Sunday, April 3, 2011

obedience is usually life changing

Last fall our church was having a special meeting centered on the topic of forgiveness. I felt very detached from this meeting.  I didn't feel like I had any hurts or issues with my church, the body or any individual people so I wasn't sure what my part would be in this. Regardless I went,  pressing in in prayer as to what I could get or give in the process. The last meeting in January was a hard one for me to go to. I felt that wall of resistance to going. In my opinion it was going to be a waste of a night because I didn't have any wounds, haha.  Sorry I have to laugh because after 7 years of walking with Christ you'd think I'd learn that when I think or feel that way, that I'm about to land right on my face!

So there I'm sitting thinking, I'm ok, there's not a person in this church that I hold anything against. (oh important note: we had stones as a symbol of some pain we were holding on to that we need to lay at the foot of the cross) The Pastor was talking about letting go of anger and unforgiveness, mind you, I'm still thinking I'm ok although my heart has now begun to pound pretty hard and I realize that great, the Holy Spirit is poking at me. As I'm turning my stone over and over in my hand I hear him say something about maybe you don't have unforgiveness against anyone in here, maybe there's someone outside of the church you need to forgive. All of a sudden huge tears just start rolling down my cheeks. I squeezed that stone so tight I thought for sure when I opened my hand up it would be just dust.

I had images of disappointment and heartbreak through my childhood and even into my adulthood running through my head. The unfulfilled promises from my biological father tearing at my heart. I kept telling God I couldn't let it go, I'd have nothing left of him to hold on to. Anger was the one thing that I felt held me to my father.  I sat there for what felt like hours, sobbing, clinging to my anger and arguing with God as my husband patiently waited next to me instinctively knowing what my struggle was.  Finally I knew I needed to be obedient and lay it at the foot of the cross. God has forgiven me for all the things that I've done, who was I to hold this hurt and anger against someone else.  Little did I know that as I laid that stone at the foot of the cross, that it was just part one of what God was asking of me.

I left church that night exhausted, empty, yet with a different sense of peace. Thank you Jesus.

Fast forward to Monday, March 28th...I have an adopted little sister who I completely adore. I've been wanting to call her but I avoid it because I didn't want to talk to him.  It's been weighing on me to call her so I finally did on Monday night. He answered the phone and with my heart pounding, hoping he wouldn't ask who it was, I asked for her.  After we talked for a bit she said he wanted to talk to me.  I really didn't want to but knew that after not talking for at least 3 years we'd probably just talk around the elephant in the room.  No, he went right in for the kill. Started talking right away about the past and I won't get into all the discussion but then he made a statement or was it a question...what do you want from me, I'm not sure who to be. 

Wow, that stopped me cold. I saw the cross that day at church and I didn't feel the old childhood anger rising up. I actually was able to view the entire situation from a parent's eyes, not an injured child, for the first time.  I heard myself saying, "I don't want anything from you. I'm almost 40 years old, I don't need a parental figure but I would like to be able to talk to you occasionally." Did I mean that? I saw that cross again. Yes I did mean it. I then told him about my abortion so he would know I truly understood making mistakes and bad choices. I actually told him that I forgave him and for the first time in my life with him, I meant it, I felt it.  I just keep seeing that cross.

Now I have new expectations, not those of a little girl looking for daddy's love and approval, but those of a women who just wants to catch up with someone dear in her life.

I don't fully understand his choices as a parent but then again I don't understand all of mine either.

Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.  ~john 8:6-7