I confess I am a runner. If I can’t figure out how to deal with a situation, I have a strong tendency to try to figure how to get out of it. I don’t like confrontation. I am not by nature a "take it in stride" kind of person. When negative accusations come my way they affect me deeply. This combination has caused me more than my share of difficulties over the years. In the last couple of years, I have been trying a different approach. While I am still reluctant to have head-on collisions, I do pray and ask God for a way and a time to address my concerns with others. I have tried not to "close-off" or shut-down when my feelings are hurt and have really tried to not let things be so serious.

So instead of running for my life, I have tried STANDING for my life:

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4 (MSG)

What it amounts to is dealing with immature behavior, especially when it’s in me!

We are never going to win every battle, nor be always able to convince our opponents of our position, or even make everybody like us. There are times even when we’ve done our best, exhibited Christ-like character and virtues, and even done everything we could to try to understand other people; that we will fail in human relationships. Tests and challenges are going to come! What we do when they come reveals who we are and whose we are. 

One thing we can count on is that there is going to be adversity at some time in our life. What the devil is counting on is that we will let it affect us. What God is counting on and all of heaven is rooting for is that we will:

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Ephesians 6:13 (MSG)

Maria