Friday, May 2, 2008

God + Humiliation = Humility

This has been a tough week. I am so tired, I feel like I have been hit by a truck. I wish I could say I am fatigued because of all of the hard work I have done around the house, or in my yard, but my weariness and exhaustion come from a much different experience.

I was humbled this week.

"All day long my dishonor is before me and my humiliation has overwhelmed me. Psalm 44:15 nasb This verse may seem a bit dramatic, but it is truly how I felt this week.

I used to dispatch for a police agency in the California, Bay Area, and have quite a bit of experience in handling emergencies and priority radio traffic. To be honest, coming to work for this much smaller police agency, in a much smaller and very crime free city, left me feeling like I was almost over qualified. (my pride talking)

Boy was I wrong.

Pride is such an ugly human condition. I wish I was immune to its seductive siren song. God made sure to break me of this flesh condition this week at work. No matter how hard I tried listening to my radio traffic, I wasn’t able to make out what the officers were saying. This is just unacceptable in the world of dispatching. The other dispatchers in the room were not very impressed. Needless to say, any prior experience respect I may have had, was wiped away with a twelve hour shift of my voice asking the officers to repeat themselves, over and over again.

Some people think that the emergencies we get from a 911 call, or from an emergency worked on the radio with police officers is the most stressful part of the job. I am here to tell you that that is not the case at all. The most stressful part of being a police/911 dispatcher is working a call well in the presence of all of your peers. The officers and the dispatchers in the room, hear and watch every single thing that you do. There are no mistakes missed, especially while you are training.

As a mother I can hear my children whisper my name while in a dead sleep in the middle of the night. I can translate most two year old language like the most qualified of linguists, and almost always, I am able to decipher the radio traffic of a police officer requesting his Code 7 (lunch), already with a mouth full of food. But on this particular day, by the middle of my shift, I was close to tears. I couldn’t make out the most uncomplicated radio traffic requests. It was then that it hit me, I was no doubt being humbled. I began praying silently to myself.

When I looked up the word “humble” in my Bible concordance today, I found it to be no coincidence that the word “humble” was right above the word “humiliation”. In my little world, God knows that the process of killing my pride is almost always humiliation which in our Christian walk, should bring godly humility.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain (selfish) conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Phil. 2:3

Humility is to make a right estimate of one's self. ~Charles Haddon Spurgeon

God changed my heart this week. In order to be made more like Jesus, humility is something that I need much work on. I know now that no matter how many armed robberies, homicides, or traffic pursuits I have worked, I am no better than any of these women that I work with now. That was made quite clear with my job performance this week. I can thankfully share that my last evening at work was much better. I had very little trouble at all understanding the radio traffic. I know it was due to my prayers and the prayers of my husband and friends who were praying for me.

I learned this week that with God, humiliation brings about humility. For that I am grateful and hopeful that this is one lesson, at least at work, I have hopefully learned.


Mari said...

I went to a prayer retreat earlier this year and the biggest thing I took away from it was how prideful I can be. It is amazing how many places it can creep into and how easily it sneaks back. It's something to be always aware of!

Amy said...

Thanks for the gentle reminder. I hope things go well for you at work.

A Stone Gatherer said...

Isn't it sad though that we have to be humiliated before we are humble! I am so with you, that PRIDE thing is terrible! Just when I think I get it licked I get cocky and boom there it is!

Cherdecor said...

Oh Joanne, I so want to hug you! Everyone of us has a problem with pride. I can speak so with authority and I hate it. I am really trying to deal with this. I have been for quite some time now. I so want to please God with my words and actions.Thank you for the encouragement that when you prayed and humbled yourself, God restored you. I like that! Press on, dear friend.

Rebekah said...

I'm sorry you had such a tough week at work. But it is not wasted if you take from it and grow.
We all have our times when a little humility would do us some good. I will try to take from your lesson too ;)

Kim said...

As always, your post blessed and touched my heart.

Being humble.....isn't easy, but oh so necessary. For when we truly submit to the Father....he gives us the grace to be humble.

The process is often hard and difficult, but oh so necessary.

Thanks for the scriptures.....I needed to reminder that it's not about me.....but rather HIM.


Megan said...

Hi Joanne! I haven't been here in a little while, and it is like a breath of fresh air. I'm glad to be here!! :)

P.S. I don't know how you do your job. You are amazing! I am *done* with my husband's job right now. Lastnight I got a phonecall from him. He was in a shooting and won't be home for 12 hours. (I didn't hear the rest, but it was about interviews and lawyers and such.) He's okay. And that's all I know! 30 minutes later I despearately started texting him. "You're okay. Just okay. You aren't hurt right? Okay means not hurt, right?" The night before lastnight I got a phonecall from him. He and his partner got into a high-speed pursuit that ended in the suspect crashing. He's okay and asking me to tape the news. I'm feeling a bit weak right about now-- I might fold to the worry that used to consume me at times-- I might not be able to handle this anymore! I'm not exactly sure how to go forward and what it's going to look like, but I know I need to spend some time with the Lord. It's so much easier to have peace and trust the Lord when there haven't been any guns firing. Sorry for bringing this all to you! I haven't talked to anybody yet because I want him to come home first. Just needed to talk I guess. I didn't know it until it all started spilling out, all over your comments section! sorry! :)

Shelly said...

Oh Lord its hard to be humble
when your perfect in every way
can't wait to look in the mirror
I get better looking each day!!!!!

Yes, being humble is hard for everyone.

Glad that your dispatch job got easier after you prayed. Kinda interesting how things were so mumble jumbled before and now God is opening your ears. All of us need our eyes and ears opened up.

Nice blog, thanks for sharing

Mocha with Linda said...

Thanks for sharing this. I can so identify! I guess that's why the Bible says that "Pride goeth before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." (Prov. 16:18) I've certainly fallen flat on my face more times than I care to remember!

Terri said...

This is a lesson we all have to learn; Unfortunately sometimes it needs to be repeated!

Megan said...

Joanne- thank you so much! I really needed to hear that! And I needed that hug- thank you! I am going to staple your words in my prayer notebook. So I can re-read them whenever I want! GOD IS IN THIS. Those words alone cause a little bit of peace to stir in my heart. And the more I think about them, the more that peace filters in. This morning I was focusing on how scarey this is, how his life was in danger, how someone pointed a gun at them, all the things that are surreal and just plain horrifying... these thoughts were in my head as I was cleaning the house like a mad woman, stomach in tight knots... and then all of the sudden my mind did a 180, and I started crying and praising the Lord because it dawned on me that HE PROTECTED MY HUSBAND. And I couldn't stop thanking Him. He hears, he answers, he protects, he is faithful-- He can and He will. I just wrote these words yesterday during my quiet time. Isn't it funny how the things we choose to focus on can dictate how we live our lives? I couldn't eat all day, until that "ah ha" moment. Thank you so so much for your support and prayers and encouragement. You have absolutely no idea how much it means to me.

Jonatha said...

I hope your weekend left you with a great perspective to start fresh in a humble heart. :)

elizabeth embracing life said...

This blog was perfect for me this week and next week, and the week after that. I had an event take place this week and felt God really helping me to say very little although I wanted to run off with my "experience". God is good and this post blessed me.


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