Wednesday, 31 July 2013

On choosing to forgive.

This is a bit of a tricky one.
I don't want to offend anyone,
But in the interests of honesty
And my desire to be real
I feel I need to write.

You see I can be quite good at bearing a grudge.
I feel resentment quite easily.
Jealousy rears it's ugly head too often in my life.

And over the past few weeks I've returned again and again to people I thought were my friends, but have hurt me.

You see I'm a nurturer.
My maternal instinct takes over and I want to fix people.
And that's what happens over and over.

I open our home
Our family life
And our ministry
to people that don't have the kind of support network I do.
Maybe it's a form of gratitude?
A kind of 'freely you have received...freely give?'

And I always thought that was ok.
It's who we are.
It's what we do.
If I was trying to impress, I called it incarnational ministry.

But the problem is that people move on.
Perhaps they don't need us in quite the same way anymore.
Their circle of friends widens.
But I thought I was a friend too.

Or even
when I've needed them to be there for me
They are no-where to be found.

And then the questions come
What did you expect?
Who did you think you were?
You were useful for a while but they've moved on to bigger and better things.

And that's when the jealousy starts:
Of their new lives
Their new friends
Even their new church
They always seem to come up smelling of roses.

And I hate myself for being that kind of person.

Today I was reading the psalms.
Mainly Psalm 18.
It speaks of God being our rock
Our place of safety
Our protector
Our defender.

It speaks of enemies who attacked me at a moment when I was in distress
but God led me to a place of safety. (v18)
'Attack' is a bit strong,
But I was in deep distress
And they were no-where to be found.

v46 says 'He is the God who pays back those who harm me.'
But the truth is I don't want revenge.
I don't want 'pay-back'
I want to change the way I feel when I hear their names.

So this morning I prayed for them by name.
And I parcelled all my feelings for them up
and asked God to take the burden from me.
I prayed for forgiveness.
For light and life where those dark places had been.

They haven't asked for my forgiveness.
And if you're feeling nervous reading this don't!
It's not you!

So I guess what I'm asking is this:
Can you relate?
Am I the only one?
Do you have any advice?
What do you do in these circumstances?
And if you feel I need to get a grip I'd like to know that too!!
Please post a comment on the blog below so we keep it all together.
Thank you my friends


Nicky Davies Judd said...

I think we don't talk about these feelings enough. Because we feel we shouldn't have them. So people of faith become very good at 'stuffing'. Putting the feelings down somewhere deep. Maybe we say we're shelving them, or its our way of 'dealing' with them. How much of my thyroidism is because there's things that I want to say, but can't? It would be great if we could say to people how we feel. I think it could be very healing.

Janet Thompson said...

I've read this through a number of times now and I'm blown away:- by your honesty, your desire for things to be different, your willingness to take the risk that you might be on your own with this (because of course we, your followers are practically perfect in every way)

I've often been left with similar questions & confusion - but not been honest enough to admit i - usually not even to myself, and certainly not to God - of course he couldn't see it. When I have been honest enough to own it, to offer my grudges, my hurts and confusion to God then slowly peace and calm fills and stills my soul - in a way that chocolate or Tangfastic fail to do.
Thank you so much for doing the hard thing, owning then sharing all of this. Your blogs inspire, challenge and make me smile. Keep them coming . x

Karen Sandford said...

Hey, my lovely friend.
You have an illness. Don't start blaming yourself for being ill. I have the opposite one, which makes me lazy and fat, but that's another story!
This is a season for you to get to grips with your illness, and work out how you can live within it's constraints.
As for talking about feelings, I honestly thought I was the only one, and that I was un-christian for feeling that way.
I feel a coffee coming on xx

Karen Sandford said...

Jan, I love you.
Not least because you've been there for me through the hardest of times. And we love Starbucks fruitbread.
Thank you xx