Revealing X-Ray Appointment

Photo Credit: Trace Meek, creative commons

“I’ll be with you as soon as I can…I’m only one person.” The receptionist/X-ray tech said with passive aggressive irritation. And my stomach twisted as I went from normal running errands-mode to what the heck is her problem-mode.

 

I had never been to this X-ray office but it’s literally three steps from the pediatrician’s office so it was a convenient way to find out whether or not my son, “Fifteen” had broken his thumb or not. When we had walked in 20 minutes prior, she had taken my insurance card and told us there was one person ahead of us. She said that she’d have some paperwork for me to fill out in a couple of minutes.

 

After waiting for at least 20 minutes, “Fifteen” asked me if we should go ask her about the paperwork. In any other doctor’s office I’ve been to, they hand you a clip-board filled with enough paperwork to buy a house and it takes a while to fill it out. So it did feel like a bit of a waste of time to be sitting there not filling anything out. I approached the window and politely asked her if I could begin filling out the paperwork.

 

Her response, above, completely threw me off. I wasn’t trying to rush her or upset her. I wasn’t indicating she wasn’t doing a good job. Yet her tone and words made me feel like I had done something wrong. I bit my tongue and returned to my seat, irritated that her attitude had bumped into my happy!

 

Several minutes later she called me up and handed me a paper to look over. She had pulled my info from the insurance company and there was nothing for me to fill out. I just had to confirm the info. Now I understood her comment a little better. There was no mortgage-sized clip board to fill out. She couldn’t give me the paperwork until she’d entered it into the computer. Okay. I get it. Could have been said in a nicer way. But okay. I realized she was probably just having a bad day.

 

However she then told me that they are there to service the orthopedic doctor that they share the office with and they are contractually obligated to take his patients first. So, would I mind if she took the next gentleman in front of me. By this point I’d been there around 40 minutes. I told her that it would have been good to know that when we walked in, but she could do whatever she needed to do. I wasn’t snarky or mean. But I wasn’t sweet either. I was just business-like, I guess.

 

But as I sat down to wait, yet again, I began thinking of all I’m learning through the Unglued Online Bible Study. I began to x-ray my emotions and I remembered that instead of allowing them to dictate my responses, I can choose a Godly response. Did I have a right to be annoyed? Yes. But I’ve learned that just because we have a right to do something doesn’t mean it’s actually right to do it.

 

In my quiet time, yesterday, I was reading about God being our Abba Father, our daddy. And the thought came…how much do I resemble my dad? Can people tell at a glance that I’m his child?

Sitting in an office looking like I’d sucked on a lemon would not have been much of a representation. So I decided to live what I believe. I believe God wants us to be his Love to people. Love God. Love People. It’s not that complicated. 

 

So when her computer log-in wasn’t working and she couldn’t get my credit card to run through, I smiled big and told her it wasn’t a problem…and it wasn’t! I wasn’t irritated at all because my focus had changed from what I wanted or needed to figuring out how I could be loving to the woman behind the glass. She apologized profusely for the wait and the issues and I continued to reassure her it wasn’t a problem. She explained she wasn’t usually at this office and she was just having a bad day. I reassured her repeatedly that I understood. No problem.

 

“Fifteen” finally got his X-ray (no break, yay!) and when she gave us our final paperwork, I handed her a card for a free entrée from my husband’s restaurant, telling her that I knew she’d had a bad day I hoped it would get better. She was so surprised and thrilled. She apologized again and I told her again not to worry.

 

She really was a nice woman and I’m so thankful that God got my attention and helped me to diffuse something that could have ruined both our days. Instead, I think we each felt a little better for having met each other. And I feel like I have one more notch in my imperfect progress belt. 😉 Not perfect…but making progress. I’m getting it Lord. I’m getting it! 🙂

 

How about you, my friends? Are you making a bit of imperfect progress in the areas that you want to work on? Are you struggling with emotions that rule your day rather than figuring out how to rule those emotions? It’s not to late to join us at www.melissataylor.org for the Unglued Online Bible Study! I promise you won’t regret it.

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Overthrow Those Dictators!

Do you ever feel like you’re coming unglued? Like you’re losing it and you can almost see the situation from a distance, knowing you should stop and regroup but you don’t? Your emotions are in control of your brain and they are not slowing down. I’ve never felt like that but I’ve heard about it. Ha! Okay, so I may have experienced this once or twice which is why I was immediately drawn to Lysa TerKeurst’s new book, “Unglued; Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions.”

As with any issue that we are trying to work on in our lives, we can get caught up in the myth of perfectionism and quit before we see any progress. We quit trying at the first sign of failure because we don’t like feeling like a failure. We think, “If I can’t do it right, I’m not going to bother trying.” So if we’re trying to control our tongue and we keep messing up and losing our temper, we may say, “Forget it. I’m just a hot head.” We settle.

But something Lysa says in this book gave me so much hope in dealing not just with my emotions, but with any area of my life that I want to improve. She talks about the idea of imperfect progress. We don’t have to be perfect, we just have to be progressing. I struggle with my emotions in spurts. I wouldn’t say it’s a consuming issue for me, but I do struggle with self-discipline daily. In a huge way.

I have totally fallen into the perfection trap. Because I’ve tried to work on this area for so many years I can easily get discouraged and just get to a point where I say, “Forget it, I’ll never conquer this. I’m just a disorganized mess!” But when I view my struggle in light of imperfect progress, I feel encouraged. I can look back and see that I am definitely more self-controlled than I was five years ago. I am making progress. And I will continue to do so.

As I’ve said, emotions aren’t always a struggle for me. But when “Seventeen” and I get into a bad place with each other (she’s my strong-willed one), I can easily fall into a pattern of saying things I don’t want to say. It can get ugly. And then I feel defeated. This was one of those weeks. So when I read the following paragraph in Lysa’s book, it hit home:

“But it’s hard to display self-control when someone else does things out of my control that yank my emotions into a bad place. So, here’s one little tidbit I’m learning. When someone else’s actions or statements threaten to pull me into a bad place, I have a choice. I do. It may not feel like it. In fact, it may feel like I am a slave to my feelings -but I am not. Remember, feelings are indicators, not dictators. They can indicate there is a situation I need to deal with, but they shouldn’t dictate how I react. I have a choice.” –Unglued pg. 72 (emphasis mine)

Wow…what a thought. My feelings should not be allowed to be dictators! I can choose to act in a better way than my emotions would choose. I can choose to stay in control of myself because when I don’t, the enemy wins. I know I don’t win because I feel horrible that I lost my temper and said things I regret. My daughter probably feels the same. So we are letting the enemy win in our relationship and that just can’t go on. 1 Peter 5:8 says,

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

I don’t want to be devoured, do you?

So, I have to be ready with an alternative to spewing whatever my emotions want to say. Lysa suggests putting some Bible verses in the notes section of your cell phone so you can call them up at a moment’s notice. (She’s so smart…how does she know that I’m more likely to do anything if it’s related to my iPhone? :)) That’s my goal for today. I’m going to find some verses that will help me gain control of my emotions in those heated moments and I’m going to put them in my iPhone.

Wanna join me? Leave a comment with the verses you choose. Let’s be self-controlled together, shall we?

Love ya,

rebekah

 

P.S. I’m taking an Online Bible Study via Melissa Taylor’s blog. Over 15,000 of us are reading Unglued and discussing. Check it out here.

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