This week has been frustratingly NOT what I had planned. I had things on my agenda to accomplish. I need to find work, I have obligations, and there things that need to be done around the house and the basic taking-care-of-life kind of things. This Wednesday was an important date for me. I left my husband two years ago. I intended to blog about that. None of it is getting done because I keep taking care of other people. Particularly him. My friend. You simply can’t believe how utterly messed up his life is and every time he turns around there is something else. And I have to wonder, do I have codependency issues? Do I help too much? His car, which has some serious problems started leaking two days ago. It needs to go into the shop. So now he is out of a car for a few days. I started yesterday driving him to the dealership after he borrowed my car to take his son to the doctor and to school. I spent the rest of the day chauffeuring him around and looking at used cars and taking him to his doctor’s appointment. And then we picked his sons up after dinner so that they could spend the night here. Then his sons started fighting, so I drove one back to his mom’s house. Then I drove this morning to drop off the other one at school and my friend at work. As we were discussing what to do next time they fight, rather than return one to his mom, since that’s not really the best way to handle it, his former wife calls and I’m listening to all of their stuff again. I can hear the communication problems they have and the next thing I know, I’m at home cleaning up the kitchen and vacuuming and thinking about all the stuff I have to accomplish today and I find myself texting said former wife to ask if she wants to meet for coffee. I want to help.
WTF?! What is wrong with me? Why would I do that? Why would I get involved like that? I have my own life, my own things I’m supposed to be taking care of. I don’t have any answers for them anyway. What do I think I’m going to do for them?
I definitely have codependency issues.
Well, wait… I listen to their conversations and I hear where things are breaking down. I know how resentment affects our ability to see the other person trying to do the right thing. How resentment and bitterness color our speech with sarcastic and hurtful remarks. I know verbal abuse when I hear it. I understand where he is coming from because we are friends. I understand her position because I’m a mom and I also know what boys and men are like. I also watch the boys and see how the older one messes with the younger one and baits him. I know boys need firm boundaries and I doubt they are getting them. I have a pretty good understanding of the stuff they are going through.
Now, you know how people tell you, when you are going through a really difficult event in life, “God will teach you things through this and you’ll be more sympathetic and able to help others who are going through something similar”? Well, isn’t that exactly where I’m at? Isn’t this exactly what those people had in mind? Isn’t this that particular moment when I am really able to be useful in coming along side other people to help and listen and maybe give a little sympathy and counsel? So why would I not step in and help? Isn’t that an important part of being a human?
I read a wonderful little daily devotional, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Part of today’s devotion says,
Try to depend on the help of the Spirit as you go through this day of life. Pause briefly from time to time so you can consult with this Holy One inside you. He will not force you to do His bidding, but He will guide you as you give Him space in your life…
Maybe I’m misreading or projecting here, but aren’t we called to share the love of Christ, to share our selves, our time in order to help others? Isn’t that the bidding of the Holy Spirit? So, I am going to meet with this woman today and stay in touch with the Spirit as I speak with her, asking Him to show me what help He has for her and what words He wants me to share with her. And I’d be so grateful if you would pray that I don’t mess up and give her stupid, selfishly motivated words, but love her and speak words of honey inspired by the Spirit.