Friday, January 16, 2009

(The one with Cheryl's bad attitude. And a message via Sydney. And an "I get it" moment.)

I've learned that, as I get older, messages seem to get through to me better.

I used to be pretty good at ignoring them. Or just not noticing them in the first place.

But, day-by-day and (better yet) year-by-year, I find that I see things more clearly. And meanings come to me more easily.

I find that sometimes things are just what they are...but there are also times when a phone call, or a found object, or a photograph, or a fleeting thought running through my mind are more than that. They are put there for me to grab hold of--and to find meaning in.

I've even been known to see the miraculous in the stars, or a sunset, or a song played at just the right time on the radio.

Or in a moment arising from a child saying, "Momma, you gotta read this to me."

Sorta (no, exactly!) like what happened just the other day...

I am generally an upbeat person. I take things easy. I don't let people get under my skin. I don't experience conflict (not because I avoid it, or don't like it, but because I generally don't see the need for it). I rarely go to bed with anything gnawing at me. I definitely don't hold a grudge, or rarely even feel angry.

But the other day was a different story.

I was really upset at someone (several people, actually) and all I really wanted to do was shout at anyone who would listen to me: "Can you believe that people can be so petty and stupid!?" and basically act like a little child throwing a temper tantrum. (You know. Lying in the floor, fists hitting the ground, feet kicking.) I wanted to tell someone off. I was not really feeling very lovely or loving.

As I ranted and raved internally, Sydney traipsed downstairs holding a book. She sorta shoved it under my nose and I thought to myself, "Not now, Sydney. I really don't want to read a book to you." I didn't say it out loud, of course, but I sure thought it.

I then realized what book she was holding. It was one of those New Testament-only Bibles that she had gotten at one of the various Vacation Bible Schools she attended last summer. She was flipping randomly through the pages, but then settled on a page she had reached.

She had the pages turned over and handed it to me, saying, "You gotta read this to me, Momma. Right here."

I looked at it and saw that it was opened to First Corinthians. I could see chapters 14 and 15 on the page spread.

But then Sydney pushed her hands in front of me and switched it back one page. "No, Momma," she said. "Actually [her favorite word is 'actually'] you need to read this. The one that says 1-3."

That's when my heart sorta did a little leap into my throat. As someone who'd been to Sunday School (both dragged, and of my own volition) since a little girl, I immediately knew what First Corinthians 13 was gonna tell me about.

Sydney then said, "Momma, you gotta read it to me. What does it say?"

Before I even read it, I smiled a little smile heavenward. It was a smile that said, "You got me, God. I'm not even gonna fight it, or ignore it. You somehow told Sydney to grab that Bible, and march down to me, and open up to that page right there. So, yep, you got me."

Sydney looked at me and I read it...paraphrased it a little bit, but pulled out the words that I think God wanted me to see highlighted in front of my eyes.

Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love is not rude.
Love is not easily angered.
Love trusts.
Love never fails.

Sydney put her head on my shoulder. "I love you," she said.

And then off she went, traipsing upstairs with that little New Testament in one hand and a Polly Pocket in the other. Clueless as to what message she had brought to me.

I'm not gonna lie and say I stopped feeling mad right then and there. God sends me messages; I don't always do a 180 right away like He wants me to do.

But, I softened.

I reverted back to Old Cheryl, and realized that anger's never done it for me in the past. Why let it start now?

I prayed for a loving attitude. I realized that people act in ways that I won't always understand. I saw the good in the people I was ticked off at. I unclinched my fists and calmed the butterflies in my stomach. I realized that, as trite as it might sound, love really is the way to go.

And, because I'm older (and getting older day-by-day), I didn't count Sydney's visit to me as circumstance or coincidence. I stopped to acknowledge the lesson. The ephiphany. The "That is so amazingly cool!" moment. The Meaning in the message.


Edleen said...

*hug hug* i have days like that too. which if possible i don't want those kind of moments.

you've got a Sweetheart!

wishing you a wonderful weekend :)

camport said...

