Christy Pearce- God In The New Journey Series
Friends, we come to the end of our fantastic blog series God In The New Journey: Being Brave Enough to Step Out and I don’t know about all of you but I’ve been blessed beyond words by each sister-writer and their insights and revelations. Today, I’m so pumped to get to turn the blog over to our next guest, Christy Pearce, from the blog Faith Like Dirty Diapers. You have to know, this woman is constantly cracking me up, but is as insightful as she is funny. So when she had a true story ready to share about staying humble in your day to day journey, I couldn’t wait to share her words with you.
I have to say a huge thanks to one and all for this series and if you’d like to catch up with the whole series easily, be sure to subscribe to the blog at the end of this post and we’ll make sure you get the whole series in one delivery to your inbox this weekend! But for now, let’s turn the blog over to Christy!
Yesterday didn’t start out as a humble day, or even a brave day. My brave enough to be humble opportunity kicked off when a complete stranger yelled at me.
That’s right, those letters didn’t stutter—he “yelled.”
This man, (my diagonally-across-the-back-yard-neighbor) whom I’d never seen before in my life, angrily marched across his yard into mine with a piece of his mind cocked and loaded. He didn’t introduce himself upon his arrival; he just pulled the trigger and unloaded his AK47 of grievances on me while my kids watched.
And it must be my month for yelling strangers; because this is the second time over the past two weeks I’ve had the pleasure to meet a new human in this way. The first time was a woman except she was completely in the wrong. That’s a story for another time, and for now let’s just say that experience was definitely chalked under the “suffering” category.
But my exchange yesterday was different. Because if we’re being completely honest here, I was in the wrong before he came over with his wrong reaction in tow.
In The Dog House
No matter where you live, it seems like everyone has “that neighbor.” You know the one… That neighbor who never rarely mows (check), that neighbor who has all kinds of toys and shoes and junk all over the yard (check), and that neighbor with the dogs who poop in your yard (check again).
Our two furry family members are a handful. Coco, our little pug has to be tied up to potty. Otherwise, he’ll run away and away and away…you get the picture. Sophia, a mixed breed, is really good about coming back—after she has explored and pooped wherever the urge strikes. It’s usually in our yard, but not always. (Yes I’m ratting myself out here.)
Sophia is new to our family. She was given to us by a friend who moved away. She’s quirky. She often gets over excited and has snapped at me. She’s even chomped down on the soft little ears of our pug. But instead of giving her the boot, we’ve been trying to train her. She’s learning, but she still has that streak—and I don’t fully trust her. I think she plays that distrust card sometimes. Especially when it comes to doing something she doesn’t want to do. Translation=she DOESN’T.
And Coco is an escape artist. He slips outside constantly at the hand unsuspecting children who have trouble opening the door to begin with. All that to say, the dogs are on the loose regularly.
Fast-forward to yesterday. My diagonally-across-the-back-yard-neighbor was right. My dogs go in his yard. A LOT. And they probably also “GO” in his yard, etc. (If ya know what I mean) And of course, we’ve never even met his perfect golden retriever.
So that’s why said neighbor thought he could walk over and blast me out.
Empty = Humble
Thankfully, by the grace of God that isn’t where this dog’s tale ends.
While he gave me a piece of his mind, God was giving me peace of heart—by having His mind.
Philippians 2:4-7 says this:
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (ESV-emphasis added)
What came to my backyard disguised as a stiff rebuke from an enemy was an invitation from Jesus to display His glory.
Having the mind of Christ about suffering that evil communication in the moment was the only way I got through without returning the evil volley, and going off on him. God was streaming His kindness through me. I even offered to go and help clean up the poop in his yard. I framed the offer as “a way to make things right as an act of kindness and love.” He refused. He turned and walked home as I was still sending words his direction.
It was awful. I felt less than human—I was just a bad neighbor with dogs who made boom-booms in his yard. It rested heavily on me at first, especially since my kids were saddened by the man who came and yelled at their Mommy. (One even ran inside to hide.)
As I struggled over my sour exchange with another one of God’s creatures, I couldn’t and wouldn’t be okay with how it ended. I asked God what to do. It was time to take up my cross.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:8-11, ESV
For some reason I felt like the name of Jesus was at stake in this situation. That this man needed to see a tangible representation of Him. So, I dug through my dresser and got out a “blank inside” notecard with an excerpt of 1 Peter 5:7 written on the front reading, “He cares for you.”
When I was done, it was no longer “blank” inside of that card. I asked forgiveness for letting our dogs roam too freely. I told him my offer to help clean poop wasn’t to patronize him, but it was a genuine offer to help with the extra mess my dogs had contributed to his yard. I let him know I planned to fix the problem. And that I didn’t want to be enemies, but good neighbors.
Note in hand, I drove around the block to his house. I left the engine running, because well… you know, I might need to leave pretty quick.
I willed myself to the door and rang the doorbell. His goldie was there to greet me and soon after, my neighbor’s tall silhouette filled the doorway. I presented my card and plea for forgiveness, but after that it was a blur. I remember saying that “I don’t want to be known by my dogs, that’s not what I’m about. I’m here because of Jesus.”
He apologized, saying he was sincerely sorry for how he handled himself. That wasn’t at all what I expected, but I honestly wasn’t there for his apology. I was there to continue mine. I remember empathizing and relating with him saying “It happens to me too, I have three kids.”
He seemed moved by it all. He said something to the effect that I was communicating a great deal just by being there. But ultimately, I can’t really take the credit when something else—some One else took over. That day, the love of Christ truly constrained and compelled me. (2 Corinthians 5:14 KJV, ESV)
And that day, God Himself helped me be brave.
Brave enough to be humble.
Christy Pearce is just like any other mommy. Christy and her husband, Jim, have three little gifts whom she works hard to serve and train up! While Christy admits that she is far from perfect, she desires that Christ would be preeminent in all she says (writes) and does. Her blog “Faith Like Dirty Diapers” was born out of God using every day events—even a diaper change—to strengthen her with words of life.
Today is another linkup community day! Join us for more great words for Him by clicking on each hashtag below! Hope we see you there!
And friends, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and get the entire blog series in your inbox this weekend, plus get all future posts in your inbox so you never miss another one! So grateful for you!