Sorry it's been so long, but life is that way sometimes you know? I started this blog as a way to journal about my personal experiences while I am on my Christian Walk. I am hoping at some point to create a community of those who may have had the same experiences or are on the same journey or who are curious about starting their own journey. I am hoping through sharing that maybe I can help someone by being transparent.
What I want to share with you tonight is straight from the heart, because I really feel the change that has come over me as I am maturing spiritually and that change came through a healing that I know only God could have done. For instance, I used to have a deep-seated anger problem. It snuck up on me because I never used to be that way. I was the most loving, giving, helpful and empathetic person you could ever hope to meet, but that person also suffered a lot of betrayal, abuse, and hurt. I pushed it all down and never dealt with any of it because I thought I kept the peace and was the bigger person. I was instead doing myself a great disservice.
I have suffered betrayals that cut me so deep, I thought I would never get over it. The thing that made it all the worse was that they came from people that I trusted and truly cared about, like my step-children. We had the best relationship when their father and I first got married. A few years in, their mother decided she wanted back in the picture and they cast me off. I wasn't expecting them to choose me, I was expecting that they wouldn't have to choose anyone, I just wanted to be a part of their lives and they cut me off.
When we moved to small-town Iowa, the very first friend that I made I clung to her like glue, and we were close for 4 years. Then she lost her house and I opened my doors to her and she tried to steal my husband.
Add that to taking the little tiny cuts from people you may not deeply care for, but you respect enough to treat like a comrade, but to have them ostracize you or pick on you because of your race or treat you like less than because of your pedigree. I started to develop a true hatred for people and everyone became fair game. No more being a nice anything, I was looking for someone to look at me the wrong way or say the wrong thing and it was on! And I was never a fighter, not physically, not verbally and I'm not going to lie...being a self-proclaimed Bad (you know what) felt good. I liked it, it was my defense mechanism to combat the hurt and pain I wasn't dealing with.
Then I started to hear this mantra out of everyone's mouth "why are you so angry all the time?" It didn't bother me when my co-workers or people I didn't care about said it, but when my friends and people I cared about started saying it, like my husband...it bothered me.
I went through about 3 different counselors and it didn't help very much. But when I started studying my bible and praying about my pain and anger, God revealed to me that unforgiveness was my problem. I didn't want to forgive really. I wanted those people to suffer, and in my mind, if I forgave them then they would get away with the crime. It was a very, very foolish notion. Those people I am sure have gone on with their lives, probably forgot or not even aware of the havoc they wreaked and I'm still sitting here mad? For what? So I decided, let me try this forgiveness thing, and it was mainly because of Matthew 6:14-15 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father (God) forgive your trespasses." Lord knows I have done some things I needed to be forgiven for, and since Jesus paid the ultimate price so that I may be forgiven...I chose forgiveness.
God saved me from myself because that was the only person I was truly hurting and now I try to view people the way He does, with empathy, grace, love, and understanding because God extends that same grace to me and he loves us all the same and he has no favorites and we are not any better than each other in the end. No amount of money, education, race, or religious affiliation makes you superior. We are all human beings, God's creation, and God has a plan for all of us, he wants all of us to live happy and abundant lives, but he wants to help us do that if we let him. It doesn't take much and you don't have to do it alone, and let me be a witness to his saving loving grace. I didn't believe it either for so long, but I had the experience and I am all the better for it. What do you have to lose?
Side/endnote: I now reunited with most of my children by marriage, and we have a new and growing relationship again. And I am learning to pray for those other folks that hurt me, but I am totally fine with God keeping them right where they are. Hey, Hey! Don't judge me, I said I'm redeemed, but he's not done with me yet.