Over the weekend, while at my oldest son's baseball tournament, I was faced with a situation that could have been handled in two different ways - the "old Annette way" or the "new Annette way". I'll try to keep the story as brief as possible. A mom from the opposing team was angry that her son's team was losing by many runs against our team. The electronic field scoreboards were not working at the park, so I had brought my manual scoreboard that fits into the backstop fence so our fans would know what the score was. Every time we scored a run I had to manually flip the numbers and got to talking and was behind on flipping like 5 runs. I began to flip to get it to the correct score and this mom from the other team starts yelling at me "Yea sweetie - you just keep flippin that fricken score some more!", I in turn said (not yelled), "what would you do if the actual field scoreboard was working?, attack it?"...from there she yells to me "Bring It!!!!". Here's where the "old Annette way" would have kicked in full of vengefulness and hostility - I basically would have gone over there and kicked her ass up one side and down the other and would have probably been thrown out of the park. .........However, the "new Annette way" kicked in almost immediately - I kept my mouth shut and my butt parked in my chair and ignored her for the rest of the game. She made another comment loudly after the game was over and we had won that she "wished she could take care of me in the parking lot". Again - ignored her completely.
I went home and had a wonderful evening with my family eating pizza and watching movies. Before bed, I got on my knees for my nightly prayers, and the 1st thing I prayed for was that woman/mom at the ballpark......I prayed that God would put some love in her heart and show her that she was probably upsetting her son and his teammates; I prayed that God would give her the patience to continue sitting through the rest of her son's games for the weekend without so much anger and hostility; I asked God to rewind the days events for her and replay for her what she looked like out there in the stands at a 14 yr olds baseball game.
I went to sleep with no anger, hostility or resentments towards this woman - only good thoughts. I got to the game this morning and low & behold, who are we playing but that same team. My 1st thought was "great, now I'm gonna have to majorly control myself again today and I don't know that I can put up with this woman's crap for another entire game".
But I was pleasantly surprised....when I got to the game this morning, that same woman came over and apologized for her behavior yesterday and told us how embarassed and upset she was with herself for acting like that towards us. It was a heartfelt apology that was graciously accepted by us.
My point in sharing this story is this: Instead of getting all fired up, angry, hostile, vengeful and physical, I chose to follow the suggestions from my recovery program....I realized that this woman was spiritually (and possibly mentally) sick. Instead of feeding into her crazy drama, I chose to pray for her instead and avoid further retaliation and arguments. I thought of a passage from my BB that says, "....a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while........For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit." So I did just what was suggested by my recovery program....I didn't allow myself to retaliate in a negative way back at this woman, I didn't harbor a deep resentment all night regarding her actions, instead, enjoyed a quiet & peaceful evening with my husband and boys and prayed that God would guide this woman and show her His will for her instead of her running riot on her own self-will..............And it all worked out very pleasantly.
I choose recovery & sobriety today because my life is so much better with it......I'm so glad I did the next right thing instead of kicking her ass and thinking about the consequences later when my entire family and our team would be totally pissed at me.
Living sober is good......and so is God!