By: Ronda Nissley,
Co-Director of Encompass Connection Center
There are few things I find more annoying than a stoplight that turns red just as I am approaching the intersection. It’s personal – the green light sees me coming, quickly turns yellow and then red – forcing me to come to a complete stop!
Several months ago, as Lavern and I were hurrying across town to make it to our next meeting, I couldn’t help but notice that we were literally hitting EVERY SINGLE RED light!! I could feel the exasperation and tension rising inside of me and was getting ready to express that frustration when Lavern joyfully announces, “Have you noticed we have been first at every red light?” Incredulous, I told him I noticed we were getting stopped by every red light, but I certainly didn’t see that as a good thing! He responded by saying how much he enjoyed being “first in line” so he could take off unimpeded when the light turned green.
I have loved repeating this story to friends and family as it is such a good illustration of the difference between Lavern’s and my personalities. Lavern is the eternal optimist and ….well, I like to call myself the “realist.” Our 12-year-old granddaughter Ali still loves to fist pump and call out “First at the red light!” And then she has me “take a picture for Papaw.”
Since then, every “first at the red light” makes me smile instead of feeling annoyed. It’s a reminder of how uniquely different God has created us. It’s a reminder that much of life is about how we choose to respond to the “red light.” Do we see it as a deterrent to getting to where we want to go? Or is it an opportunity to relax, take a deep breath, and look forward with anticipation to moving again unimpeded?
As you continue through the holiday season and look forward to 2023, I pray that you too can experience the “gift” of the red light. Take time to smile, make memories, appreciate your differences, and get ready to “take off” unimpeded when the light turns green.
Are you having difficulty appreciating your differences? Are those differences affecting your relationships with family and friends? If you’re looking for guidance and growth in your relationship or parenting abilities, get in touch with a knowledgeable and sincere advocate or coach at Encompass Connection center by following the links below.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.