Thursday, December 20, 2007

God says forgive.....again.......

The following was part of an e-mail devotion I received on the 18th.

Betrayals
TGIF Today God Is First, by Os Hillman
12-18-2007

If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend. - Psalm 55:12-13


"You will always be attacked in the place of your inheritance," said the man sitting across the breakfast table. "God has called you to bring people together and to impact other people's lives as a result of this anointing in your life. You must make sure that you seek to maintain righteousness in all of your relationships." Those words came from someone who had the wisdom and authority to speak them to me.

I have had a number of close relationships that ended in betrayal. I am very loyal to my friends and those with whom I have covenant relationships. Yet there are times that no matter how righteous you are, when someone means to betray you, he will do it. Loving those who betray you is "graduate-level Christianity." The religious community and one of His closest friends betrayed Jesus. Those who were closest to David betrayed him. Joseph's own family betrayed him. Loving our enemies cannot be accomplished by mustering it up. It can only happen when we have come to a death in ourselves so that Christ can love through us. It is truly one of those acts of identifying with the cross.


As I read this on the morning of the 18th, somewhere deep inside I heard God say, "save this one". So I did. Wasn't sure who it would be for, but just knew that I was to keep this one for a little while.

Tonight I discovered that this simple devotion would be for my family. I opened an e-mail only to discover that Chad and I had been lied to by someone we care deeply for. It hurts, and to be honest, I'm furious.

The flesh wants to pick up my cell phone, make a call and handle this. 10 years ago that's what I would have immediately done, but it would have only caused more drama. Tonight I sit in my parent's guest room in shock, hurt and a little angry. Chad is in Atlanta and has no idea what has happened. It's late and I want to pick up the phone, but I know that he is already in bed asleep. There's no need to tell him tonight. For him, this betrayal isn't new, it's been going on for years. Now there are grandchildren involved, my children and my feathers have been rustled. I don't want them to find out, I don't want them to know what choice was made. I can only imagine the hurt that they will feel.

So tonight, I find myself flat. I have cried until there are no more tears and there are no words left. The impression on my heart is forgive. Just go ahead and forgive. Let it go. If Jesus can forgive me, and I've done some hideous stuff, then how in the world can I not forgive them.

This doesn't mean we have to allow ourselves to continue to be hurt, but we can forgive and with God's help we will move on. Not exactly what the world says, or even what my gut reaction is. BUT, my gut is sinful and I don't want to follow it's lead that only leads to more trouble. With all my heart, I want to be found faithful in this situation. I want our family to learn that even when the people closest to us disappoint, God will never disappoint. He just can't. He is a faithful Father, and not just a faithful Father, but OUR faithful Father.

It's kind of ironic, today I kept my 16 month old nieces. At one point, I had Chloe, Emma and the two little ones all around the piano. (I wish I had a picture of them all sprawled out underneath the baby grand. It was precious.) We were playing and singing Christmas carols. We sang an old carol that said, "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me." I had a quick thought of how cool it would be if this was the year of peace within our extended family. My heart aches for this. Coincidence? Nope, not with my God. I think I'm going to go grab that book and read those lyrics again.

9 comments:

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Oh, Stephanie! My heart breaks for you. I know exactly how those "extended family" situations are...unfortunately, on both sides of our family. I'm trying to grow in Him in this...but I'm not there yet.

Blessings, friend.

Fran said...

Oh sweet Stephanie. I'm praying for you.....your entire family.
May you be faithful to Him and the desires of His heart. I'm so sorry that this happened. Life is just messy sometimes.

I heard someone at church say...."We can either be the mess or the messenger." I pray that you are the messenger in this one.

Love you!
Fran

Leah said...

Dear One,

I am so sorry for your hurt and disappointment. Won't heaven be wonderful? No more of that stinking stuff up there.

I know that the Holy Spirit will enable you to handle this with wisdom and grace--lots of grace!! Know that I am praying for you to have peace and hope during this time.

Have a blessed Christmas!!

Leah
www.thepoint-leah.blogspot.com

Leah said...

Stephanie,

Go check out Mariel's blog. There is the John 1:1 passage again and an absolutely beautiful post that perhaps may give you some comfort.

http://growingingodliness.blogspot.com/

Leah
www.thepoint-leah.blogspot.com

Kemi said...

I pray that God will give you the strength and wisdom to do what He needs you to do during this period for you and your family.

Please remember His Grace is sufficient to meet the needs of the situation.

Love you in Christ,
Kemi

darla said...

Praying for you Princess. God says choose forgiveness, HE does the rest. I would have battled the phone too! I am still learning in this area, as betrayal seems to my life story...I am learning HE said love them, but HE didn't say spend all your time with them, and HE didn't say be blinded by them..He said love them, forgive them all in HIS strength, I love you and I am sorry you feel something that I am all too familiar with. I promise you that HE will lift you up. Merry Christmas Princess! Jesus smiles on you!

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Hey my friend,
Sorry to hear this. I know what you mean because I am needing this with some other relationships in my life. It is hard to love those who deeply disappoint us and betray us. I needed to hear that. I need to still love like you and forgive and keep moving forward with the work given. I am lifting a prayer for you and your situation.

Also, wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas.
Love you!
Ang

Carol said...

That's good stuff. I am sorry you got hurt.

jodi said...

Stephanie~ I love how you are so open and honest on your blog. This has been the 2nd Christmas that Jeremy's 2 brothers are not speaking. We had to have 2 separate Christmas dinners at his mom's house. We talk frequently about where our place is in all of this. How much should we intervene? It is still a touchy subject with both of them, so we just pray. Maybe 2008 will give them the peace and forgiveness they need from each other.

Peace to you Friend,
~Jodi