So cool. And the story you just told is why I could never be an Atheist. If there was no Bible. If there was absolutely no account of Jesus in history. If there was no church or apostles or missionaries or evidence of a Creator all around us, I'd still be a Christian for one reason: the story of my life. The way that I see, feel, and experience God every single day.

Thanks for this story.


Cheryl Wray said...

Ed--I hope you have a wonderful weekend too!

Camport--I totally agree! I feel my faith most strongly when God reveals Himself to personally like that. It was pretty amazing!!

aimee said...

That was cool. Very cool. I love how God does that.

Anonymous said...


~gkw said...

Cool story C but what do you mean

As I ranted and raved internally

I don't remember you being too internal when you called me!


Monogram Queen said...

That - that gave me chills Cheryl. I love it! That was read when I got married :)

Cheryl Wray said...

Aimee--VERY cool indeed!


G--LOl Well, I wasn't yelling out loud so that Sydney could hear me! And, besides, I'm supposed to rant to you!!

Queen--Crazy, huh? (And I love when those verses are read at weddings. :-)

hippo chick said...

Isn't God great? The only hope we have is in Him. Aren't you glad He's in control and not you and me?

Great story. Thanks for sharing.

~hippo hugs~

Kathy said...

All I can say is WOW! That really is an "amazingly cool" moment!

Dettao said...

I have had those "song on the radio" or random phone call messages, too. You gotta love it when God speaks to us in those ways.

Adrienne said...

Awwww isn' it amazing how God will get our attention!

Gary is so funny lol

Cheryl Wray said...

Pam--Yes, I am absolutely glad that He's running the show!

Kathy--A VERY cool moment!

Detta--I love it when those moments happen.

Adrienne--LOL Yeah, I DID call and rant to him!

Cheryl said...

What a neat story! I love it. You listened. So many times people do NOT hear HIS WORD. They don't want to listen. When we let HIM in things change for us. I have been really upset with people for being so mean. We can't deal with those people alone, we need HIM. Without HIM helping me, I am ready to hurt someone. You seem so sweet. Love your writing Cheryl, I enjoy my visits here. Thanks!

Jenster said...

What a fabulous story!! I'm so glad you shared it. I love how God uses our kids to teach us. Well, sometimes anyway. :o)

Gretchen said...

That God...he so doth rocketh. I stand in amazement that he can take care of a mood, complete miracles, and make the day turn to night and back again all at once.

Thank you for sharing.

Lynilu said...


I had a conversation just yesterday with a friend about this kind of circumstance, about my efforts to remind myself when to let go and when to take a stand. I'm trying to avoid useless ruminating of things that are out of my control.

I'm choosing to take action or let it go free, but never to ruminate.

Cheryl Wray said...

Cheryl--I think the trick is to be open so that you CAN HEAR the message. You're so sweet!

Jenster--Yeah, kids teach us all the time (although not always good! LOL)

Gretchen--You make me smile!! :-)

Lynilu--I agree!! If you don't take action,then you have to let it go. Otherwise,it just festers and we know how that can go.


way to go!!
Great story

Laura said...

Great post! I heart "ephiphanies"! Especially when they come from Him!

Corey said...

what an awesome story. reminds me to remember who's runnin the show...and it ain't me! I tend to forget that quite a bit.

Faye said...

Hey girl,
I've tagged you for a Photo Meme. Go look at my blog to see what you're in for :)

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic story. I'm actually tearing up. God does have away of showing you things even when you refuse to see it. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful Sunday

Cheryl Wray said...

Cinni-- :-)

Laura--Epiphanies are one of my fave things! (I love the word too!)

Corey--We all forget who's in charge.I know that I do, and I have to have things like this to remind me.

Faye--Ooh, fun! I'll come check it out!

Yvonne--I'm glad you got something from my little story. I hope your Sunday's been good too!

Heather said...

What an amazing story! God surely works in mysterious ways!