The dark side of me!

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I know what people generally see in me and I am acutely aware of what they don’t!

As a rule people don’t see the dark side of my life. It is not that I am intentional about hiding aspects of my life—I simply don’t want people to see the dismal side of me that sometimes forces its way to the surface. My husband is the one person that sees the ugly side of me. I am not good at hiding it from my husband or my kids, but mostly my husband!!

Yes, I know what Jesus said in Matthew 5:16:

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

I try, but sometimes I fail.

So let me be honest!

There are days that I wake up and I really do not feel like a passionate, devoted and committed Christ follower. I feel tired, discouraged and at times, bereft of passion. However, few people might even realize it. I am not so sure that this is such a bad thing.

I do not think we should project our discouragement on others, neither do I think we should subject them to our moods.

I do think we can make a choice to live above the situation. Unfortunately, sometimes our families and the ones we love most suffer because they are exposed to the darker side of our natures.

So I go to my office and this is what people see:

I am well presented! I have my computer in my satchel and I am ready for work. I greet all I see with a cheerful “Good morning—how are you?”

I stop en route to inquire how someone’s sick loved one is and I give someone a hug on the way! (Cheerful Carol . . . another day in her busy life!) I peek into someone’s office and have a little joke about something they said the other day. We laugh . . . (that’s me, always laughing!). I cheerfully pop into another office and remind the couple they are having dinner at my house, (yes, gracious me, having people for dinner again!).

And then I slip quietly into my office to begin my day.

But this is what my husband sometimes sees:

He always wakes up cheerful! That is a good thing, but sometimes it annoys me simply because I don’t feel happy! “Morning, precious, here is your tea?” he says soothingly. I mutter something unintelligible! I don’t even know what day it is when I wake up.

“How did you sleep my girl?” he asks in the nicest tone.
“Not good!” I say, as my vocal chords begin to come to life.
“I am sorry!” he replies too kindly for my liking.

I am not even going to ask him how he slept, because I know he slept like a baby. I was tossing and turning while he was in the land of sweet dreams. Not fair that some people sleep like babies! Simply not fair!

I drink my tea, shower and go and get breakfast ready. Paul comes through to have breakfast with me.

“I hope you made the bed!” I say.
“Yep, all done darling.”

He is far too cheerful for a Monday morning, for any morning for that matter, but on this particular one, he is too bright.

“Are you okay precious?” he asks in a caring way.
“Nope, not really, feeling a bit down today” is my grumpy reply.

We have our devotion and pray. He prays for me, which makes me wonder if he is really wishing I was more spiritual—doesn’t he think I am godly enough?

We finish our devotions and I clear the dishes before getting ready to go to the office. Paul has his coat on and is ready to leave.

“I need to get to the office now darling,” and he comes to kiss me.
“Are you trying to avoid me?” I say.
“No, I have a busy day!” he responds quickly.
“Well, maybe you are  too busy!” I say in my spiritually righteous tone.

I am not even sure why I have just said what I did. Sometimes words just slip out! He gets his coat, “Love you, see you later,” and off he goes singing on his way.

“Great, he never has enough time for me,” I think, forgetting that we spent the whole evening together. I know I am over reacting, but I am feeling grumpy and I think I really wanted him to feel a little bit of my misery. The not so nice side of me is quite openly visible!

Okay, I know what you are probably thinking! She has a wonderful husband—how could she be mean? He makes her tea, he makes the bed . . . man I wish I had a husband who did those things for me!

You are quite right. He is wonderful!

However, I think most of us have those moments in our lives. Those times when we do not appreciate people as we should. The moments when we should respond differently, but we impose our moods on others.

I also know what God sees and hears—He sees and hears all the unkind, not very nice thoughts that run through my brain from the moment I am awake.

Whenever I have these moments in my life I know I have to do something. 

And here is what I always try to do:

Stop
I have to be intentional. I know my heart is not where it should be. I am not fooling the God who loves me. So I just need to find somewhere quiet and stop and reflect.

Pray
I know I need to speak to God. I need to confess my bad attitude and most of all I need to say, “Sorry!”  I need to ask Him for His grace for the day and His strength to see it through.

Re-evaluate
There are times I am too busy. My weariness gets the better of me and I become less than kind to those dearest to me. I stop and look at my life and try and evaluate what should change. I need to be quiet and honest.

Ask forgiveness
This is the big one! I have repented to the Lord, but what about those that I love? I have to stop and say sorry to them—admit that I was less than nice and assure them I will work on my attitude.

Keep on keeping on
I don’t wallow in my failure. I don’t like it, but I can’t stay there. So I dust myself off and I get going again. It’s a new day—I move on!

Shine
I let Jesus love flow through me so that I can shine again. I don’t only want to shine on my good days; I want to shine on my not so good ones too!

Remember
Bad days will come around and when they do I want to remember this one and remind myself that I can choose my attitude no matter what the circumstance.

I don’t enjoy confessing my weakness, but I hope in doing so that you will gain courage. Sometimes it is easy to talk about the good aspects of our lives, but truth be told, we all mess up more than we want to admit.

Perhaps you have messed up too! There is hope.
Stop, pray, evaluate, seek forgiveness and keep on keeping on!

I pray your day will be abundantly blessed.

Carol is married to Paul and they have two wonderful children and two grandchildren. She has lived on four continents, traveled to over 50 countries and preached in most of them. She is passionate about Jesus and His Kingdom and has just published her memoir, Wild Hope. She has a PhD in practical theology and currently serves as Director of the Graduate School at Trinity Bible College, North Dakota.

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2 Comments

  1. Glenda McMinn March 13, 2015 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    Wow!!! Thanks SO MUCH for sharing! I was MEANT to read this!

    • carol March 15, 2015 at 6:16 am - Reply

      You are welcome! May the Lord richly bless you Glenda!

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