Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Category

All Rise

Posted: April 6, 2015 in Forgiveness
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“All rise,” the bailiff proclaimed loudly.

I didn’t want to rise that day or any of the other days I was in court for my divorce. Rise? I wanted to crawl under that table on my side of the courtroom.

Rise? Of course I gave that judge the dignity he deserved for a lifetime of service. He had earned it so I rose. Each time he entered the courtroom.

Part of me died that day back in December of 2010. My heart surely broke, that much is true. Everyone that knows me knows that.

Rise? I wanted to get on all four hands and knees and crawl my way out of that courtroom. But this thing called a divorce was happening and all I knew to do was listen to my family and my attorneys. So I did.

Rise? The very word was the opposite of what was actually happening. We were lowering ourselves. He had given up and after the divorce I would too.

A month or so ago I prayed that God would help me remember some memories that I don’t have. I begged him to help me remember some memories that were taken from me due to some unusual medical circumstances and treatments.

Tonight as I watched a movie based in a courtroom when the bailiff in the movie proclaimed “all rise”, I was immediately transported back to that courtroom so many years ago. My courtroom.

And the tears began to fall like rain. After I finished the movie I was sitting, crying uncontrollably. Then I realized that if my memory was restored that it would include the good and the bad.

Rise? I’m willing to rise from my fallen countenance if it means remembering more of my children’s young memories. If it means remembering playing in the sandbox with them I am willing to rise above the sadness to remember.

So, with God’s help, I will rise. I refuse to be a prisoner of the bad memories only. I embrace every good memory I have, even of my marriage. Because it all is what has made me ME. And I’m learning to like ME a little bit more with each year.

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The hum of the washing machine as it whirls in the background. Listening to my top 25 playlist on my iPhone. There it is again. That song. Forgiveness by Matthew West.

This song is like the anthem of my life that just won’t go away. Even now I sit here on my soft green chair with pneumonia it plays and I type.

I know that God has forgiven everything that I’ve done and everything that I will do. That concept is hard to wrap a mind around but I grab onto it like a life raft.

I’ve forgiven others for things I never thought possible.

Yet here I sit pondering the concept of self forgiveness. It sounds like a bunch of psychobabble bunk but I take pause. This might be the missing link to this journey of grace I’ve been on.

I give grace to others: my family, my friends and my kids but I am less likely to give it to myself. Why is that? I think it’s because deep down I think that I don’t deserve it. Sure I know what the Bible says and trusted people say but still I reserve this concept of forgiveness for others, leaving me devoid of this freedom.

But what if:
I could lay down my condemnation of my failures, of my sin, and allow myself to forgive myself?

To:
Fully accept that forgiveness that God sent His Son, Jesus, to earth for.

Perhaps:
I could finally fly.

One email derailed my day. I’m mad that it did but it did and now I lay here trying to unpack my emotions like a suitcase full of wrinkled dirty clothes.

We’ve all heard the phrase “we don’t negotiate with terrorists.” This post is not about the worldwide terrorism, it is about emotional terrorists.

Emotional terrorists are small people. Power hungry people who devise pleasure from hurting others. Sometimes it is those they live or used to love. I know. I was married to one.

People who control others are weak and pitiful. But they still inflict great chaos and hurt to those in their path. The sick part is that is WHY they do it. They utilize your vulnerabilities to their advantage.

After reading an email from my ex this morning I was transported back to feelings that I do not care to relive. Every time I write an email requesting what is normal and expected in a situation it is either: 1. Not answered 2. Answered but like a day later even though I know this person constantly checks his email 3. Met with opposition-always and without exception.

Unless you’ve lived through one of these type of abusive relationships you can’t imagine the PTSD like response your body goes into after such an interaction. It’s like fight or flight. Adrenal pumps. Emotions erupt and threaten any peace you currently had that day.

I remember feeling like this every single day. My mind never got a chance to recover day to day and it felt like every day was fight or flight. I’m not talking physical abuse here but emotional abuse. These physiological responses threatened my health physically and mentally.

I used to feel like this every single day. It might not be the best choice of grammar but it sucked. Big time.

The human part of me wants to retaliate with shock and awe. To what end? Not willing to put my children in the middle of two warring parents (even if we’re no longer married). The rational side of me knows engaging the enemy in this case is what they want so I will not issue shock and awe upon their heads but I’ll be honest, I really want to. But that is the hurt talking.

I don’t get to be the judge but there is some comfort in the fact that God will someday. Even saying that makes me feel small. Truth be told I’ll only recover from my anger and hurt when I hand it over to God. And I’ve been miserable all day because instead of handing over my hurt I’ve nursed it.

Opening up my tight little fists slowly….

It’s the middle of the night and I’m awake. Been a long time since a painful memory from my failed marriage has kept me up.

