JACQUIE HOOD MARTIN: Think Before You Speak | Home for the Holidays: Help, Hope, & Healing Series

Home for the Holidays: Help, Hope, & Healing Series

“Think before you speak”, is an old adage that we have heard throughout our lives. And, we have the tendency to approach most situations from several other adages, “I can speak my mind if want to,” “it’s my prerogative,” “the Lord told me to tell you.” Each of these statements are merely justifications we use in an attempt to get away with saying something we would not ordinarily say if we would give it time and some serious thought. I recall the first time I had something to reveal. Up to a certain point in my life I was the person that people always came to as a sounding board to bounce around their concepts, ideas, and revelations regarding the pain in their life. But, now it was my turn and I knew I had to select my words carefully. Remember when I said you had to have a conversation with yourself before you considered a reveal? Well, here is how I approached my situation.

1. Understand in your heart the place from which you are led to reveal: It is important to know if the reveal is coming from a place of love, hate, resentment, concern, or selfishness. When you are able to answer these questions, then you will be better positioned for a possible reveal.
2. Accept that the reveal may not go as planned: When we have not thought through what we are going to say, how we are going to say it, and realistically challenge the counter questions, then we can end up backed into a hostile corner, severing an already fractured relationship, or even worse losing our cool completely. When you are not fully prepared, sensitive to the position of the other person, or go with a closed mind, the reveal may be more than you can handle.
3. Have an exit strategy to back down if the situation becomes uncontrollable: There are times when you start to talk and you realize this was not a good idea. And, that is okay. It may mean it will happen at another place and time. Sometimes it means you have come to a place where you are okay without the reveal, you just needed to know that you can handle one if it was needed. Other times you are still thinking it through, and recognize that it is not worth it after all. Whatever your reason for the exit, trust God to reveal to you what you are to learn from the experience.

How did you prepare for your first reveal? As I prepared for my first reveal, I was anxious. I was not sure how to tell my mother about a situation she and I faced when I was younger. Yet it was an important reveal that God was leading me to do as I prepared 19-years ago to preach my first sermon and ordination service. I decided to write a letter as a way of purging and healing. I had carried this with me since I was a pre-teen. It was time to truly put the passed behind and if God was willing to use me, then I knew it began with a reveal. Honestly, you cannot lead others if you yourself are not willing to be led. I will share more of my first reveal in part six of this series. Just know that parents need to have more awareness, and daughters need to know they are not to blame. All abuse starts with a threat, and that threat can lead to a lifetime of guarded behavior, mistrust, dishonesty, disgust, hate, and bitterness. The emotions can be overwhelming. But, God is a healer and through it all I have emerged a better person, woman, leader, and Christian. One of the readers posted on Facebook a very interesting question that I had already planned to answer for part five of this series. Here’s what she had to say:
Great article, great topic! I have been expressing this very question, what happens after the reveal and now the healing process begins and you return to the same environment (church, friends, family) from whence you came prior to the reveal? What type of support system do you turn to post-reveal? Thank you! Vickie Ellis Evans

What is the key to a successful healing process? The key to a successful healing process is recognizing when you need to part ways with familiar people, places, and things. It is not healthy to remain in an environment that causes triggers in your life. Although, if family is involved, you can distance yourself until you are able to emerge ready to engage with them again. You see part of the self-examination process is to ask yourself several key questions after the reveal.

1. Is my time in this environment over?
2. Is my season coming to an end?
3. Have I already stayed here too long?
4. What good will come from the staying? Leaving?

When you are able to honestly answer these questions, put a strategy in place to move to your next stage or season in life. When you are sure that God has made you as uncomfortable as possible, because if He hadn’t you would not even be considering a change in your life, then and only then are you truly ready for a reveal. You have to be honest enough with yourself to ask the tough questions, think through how your life will change, and be mature enough to re-invent yourself and start fresh. And, if you are reading this and saying to yourself, “Why do I need to be the one to make the change, make the move, be the bigger person?” Then you are not ready for a reveal. A ready person knows that you do what is needed to be first, obedient to God, secondly, true to yourself, and third, have just the right amount of faith to walk in faith to pull it off!

Cyber Monday @ JacquieHood.com 

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