God loves the people that annoy me. Do you know that God loves the people who annoy you?
There was this lady I used to see – h e a r…talking…about fitness (in this and that class or, this or that diet or, specialty food she’d had delivered to support the diet…) As my oldest is too, too fond of saying, UGH! right?!
Totally! Especially, because I wasn’t (and still am not) at my ideal weight and fitness level…
So that was all part of it – that is, my perception of this woman. To me, she was not only my nemesis because she talked non-stop in the close quarters of a gymnasium for the hour that we had to wait for our girls to finish their lesson; it was WHAT she was talking about. It was how perfect she looked while she was doing it – a judgment I was making and using to bash myself with, all the while resenting her.
I admit: I went out of my way not to speak to her, a violation of The Code for Mommies with Children in Extracurricular Things. However, I remember that when we were forced by circumstances to interact, she was super nice. I still didn’t care for her.
Anyway, fast forward to Taekwondo 🥋. The woman who had annoyed me so deeply during the gymnastics experiment was there at Taekwondo, too. But no bells went off to remind me.
In the season of Taekwondo I got to know Fitness Talker as one of the bravest, most inspiring, and, kind of heart-wrenching characters I’ve had the pleasure to know.
She’s currently chauffeuring 3 girls to various activities, including gymnastics, dance lessons, and golf. She had one daughter in private Taekwondo lessons, hoping she would develop a comfort-level that would allow her to practice in a class with her belt level, eventually. But after a pretty traumatic belt testing experience and sitting through a few classes on the sidelines (mom and daughter), they quit together.
That belt testing day is where I learned how brave was the woman I’d tagged annoying. That day, the Taekwondo master and grand master went out of their way to give Fitness Talker’s shy daughter a chance to participate during the allotted testing time. And, in an attempt to make her more comfortable, they forced her parents to do e v e r y t h i n g she was supposed to do – from demonstrating form, to board-breaking.
Fitness Mom had to get on stage in front of a crowded dojang. She had to maintain her composure as instructors repeatedly tried to encourage and compel her daughter to test. She spoke with her daughter inside and outside of the dojang. And she withstood all the eyes (mine included) with amazing grace.
So it was sad to see a lady obviously throwing in the towel with her girls. And as she stood up from the sidelines and headed for the door, leaving a weeknight practice with her daughter in her Taekwondo uniform, I got up to encourage her.
IT WAS AT THAT VERY MOMENT that God reminded me that Brave Taekwondo Mom was Annoying Fitness Mom 🤯
“Did our girls used to have gymnastics lessons at the same time?” was the question I was able to approach her with, because of God the Holy Spirit’s timely reminder.
And she was so nice that I’d be ashamed – if I believed in shame.
God gave me the opportunity to be a part of encouraging someone I’d judged and forgotten. Because God loves the people who annoy you and me.
“You didn’t give up on her,” I got to encourage her, and she pounced on that wording, turning to her daughter to repeat the words God gave me.
“You’re planting a seed – many seeds,” I got to tell her. “And seeds take time. A harvest will come when you’re not expecting it.”
And she said, “I gotta pray that’s true!” I got to “Amen” that – “So be it.”
God encouraged her, and He taught me how He loves: Even when I don’t deserve to be rehabilitated from a judgmental meanie to an encouraging light in the life of another precious mom…He let me.
And God taught me: I am the people who annoy me – a human being, who could be judged during the snapshot of an experience with me. I am a person like any other, with annoying traits…and my brave side.
God let me see that, because He wants me to know: He loves us all.
He is love (I John 4:8,16.)