Sunday, February 24, 2013

on loving anyway

I haven't shared on here at all about some family issues going on because they are personal and hard and I don't want to hurt anyone by discussing things publicly.

(and before I go further, I should mention that the issues are not at all marital. jeremiah and I are good :) 

Not writing about all of this has been hard because these issues have been so heavy on my heart for years and I have felt many times like it would release some of the pain
to just write about it. 

But I don't want to discuss the hurt today.
 I want to share the flip side of the upset. 

In all of the hardness, sadness, and heart ache, I have {begrudgingly}learned something that has changed me.  

I have found that it is still better, 
no matter what, 
to always, 
love anyway. 

To keep trying, to keep loving, and to let go of what is done. 

Because hanging on to the pain, I have learned, plants a dark spot that grows in your heart and
drowns out the light.

I am learning to let go of expectations and the picture I had in my head of what things should look like, instead accepting how it is, and moving forward the best I can with the new picture .
I am learning a lot about forgiveness, and in turn, learning about my own issues that I need to work on.

The bottom line is, I have made mistakes and caused hurt in my life, too, and yet God still loves me and grants me Grace. 
He is merciful and forgiving- 
and I have done nothing to deserve this at all. 
He just does because He just is. 

So here I am, the recipient of this all embracing, unrelenting, undeserving love, mercy, and forgiveness, and yet I am clinging on to that forgiveness and mercy like I only have so much to give out, and I am not willing to waste it on anyone I find undeserving. 

Awesome, right?

There have been so many times that I've dragged my feet and fought the need to forgive. Honestly, I have called my friend Sherri several times, looking for an out, and saying 
'look, I have loved anyway, I have forgiven, I have tried, and I have let go, but here we go again with the hurt. can I just be done with the forgiving now? at what point can I stop turning my cheek.
dude, I GOT NO CHEEKS LEFT and the sting is just TOO MUCH!?!?' 

{Poor Sherri. When I struggle or need help sorting through things, and need a faith-filled compass, she is who I turn to. Everyone needs a Sherri. When I want guidance, she is who I call. And when I am stuck on something, she unmuddles it for me.}

 Gently, she always tells me what I knew all along but I didn't want to act on.
How ridiculous is that?
I know what is right, and at 35, I still fight it like crazy. I call her knowing that the answer is still, and always will be, to keep loving, but hoping that maybe Sherri knows of some obscure passage that I'm not aware of. A passage that basically says 'keep forgiving, but if it gets too tiring or it is getting really inconvenient, then the right thing to do is to tell the offender how wrong they are and cast your judgment loudly upon them.'

Yeah, I just said that. That's my ugly, right there. 

The crazy thing about all of this.....there is something about this pain and sadness that have blessed me. BLESSED ME. 

I have had to heavily lean into my God and just trust in Him, that unconditional love was and is the right thing, and in leaning into Him, I feel He has held me. He has given me the answer and quieted my questioning. I have felt lighter and unburdened, knowing that when I give it to Him, it's not mine alone anymore. I am not up all night wondering if I did the right thing. Because He tells us that to love is not wrong. I feel a peace in forgiveness that I didn't know before. And I feel a comfort and love I was missing because it's brought me closer to my Heavenly Father. 

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I still have moments (lots of them) that I wish things were different. I wish things were like the picture I see in my head, that I could go back to the days before all the pain and upset. I start typing out texts or emails that are definitely not loving. I get upset, and I look at my husband pitifully, crying out "whyyyyyyyyyy???". Then I delete those texts. I let the anger wash over me. My husband says something that softens me. I wait for the quiet of the night and I turn to His Word. 

And, when still muddled and hurting, I call my friend Sherri.

I am not sure why I felt compelled to share all of this now. I certainly don't think I am a great example of His loving forgiveness. I'm trying, but I'm made aware often, how much I need to grow in forgiveness.
But I do believe that when something is placed heavily on your heart, you need to listen and respond.

If you are reading this and feeling like you are tired of hurt and upset, I'd like to give you a big giant hug, wrap you tight and absorb some of that hurt for you- and tell you to keep loving.
To not let go of that, to keep acting out of love
-- if not for them,
then for yourself.


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