography)