Thursday, October 24, 2013

Without Reservation

As I considered this 31 Days project; what I would write; what it would mean, the Lord laid something on my heart – before my words flowed out and I began to number the days in the desert. It was something I hadn’t even considered, something that seemed so small to me because I didn’t think about it anymore.

Do you remember back on Day Two when I asked you to remember the dotted line? I’ll give you a moment. I know I’d probably have to go back and look if it wasn’t my story I was telling.

The catalyst into my desert journey was a job. A job that was supposed to be good and turned out to be bad. A job where my dotted line manager had started out as a friend – so good a friend, in fact, that people said we acted like sisters. They said she was like my little sister.

That friend who was supposed to be as close as a sister and near to my heart was a huge contributor to my leaving my job. I felt she betrayed my trust and the balance of our work relationship and helped create the situation that spiraled me into my breakdown. It’s fair to say that when I left I hated her. Truly, deep in my heart, ill-wishing, hated her.

Over the past three years, hate faded as God and time healed my wounds and as the desert sculpted me into a better person. I simply didn’t think about her anymore with any kind of emotion. Or so I thought.

When I shared this idea with my husband – this writing about my desert journey – he asked, “and are you going to say anything about –“ and threw her name out. “That bitch? Of course.” I froze. It was reactionary. I hadn’t said it with anger or contempt. It just came out. Exactly. Like. That. And that’s when I knew that I wasn’t as done as I’d thought I was.

In the quiet way that He has, God asked me to consider this before I undertook my journey to write into and about the desert. If I was going to do this, I needed to let her go. I needed to forgive her. Completely. Without reservation.

I think part of me died a little inside again – I hadn’t realized I’d been holding on, but I felt justified in the remnants of my anger. After all, hadn’t I been wronged? Hadn’t I been lied about? Maligned? Remember what they put me through – what she put me through? I didn’t owe her anything, much less forgiveness. And it’s not like we’re in touch. She wouldn’t know one way or the other so who cares?

My diatribe spilled into the gentle silence of His peace and returned my answer.

Let. Her. Go.

With the tenderness of one who has been ill-used by friends and wronged by many, the Lord asked that I forgive and that I write her to let her know. Not to rekindle ties, not to reestablish a relationship, but to let this last vestige of justification go – to let this last lesson sink in. I had until the end of the month to get my heart in order and find my way to forgiveness, or my Lessons From the Desert would ring with the hollow insincerity of someone seeking her fulfillment; her justification in places other than in the one place where I know that I am.

Therefore, since I am justified, acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God through faith, let me grasp the fact that I have the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy peace with God through my Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One.
Romans 5:1 AMP (and personalized for me)

I did not anticipate the emotional toil revisiting the desert would bring. I could not imagine what it would mean for me (and even for my husband) to relive these memories and feelings; writing hard into them each day; striving for the truest most transparent telling in order to breathe life into the lessons. It has exhausted me and yet I feel unbound and free. Once again, I did not see this coming.

I write to tell you I am posting a letter today. A letter to the dotted line. Nothing complicated – just a brief overview of this calling and the acknowledgement that I have forgiven her. She may not know it needed to happen. She may not even feel it was necessary. This is not about her. This is about my heart before God and my lessons in the desert. As I say goodbye and shake the sand off my feet for a final time, I can move forward in His love knowing that I have been obedient in my calling.

This is only one of the many paths I will walk in my lifetime, but in the here and now, I feel I can truly say to the desert: I have fought the good fight, I have finished this race, I have kept the faith.

I'd love to connect with you some more - stop on by the Three Bees Facebook Page or connect with me on Twitter @3BeesBlueBonnet. During the 31 Days Challenge, I'll be using the hashtags #desertjourney and #inspirationalandfaith80 if you'd like to join in or follow along. Let's continue the conversation!

1 comment :

  1. "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive the trespasses of others." These are the words our Lord taught us to pray. How often do we do so without considering the meaning? Think about it. Consider Matthew 18:23-35. It's truly frightening to only be forgiven by God as we forgive others. No matter what offenses they have committed against us, no matter what suffering we have undergone, they are nothing when compared to our sins against God, and the suffering He underwent on the cross for our forgiveness.

    However, it is also liberating. To know that we just have to forgive. It doesn't mean we have to have warm happy cuddly feelings toward that other person. It means we have to love them - to wish the best for them - in spite of what we may feel.


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