Listening to my go to song, “Forgiveness”, by Matthew West on repeat song on my iPhone. Knowing that I need to let it go as holding onto this buried hurt will do nothing but cripple me at this point.

Yet here I am, giving power to a past hurt that serves to do nothing but injure my hurt. Torn between the concepts of hurt and forgiveness yet knowing the second is the only path I can take.

My soul is hurt and it’s hard to even pray but I know the Holy Spirit is making my hurt known to the Father. It’s hard to forgive. I’ve written about this many times, over the years.

Torn between needing to experience the pain that comes from healing and the desire to want to let it go. Like many years ago when I knew that I needed to forgive my ex spouse I prayed for years for the desire to want to forgive him. God worked in my heart that time and since to forgive this one who hurt my heart so.

Wishing hurt away does nothing productive. I’ve learned from experience that it is necessary to truly feel the hurt before I can experience the gratitude to God when He frees me from the hurt. I’ve learned it is allowable to feel the hurt as long as I don’t get stuck in it. Or try to bury the hurt without turning to my Heavenly Father and asking Him to free me.

The concept of forgiveness has nothing to do in my case with reconciliation between the two parties. It is about forgiving someone who has never once asked for forgiveness. It is about laying down the hurt at the throne of God and realizing that God sent His son to die for not only me but for my ex spouse. Knowing that Jesus’ spilled blood was for everyone. None of us deserved for Him take our sins, to take the penalty of our sins. Yet He did. And on the cross He forgave those who put Him to death. What a picture of forgiveness.

Lord, give me the desire to want to forgive this particular hurt tonight. I know that I can only give forgiveness if You change my heart Lord. Change my heart, Lord.

The right words at the right time. This week I had to step out into the stairwell at work to call my dad. I was upset and frustrated and worried. A lack of timely communication about my daughter had me feeling hurt and worried.

As my dad often does, he talked me through the rough situation, offering insight into me and the other party involved that was wise and timely.

After we discussed my reaction to being hurt, again, my dad said these words which wrote on the very surface of my heart:

He can’t hurt you anymore.

And with that, something healed in my heart and head. You see, I HEARD it and believed it. No, I won’t live a life without hurt or loss. How I react to it is what is important.

I’m done. No more power is being given over.

He can’t hurt me anymore.

When you deal with someone who is emotionally abusive, it’s like they say “hey, let’s play Russian roulette” but then proceeds to hand you a fully loaded gun.

Their desire is to hurt, to kill – in my case it was not physically kill – but the intent was and is to hurt me deeply, over and over again. His intent is to kill my spirit.

It does not compute in my mind, it never will. I understand it and have studied and lived through abuse but I will never fully “get” it. It is indescribable and well, nuts.

When a manipulating, controlling abuser gets you frustrated he has won. I let a situation and person frustrate me tonight and I responded in frustration and let him know I was angry. Although I felt vindicated for about 1/10th of a second, I also knew that I had lost. By reacting to him I fed his madness.

So I develop a plan to avoid this situation with him by planning and out smarting him.

This is my reality. Dealing with it stinks but it just IS. He probably won’t ever change and I know this but I can learn to outwit and outsmart him.

Tonight I lay here listening to worship music because I am not going to let my hurt or anger take on a life of its own. You see, if I do that then the Enemy and this person wins.

Words have power. We all have heard that. We have probably all felt good at the accolades from another and felt bad from the hurtful words of another.

Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.

What a dumb, dumb phrase some of us were taught and used as children!

Emotional abuse. Many hear that and immediately think, well it can’t be THAT serious. Verbal abuse can be yelling but it’s so much more than that. Emotional abuse is hard to put into words and I’ve lived through it.

For me emotional abuse was like being held down in cold water only to be let up once in a while to breathe. Quick breath then whoosh, back into the water that threatened to drown me.

Even though I am out of my marriage I still to this day cannot fathom how someone who professed to love me forever could do and say the things he did. It still doesn’t compute even though I quite well versed in abuse. Hundreds of hours of counseling later and I have come to this revelation.

I may never fully understand it. Some people get lost in the hurt and I did too for a while, a long while. One poignant email is seared in my mind. The person wrote telling me that essentially he was a race car, speeding along and that I was a klunker. I’ll admit I’m no Ferrari but neither was he. That is so beside the point.

I wish that I could unread that email. It was years ago. I’ve forgiven him many times (not because he asked but because I needed to, for me).

Forgiveness is a process. And it’s often something that requires ongoing forgiveness if that person is still in the outskirts of your life. 70×7.

Words have the power to build up and destroy. Words can rally an army to victory and words can cause a person to give up on life. Pick your words carefully and speak to others as you hope they’d speak to you.

I will not forget but I choose to forgive.