My truth: Last year’s Time to Graduate Princess retreat was part healing and part misery for me. Fairly new to Everglades Community Church, I didn’t know many of the other princesses, and the ones I knew well enough to be comfortable with were busy putting on the retreat. My usual trick of hiding behind service to cover up my deficient small-talk skills didn’t work at this Christian function because I was there as a princess. Any offer I extended to help was rejected because princesses were to be ministered to. (Darn it, Girl Friday, are you sure you couldn’t use an assistant? Ms. Saturday, perhaps?)
Making matters worse, one of my princess friends said something insensitive to me. I was hurt, but the thought of confronting her tied my insides into ginormous granny knots. The longer the day went on, the worse I felt. My kids were starting to get annoyed by all of my calls – the nerve! So when they stopped answering the phone, I overdosed on chocolate, catapulting myself into a migraine. Not a perfect princess.
My graduation: Finally, I knew I had to stop wallowing in self-pity and talk to the princess who’d trampled on my toes. Through plenty of tears and a few stammers, I told her I felt she had given me the responsibility for something that was partly hers to bear. I spoke the truth in love to her. In response she told me she liked me. Not exactly what I was expecting, but on the other hand, I really don’t know what I was expecting. Later, I mustered the nerve to chitchat with some princesses I wanted to get to know.
Usually a graduation comes at the end of a course of study or season of growth, but in God’s typical topsy-turvy way of doing things, my growth during last year’s retreat was pea-sized compared to where He’s taken me since. I didn’t know it then, but a seed was planted at the retreat that would later break the surface of my rocky soil. You see, confrontation has always been hard for me. I took a risk when I confronted my friend, but the payoff would come.
Over the past year I’ve had practice confronting a friend when I’ve been wronged in an unbiblical and a biblical way. Remove the log from your own eye. Take responsibility for your feelings. Go privately and point out the offense. Believe me — the results are much better when you follow God’s way. As His Word says, if the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. And the issues that cause me to disdain confrontation in the first place? They’re being worked out with fear and trembling for His good purpose.
My hope and future: Small talk still ain’t my forte, and Girl Friday isn’t hiring for the Bedtime Stories retreat as far as I know. But I’m not worried. God has a way of turning misery into beautiful, freeing growth.
I wonder, though: Will those BAD Girls make us wear our jammies all weekend long? That would be good and bad. I can’t wait!