You know how therapists and counselors tell you to write a letter or email when you are angry, upset etc. and then don't send it? The exercise is simply to give you an outlet to say what you are feeling without making an already volatile situation worse? Well. That's what this post is going to be for me. Although, I am going to publish it, I won't name names or anything. If you aren't up for this right now, feel free to skip it or come back later when you have more stamina for reading what I'm about to write.
Some of you saw my FB status last night that asked, "I wonder why God puts people in your life that hurt you?" (with several good responses, by the way).
I have been hurt. DEEPLY. And it's complicated. As most things such as these are. I've been hurt by 2 women. I was wounded, not by their direct action towards me, but their deliberate cruelty to someone I love. These women claimed (at least at one time) to love me. In the fairly immediate past, their actions have proven otherwise. I think I might could have handled that...an offense towards me...but then they were intentionally cruel (I need another word because "cruel" doesn't even seem to cover it...ahhh yes...BRUTAL) to someone who also has nothing but love for them.
And when I found out yesterday the depths of their cruelty, quite honestly, it was more than I could take. I was furious. Angry. Hurt. Confused. A myriad of conflicting emotions because I just couldn't understand how someone could be so deliberately hateful to another human. One of these women proclaim (loudly) to be Christian. And while it is definitely not mine to judge, I can't understand how this Christian has done something so hurtful to another sister in Christ and indirectly hurt me (who she KNOWS she would hurt by hurting the other).
So, last night I was really, REALLY angry. Angry enough to say things to my husband and my friend about these women that in essence, make me no better than they are acting. I said I wasn't naming names and I'm not. And I'd like to say it was because I don't want to shame or embarrass them. But that is not true. In my humanness, I would love nothing more than to spell out for you who these women are (not that anyone would know them really, but some would), how horribly cruel they have been and pull back the curtain of their facade to the outside world. I would really like to tell you the whole story, gather a posse (love that word from my teen years!) of my blog readers to blast them with comments supporting me and how I'm feeling. I'm human. I'm hurt. I'm angry. But. I'm also Christian.
I might stop here and tell you that the person that was directly offended kept these women's actions from me because she knew, in her love, that it would wound me deeply if I knew what they had done and said. And when she was sharing with me last night (because I had come to suspect these things had gone on through another source...who also loved me enough not to tell me directly) she kept saying that she was fine and for me not to worry about it and to let it go. She had prayed about it and would continue to pray for them every day. Well, I'm here to tell you folks...I'M JUST NOT THERE YET. At least I wasn't.
I was SO hurt last night, that I new I needed to sit down and do my Bible Study. You all know how I love my ladies' Tuesday night Bible Study! This semester, we are reading through Crazy Love by Frances Chan. The particular part I was reading was talking about how our life is a vapor (James 4:13-15). I especially liked the way the New Living Translation read, "Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone." Wow. In the general scheme of things, I'm only a visitor to this world. So, I'm reading, trying not to think about this situation and really wanting to wallow in my anger and hurt. I mean, at least for a while. I felt I at least deserved a little wallowing. But one of the questions was "Do you really believe you could vanish any minute? Would your life look different if you lived like you believed each day was your last? If so, how?" As I contemplated this question, the word "waste" kept coming to mind. Over and over...I'm trying to think of my answer and write it down and all I could think of is "waste". Finally I quit trying to overcome this thought and just decided to think about "waste" and what in the world it had to do with our life being short etc.
And that's when I realized. I felt God was saying, "If your life is so short, why do you want to waste the time you have being bitter and angry and harboring hate at these women". Wehhheeellllllll. That is NOT what I wanted to hear. So, I said (in my mind, not out loud) "Because, these people have hurt me, hurt the ones I love most and all after claiming to love us. And they didn't just hurt us, they were deliberate. And intentional!" And again, all I could think of was "waste"...why would I take time away from the ones that DO love me (my immediate family, friends etc.) and waste my energy on the ones that don't love? That's unfair to me, my family and friends. And God.
And quite quickly, the fury and deep wounding simmered down to a quiet anger and aching hurt.
And as it has a way of doing, sleep has given me a fresher perspective this morning. Am I still angry. Oh yes. Am I still hurt? Absolutely. Will I ever forget. No, never. Will I ever forgive and love these women again? Yes. But it's not because I'm this perfect person. It's because God calls me to. He calls me to love the unlovable and forgive the unforgiveable. (Matthew 5:43-45) Honestly, I don't want to. I want to go to them, rage against them for what they've done and inflict hurt back. But I can't. It's not how I'm made. It's not how GOD made me to be.
I'm not going to get over this for a while. But God has already started a healing work in my heart. And rather than fight Him on this, I'm going to let Him heal me.