Tonight, I got to process with a very dear friend. I called her because I thought I needed a listening ear and perhaps a little feedback. An hour later, I found myself sitting on the back of Nathan's truck with an abundance of warm, quiet tears running down my cheeks. It's funny how God works out scenarios that are so different than the scenes I have thought out and planned.
I have been hurting, aching deep in my heart over the loss of friendships. I have written that before. I don't write the details because as much as I am feeling sad and hurt, it is not my wish to lash out and dishonor . I have tried to reach out to a couple of those hearts no longer tied to my own; there has been no response. Ouch.
I am the original peacemaker, I am the good girl, I am the one to make things right, to make them okay. I try and I try to forgive, to let them go...to not give up who I am in the process. I try but I have failed. This is why I called my friend. I want to 'get it', to make sense of these losses so that I may be at peace about it.
My friend asked me this...'Who treats me with less dignity and respect than I would like to be treated?" Ah...the names come to my heart without hesitation. I see the people vividly in my mind's eye. 'How do they do this?' Let me count the ways.
Then...'who taught them to treat me that way?' This is clear as me, myself and I move to the forefront. Finally...'who taught me that it is okay for friends to treat friends like this?" And dadblastit...it goes back to my Grandma again. Every time I think I let all of the ick go, God shows me just another way I'm letting the ick run my life. I'm thankful he shows me; I think. No, I am. I am thankful. I'm just a wee bit tired.
As I tell my friend through my sobs that I don't want to be the puppy with my tail tucked between my legs chasing in hopes of a friendship crumb; she reminds me what forgiveness is and what forgiveness isn't. Forgiveness isn't acceptance of the way I have been treated; nor is it an invitation back into my life. It is only forgiveness. It is a gift for me. I am reminded that I can, with a very sincere heart, listen and apologize for my part in someone's hurting heart. Same rules apply as with forgiveness.
I recognize, when people turn their backs on me; ignore me purposefully as we walk by one another; talk about me rather than to me; play nice in front of others, etc - I am brought back to childhood and I shrink down to fit the bill. I hide. I have hidden. I have avoided. I have sooooo much hard work ahead. I am reminded that these heart relationships hold exponentially more value to me than the need to be right or good does.
I weep. I cIose my eyes and I transport myself to a place very special to me, a place only I can travel to. I am leaning into the arms of Jesus, he covers and cradles me all at once. It is here that I am 100% safe from any person, situation, pain, anything. I am back in the womb safe. Can I trust this in real life? Can I step into something difficult trusting that although I cannot plan the outcome, and although I may HATE the hurt of the outcome; I AM SAFE. I am held. I am loved. I am worth it.
I hear clearly in my heart what I believe are direct words from God. Be brave and accept. I know exactly what this means and I know exactly what I must do. Outwardly living congruent to what is in my heart involves me taking steps forward, out of my box and directly into discomfort. Am I worth it? Absolutely.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9
(Peacemaker is defined as 'One that makes peace, especially by settling disputes.' I am trusting that applies to the disputes going on in my own heart.)
I went further to look up definitions of peace and found...
1. The absence of war or other hostilities.
2. An agreement or a treaty to end hostilities.
3. Freedom from quarrels and disagreement; harmonious relations: roommates living in peace with each other.
4. Inner contentment; serenity
I like that none of this indicates I must be responsible for fixing, none of it says I must settle or be a doormat and none of it says I have to even continue the friendship. In my heart I must love, I must forgive and I must find peace. I'm looking forward to doing different, to doing better.
May your life be filled with the love you deserve.