I am feeling anxious today, maybe its because I drank some caffeine a little while ago, I know I need to avoid it, such a hard habit to break.
I find myself wondering if people understand how paralyzing this feels? I am pretty sure I will get better but this time just seems like its lasting so long. Much longer than I would like.
I sit and think about how people are disappointed with me, a lot and then think, when am I allowed to be disappointed with them? Am I? I value so highly trying always to do whats right, maybe sometimes to my detriment. I feel like I reach out for help and then if their response is not quick or there I am feeling left a little vulnerable.
This weekends sermon happened to be on forgiveness. Sometimes I suppose I don't always correlate some of these things I may be dealing with with unforgiveness, but its something I certainly thought about while the pastor was preaching. He read us these intense verses, which of course I have read or heard before but they just hit you over the head with how black and white they are. No real room for my "yea buts" ...if you know what I mean...
Here are a few from my NLV
Matthew 6:14-15 "If you forgive those who sin against you, your Heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins"
Ay ay ay!
Colossians 3:12-13 "Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for one another faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you so you must forgive others."
1 Peter 3:9 "Do not repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and He will bless you for it."
Does the Lord understand how very hard this is for us, maybe that is why He gives us an incentive with the blessing?
I am a justice fighter, I believe in justice and sometimes I think I am the one that should serve it? Right? Am I alone here? Some things just really get to me, and in this season, I would say...yeah, most things get to me. I think my little mind is just overworked and I like to refer to myself as Sensitive Sally, cause that is just who I am right now.
The truth is, these verses are truth, and I am the first to admit that I too easily forget them. I just think, this is WRONG, this is NOT FAIR, this is whatever, fill in the blank and then you read these and you hear them and I don't feel trapped or despair when I read them, which I suppose could be odd? I feel freedom and maybe I will enjoy my life far more if I can release things more easily. Perhaps I won't be so negative, worried about judgement and offenses if I just come to expect it and also come ready to forgive.
I think this is something I have been thinking about a lot lately. Like I am constantly disappointed with life and with people, as if I haven't experienced 31 years of people letting me down and acting like...uhhh, people. And when you stop and think of any of the horrible things we have said or done in the past that we are so grateful people have forgiveness us for, let alone Christ, why am I surprised that this keeps coming up in my life. People are going to let me down, they are going to offend me, hurt me, misunderstand me....and life doesn't always get tied up in a neat little bow at the end of the week like our favorite 90's family show episodes.
That's not to say that our pain isn't real, because it is. I am also still reading that Healing is a Choice book, and there is a section called "Feel than Heal".
Stephen Arterburn says "My point is that we must never shame a person who does not or cannot instantly feel the joy that awaits him or her on the other side of pain and agony.We must give them the kind of opportunity Jesus had to work through the pain and reality of suffering. If we do not, we push people into a place where they walk around with ungrieved losses and unresolved pain. The pain is never buried dead. It is buried alive and must be fed every day. It will drive a person to drink, spend money, have sex, gamble, and do a thousand things for relief. You must feel before you can heal, or you will stay wounded and in turn wound others who get too close."
And this is so impactful on me and I think it has little to do with the actual act of forgiveness. Like the pastor had us do on Sunday, close our eyes and forgive everyone who has ever offended us, OK...go. He said, ok now everyone close your eyes and get humble OK...go. He laughed and then said, its just not one of those things that works like that. We treat it like its voodoo that we just automatically don't feel hurt, pain, or resentment towards that person so we refuse to forgive, but that is not the case. We choose to forgive first, because it is what is best for us, but we still have to work through trust, feelings, etc. I think I tend to tell myself I am not allowed to feel what I feel when I have injustice done towards me, I am supposed to let it go but like he says in that quote it just gets buried and festers in my heart and soul because I have not allowed myself to process that hurt or pain or even acknowledge that some things do in fact hurt a lot. They show, eventually. Whether through anger, drugs, alcohol, eating, whatever the thing is we do to alleviate the unresolved pain. Maybe even depression, I'm not sure.
So, yet another something I am thinking about, working on or whatever?
, by Ashley Jackson