I live in a Small Texas town and although it is a wonderful way of life, there are moments when it can be trying. Everyone usually knows everyone in small towns. That can be a good thing most of the time but there are times when it can make things harder too, especially when that small town has an active gossip mill. For some reason people love to gossip about whatever the "Latest" is.
I have learned over the years how to get along well in small towns where everyone knows me and knows everything about me and my family (good and bad). When something devastating or ugly or bad, or whatever happens in our family, I just tell the truth about it.
I don't go airing the dirty laundry so to speak in such a way that it shocks others, but I am upfront about it when I perceive that someone is looking at me with "that look." You will know it when you see it. It is usually somewhere between a question and a knowing look. I have found that if I am honest and open about whatever happened (including how hard it is to go through such a time) without being accusing or "gossipy" about my own family, then it seems to diffuse the situation and it takes away the power of someone "talking about me or my family", because now everyone knows and they know that I know they know. Somehow that takes the delight in "knowing" something about me away. It usually passes and soon "they" are talking about someone else (unfortunately).
Another way to handle living in a gossipy towns or families, is to live your life in such a way that if someone were to speak badly about you, then no one would believe it. This is wise no matter where you live if you think about it. It is living an honest, upright, and doing good no matter what kind of life. It is being kind, loving, and friendly to those around you (not in a fake kind of way because people always recognize masks they just don't tell you they do.)
I am not talking about being a perfect person above everyone else because only one person was able to carry that off, but I am talking about being so close to Jesus that He begins to become part of your every action and even your thoughts and feelings. That is possible and all it really takes to pull that off is your most valuable asset (aside from your family)...time.
If you will give Him some of your time and hang out with Him, talking and listening, then you will be so surprised at what will happen...you will notice things coming out of your mouth that you never even thought and you will be thinking, "Wow, that is good stuff I am saying!". You will notice that your feelings will be more positive, and the negative ones will be easier to leave behind. You will notice that people want to linger and talk to you more. You will notice that you are actually happier. These are only a few of the things you will notice and the best news is that everyone else will notice too. Suddenly, you will be walking in His favor (where everyone likes you without even knowing why) and that is a very wonderful place to be.
Go ahead! Give it a try and you will soon see what I mean. It will come at a cost...your time, but I promise He always gives back far more than you will ever give Him and far more than you can ever imagine. I also promise that you will never miss that time. Go ahead, I dare you!
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