Wednesday, July 13, 2011


How to handle controversy?  If there was a perfect answer for this I guess there wouldn’t be any need to even ask the question.  In my experience it comes down to the circumstances of the situation.  We have been struggling to find the grace to deal with what started out as a misunderstanding and turned into attacks towards our family.  I don’t know the answer but I do know how we have chosen to deal with it.

First, I’m angry.  I’m human, a flaw I can’t help.  If I feel I made a mistake or something I said was taken the wrong way, I’ll eat crow and make it right.  (The Lord finds a way to humble me everyday and an apology is something I have no problem issuing when warranted).  But when I am attacked, my first response is usually anger until I have a few moments (or days) to settle, collect my thoughts, and evaluate the situation.

Next, I try to empathize.  How would I feel if the shoe was on the other foot?  Can I explain away harsh and hurtful statements?  Always consider the source, what’s their deal?  If the attack is completely off base, it’s coming from a darker place and usually not caused by you.

Finally, the reaction.  The way you ultimately choose to handle the situation.  Could you fly off and go ape on someone blatantly trying to hurt you and members of your family, or do you rise above?  If the statements are just that, statements, and not threats, you must choose which path you’ll take.

1)      Go Momma Bear crazy on people and get everything out there, swinging wildly at the hurt others have caused.  But when it comes to most situations, this is never the high road and usually puts you on the same level as the people causing you strife.
2)      Take the high road.  Choose to be a class act.  Even though this is not as immediately gratifying as going nuts on someone, it will teach you how to allow grace to speak for you.

Actions speak louder than words, and in some cases my inaction.  While upset and talking to Mother, (our affectionate nickname for my husband’s mom) she gave me this advice: “Pray about it and pray for them”.  That advice washed over me with God’s grace calming me inside.  If I give it up to God, pray about it, He will do the speaking for me.  I can fight until I’m blue in the face but nothing will satisfy me as much as being filled with the overwhelming peace God can give.

If I am confident as my decisions as a wife and mother, giving all I have to see to the care and loving of my family, there isn’t any reason to say a word.  I can honestly say I try really really hard everyday to be the best woman/wife/mother and role model for our young family.  I live without regret, don’t get me wrong, I make mistakes…constantly, but I know that they only come from a pure place.  And with that confidence, I can rest easy and let God do the speaking for me.

Dear Lord, please speak for me in situations where I need your voice.  Please hold the hearts of those causing harm to others, warm them, bless them, and make them happy.  Please help me love those who are able to hurt me and guide me to a path paved with your grace.


  1. Lee Anne...Sometimes trying to explain our feelings to others comes off as an attack (even when it's not meant to) especially when the circumstances involve tension. I completely agree that with controversy comes the decision to choose grace, and ultimately a reaction. The best reaction is, first, to pray. Your mother-in-law gave you good advice! Prayer will lead us to the appropriate action. Ask God how to best deal with situations and reveal any issues we need to deal with (the Lord has a way of refining all of us and making us more like Him). Prayer has a way of making our minds clearer, our hearts happier, and forgiveness possible. Wishing you all only the best and hoping time (and God) heals all hurts. By the way, this is a beautifully written blog!

  2. Those afflicted with a personality disorder wreak havoc in the lives of those around them, effecting needless conflict and pain. They derive a false sense of power by doing so. Their manipulation of people and situations may go undetected for awhile, but eventually, even the most insidious, eventually expose themselves. People of the Lie (as M. Scott Peck refers to them) behave badly without taking any responsibility for their actions. Some fail to recognize their culpability, but most choose to ignore it, focusing instead on the sense of control their actions render. When such individuals are confronted, they deflect blame with either outright lies, or logical fallacy. It is all too easy to get sucked into the destructive vortex they generate, but you must avoid doing so. This becomes especially difficult when a family member exhibits this type of behavior, since choosing to protect your immediate family from the evil they create by distancing yourselves from them, risks straining other relationships within the extended family, If this happens, the original goal of the individual orchestrating the chaos (divisiveness) will have been achieved. Avoiding this will require that you to focus on the behavior, rather than the person(s) responsible. Condemning actions, rather than people, is an invitation for the transforming power of Grace. Pray that Grace will hasten the healing of wounds and enable forgiveness. And pray that Grace finds a home in the hearts of those who initiated your pain. Finally, I want you to know that I'm very proud of the way you have conducted yourself throughout this difficulty. I love you and leave you with the words of St. Francis:

    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    where there is injury,pardon;
    where there is doubt, faith;
    where there is despair, hope;
    where there is darkness, light;
    and where there is sadness, joy.
    O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
    to be consoled as to console;
    to be understood as to understand;
    to be loved as to love.
    For it is in giving that we receive;
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
    and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen


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