He Didn’t Mean It How I Took It :: How I Let One Small Comment Derail My Day

He didn’t mean it the way I received it. I know he didn’t because I know his heart. But several hours passed after his throwaway comment and I just couldn’t shake his words…

“Well, maybe you should get a job.” 

I should clarify a little. No, we were not arguing. We weren’t even talking about the fact that I wasn’t currently working (outside of the home). He was not throwing a jab at me in any way. In fact, we were talking about coffee. And laughing at the fact that he drinks coffee at work (“free” coffee) and I drink coffee at home (“paid for” coffee). He laughingly said “well maybe you should get a job”…you know, to pay for the coffee. I laughed, too, and said something to the effect of “yeah, I probably should.”

I knew he was joking, but I couldn’t get past it…

Although I knew that he didn’t think for a second that his simple joke would change my morning the way it did, I found myself in a whirlwind of emotions. 

For him, it was a joke — poking fun at the life of leisure I’d lived since all school personnel were sent home on March 13 due to Coronavirus. To be fair, he didn’t know me as the always on the go, full time working momma. And being home truly was nice. No schedule to follow, nowhere we absolutely had to be, and no one to answer to. I was afforded an opportunity that many weren’t. My children and I spent five solid months at home, spending any given day swimming or playing in the park or watching movies — often in our pajamas (praise the Lord!).

The world was our oyster, and we enjoyed every single day.

And this is what he had seen for months. While I didn’t physically leave the house, and I may have stayed in pajamas or workout clothes for days on end, life wasn’t a party. I was also working and studying from home, and keeping the home front in order. But who really looks at that besides the momma? Y’all, I was hurt. And I was so very salty! In my mind, I thought, among other things, “this man just called me lazy.”

Only he most certainly did not…

I know his heart. So I knew that his words were playful jealousy. I was home sipping coffee and reading in my pajamas, sitting under my favorite blanket at 8:30 am after he had woken up at 4 am to hit the gym before a long 10-hour workday. The man was jealous.

I knew he knew that this was only a season and that “normal” life was just around the corner. And I knew that he didn’t truly believe that what I do on a daily basis was irrelevant. But after I laughed it off and settled into my own thoughts of past conversations, it felt like a low blow. It hurt in the deepest places of my spirit and brought back painful memories of a relationship filled with disdain and spite and hurtful words.

Several minutes after we’d hung up the phone, I began to cry over a sink full of breakfast dishes. It was at that moment that I realized that those memories, and both my pain and my current feelings, had exactly zero to do with him or his words. 

My current feelings weren’t current…

Because it’s the single most important thing about this entire situation, I’ll say it again: My memories, my pain, and my current feelings had absolutely nothing to do with this wonderful man who daily shows me how much he cares for me and supports everything I do. Hear me when I say that your memories, your pain, and your momentary feelings may have nothing to do with your current situation.

The truth is that most of our pain has nothing to do with the words of others or the goings-on around us. More often than not, our pains come from past hurts that we haven’t yet healed from, and have everything to do with our current and future joy. 

So I began to wonder…

Why do we laugh publicly and then cry privately when someone’s words or actions rub us the wrong way? 

And God answered me with the words of Jesus in John 10…

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

God wants us to have a joyful life, overflowing with love and laughter. The enemy’s job is to rob us of that joy, love, and laughter. God wants to heal us from our past hurts so we can be fully present in the current season. Only then will he lead us into the future he designed for us. The enemy wants us to remain in our brokenness, afraid to speak truth (both to ourselves and those we love). His goal is to keep us from being fully present in the “now” and never walk into that future.

I had my morning cry. Then I remembered…

We have a choice to make. We can cry about painful memories that come back like a flood at the wrong time, then wipe the tears and silently tuck them away until the next time. (For the record: it will come back up…unspoken and unhealed pain always does.) Or we can look at them for what they are. We can recognize them as distant memories and ploys of the enemy to keep us questioning God and bound to the past. And we can decide to face them. 

When we choose to have a conversation with another or take a deep look inside ourselves (or both!) and dare to move forward, we walk alongside God and empower ourselves to fulfill the destiny he has written. So cry the cry. Then wipe the tears and walk with God as he heals your hurts. Don’t let the enemy steal your joy. Every step of our journey leads us to the ultimate destination…where are you headed?

Ashley was born and raised in the small country town of Erath, Louisiana. After a brief out of town move, God brought her back to her hometown roots to raise her two children, Ava--age 11 and Carter--age 8. After several years in restaurant and retail management, she sought a college degree and now holds an English degree with a Child and Family Studies minor from University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is now a second and third grade ELA interventionist at a local elementary school, a wedding coordinator, and a project manager for a local philanthropist. Ashley encountered and fell in love with Jesus in 2012, and loves sharing the gift of the knowledge of God’s love with others. When she is not busy writing or toting her children to their various activities, she enjoys meeting with and encouraging women over a warm cup of coffee.