I have these moments in life when my mouth opens and words come out. Suddenly it's as though I'm trapped inside this body and have no control anymore because inside I'm screaming
" STOP TALKING!!" "HUSH" "CAN'T YOU HEAR WHAT YOU ARE SAYING!"
but it's too late the words have left my mouth forever in the air and can not be taken back. Why can't I stop myself??
Here is an example:
I was outside talking with my neighbor and she had just informed me that their dog had been so sick she had to be put down. Me in my awesome sensitivity, trying to be consoling to this poor woman.(Can I just add for my own safety I am very much a dog LOVER!! I have lost a few in my life and it was like losing a family member so pay no attention to what I actually said to this poor woman) As I was speaking the words I knew it was wrong. I think I said something like "well it is just a dog" which is the complete opposite of what I was trying to say. I have this terrible habit of continuing to talk as if talking will either do two things 1. make them completely forget the first thing I said or 2. explain away the reason I said such an idiotic statement. I remember that voice in my head screaming to stop but I just couldn't. I have a serious inability to just "SHUT UP!"
Why do I have this need to keep talking? Even in emails,. text messages, any kind of written communication I feel like I'm worse, I really should just stop. What makes this worse is that now there is written physical proof of my insensitivity. I try to make it short and sweet but then the obsessive need to continue to read, reread, and read again before and after I send it. If I find something that I don't think is coming across the right way suddenly before my brain can catch up to what is happening I'm typing another message to explain what I meant instead. It's a terribly vicious cycle.
Another word moment for me is when I am approached with news. Being the wife of someone in ministry I am brought lots of news. Good news, bad news, and in between news. Sometimes the words come so smoothly out of my mouth and I can only give God the credit for that because on my own I'm a rambling fool. I know what to say when someone tells me "I got engaged", "we're having a baby", "I accepted the Lord into my life" all such exciting jump for joy moments that I think even when something like "wow" or in a very unenthusiastic voice "that's great" comes out of my mouth it's covered by the other persons excitement. It's the times when I am approached and I can already read on their faces the news is not great, suddenly I am stumbling over my words. I want to be encouraging, I want to speak life into people, but I'm left with the deer in headlights, jaw hanging open shocked look on my face with no words, or at least none that make sense.
What do you say to your best friend that tells you she has cancer? My heart breaks so quickly that I feel like I can't breathe. I can't even imagine what she may be going through but my body is going through such shock that I just can't process what may come out of my mouth and for a moment I become selfish because I start to run through all the things that will come with this. I hate that my natural instinct is to start imagining all the ways this would affect me. It was a moment when I really discovered how important she was to me I NEED her she can't be sick. Suddenly I forget that this has nothing to do with me but everything to do with someone I love and care for deeply. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??
Which brings me to my family(which by the way is not the answer to "what is wrong with me" that was more of a rhetorical question) who I'm afraid get the worst of these crazy ramblings and words that come out of my mouth before I can stop them. Once those words leave my mouth there is no erasing them. I am ashamed of some of the things I have spoken to my husband. Words that are meant to tear down and not lift up. I am disappointed in some words that have come out of my mouth directed at my children. Spoken out of anger or frustration. I pray that I have not done permanent damage to them. They are such a blessing to me and I would never want them to feel any less.
What I am learning especially in the ministry is that words are so important. I want to be wise with my words. I want to be uplifting with my words. I know that we can apologize and ask for forgiveness but once those words have hit the air it's too late. I say this because I have had words spoken to me and over me that still hang with me. Words that I have let define me. What is so precious about words is that they have this powerful ability to make someone feel special, appreciated, LOVED but they also have the opposite affect and can make someone feel unappreciated, insignificant, and UNLOVED.
I want to speak life and love into people.
give me the words to speak, give me the courage to speak them, and the knowledge to know when to speak them. Take away my selfishness and help me to see what is important. Help me to know when my mouth should close and silence is best. Thank you God for loving me and my mouth!
"and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE."
1 Corinthians 13:13