You have tried, cajoled, relented, persuaded, prayed, pleaded, reminded, relaxed, re-grouped, prayed, re-analyzed, adapted, dreamed, prayed…and nothing.
The thought of it begins to make you physically sick. The mere image of that person causes you to cringe.
You cringe in fear, at first. You fear the pieces of you that you will give up next, where else you will turn to make it work this time, what other rationale you will use to talk yourself into getting through the next encounter. Each time you give one of these pieces, you get to a point where you start to feel the chips and the widdles.
And you wonder what shape you will be in at the end of it all. Like a piece of pottery on the wheel or the sculptor’s clay. Except, you hope that at the end, you will be a piece of art that someone will admire and want. Polished, refined, beautiful.
But, you think not because some of those gouges are large, and they hurt too much as they were coming out. You can see them as plain as day and you wonder if you will be able to hide them by turning this way or that.
You fear that you have failed the other person. That maybe there was a different way you could have approached something, a better word to say, stayed silent that last time instead of speaking your mind.
After a time, the fear turns into a certain indifference, an apathy. Where before you cared too much, now you care too little. You are indifferent because all the other emotions hurt too much, continue to hurt too much.
The pain of what is happening, the pain of what it is doing to you, the pain of feeling powerless, the pain of the vision at the end.
This is where, I believe, the negative connotation of apathy parts ways with hope and the will of God. Because, apathy and indifference are normally used in a pejorative sense. Apathy is not good.
But, is it OK if it comes after you have done everything any human can do? I think so.
You may wonder where God is. As a believer, I question neither where He is nor whether He is; but, I always ask Him what I must do to follow His plan. Do I stay or do I go?
In my experience, it is when this phase begins to set in that I know I am close to God’s plan. I have done and tried everything, even by changing and adapting myself. It is His sign to me to give it back to Him.
As I turn my back and walk away, I pray that I have done everything in my power to do His will. I pray that in turning away, I fulfilled and satisfied His need for me in the situation, or the life of the person with whom I struggle. Or maybe even His plan for shaping and molding me…because, realistically, He is working on both issues. He is multi-tasking.
I have personally experienced several of these situations in my life. And I know my journey is not done.
I only pray that in the end, just like a piece of pottery, that I will be what He intended and that I will have done His will.
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