I prayed a lot, had a chat with my sister, who also lamented the fact that Mom was in South America and we couldn't ask her what to do, and sent an email to my pastor asking him to pray. Praise the Lord, He never fails and everything was resolved peacefully. I have to say, it actually turned out A LOT better than I expected it to! That can ONLY be because of God. I also learned some valuable lessons.
1. People WILL jump to conclusions, and they will be wrong because they don't know the whole story.
2. People sometimes express valid opinions, but again without proper facts it makes it seem invalid. Don't jump to false conclusions about them.
3. ALWAYS give others the benefit of the doubt. It could be they didn't mean at all what you think they meant.
4. Some people are willing to change their opinion after hearing the whole story, others just don't care. They're right and the facts don't matter.
5. Sometimes it's not worth the effort to try and explain.
6. It's always best to apologize, even if you think it wasn't your fault.
7. Thinking before speaking is a REALLY good option :).
8. Words are POWERFUL!!! Be careful about speaking out in emotions of anger, defence, or hurt because that often ends up causing more problems, even if you are justified in what you say.
9. Friends will "discuss" as opposed to "argue," and after the discussion they will still be your friends :) (I like this A LOT).
10. Communication is important. Don't let things fester. Explain when explaining is needed. Apologize when apologizing is needed, even if you
11. Ask questions. Sometimes a simple "what did you mean when you said...?" will clear up a lot of misconceptions.
12. God is bigger than any situation, and He will work things out for His glory.
Our minds are funny things. Especially when we get involved in a discussion through emails or online. It's hard to judge tone, body language, and all the subtle meanings attached to words that are so clear when speaking with someone face to face. We assign a meaning to a written word that the author in NO WAY intended simply because we cannot "hear" the tone or manner in which it was spoken. I have been reminded again to be careful of what I say.
Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips (Psalm 141:3).
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison (James 3:8).
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14).